Virtual learning

AOA House calls for more study of nonlive, online CME

Concerns include the quality of recorded courses and attendance erosion at CME meetings.


A resolution aimed at revamping the delivery of continuing medical education will instead head to the AOA Council on Continuing Medical Education for further review, the House of Delegates agreed on July 16.

Submitted by the Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of California (OPSC), the resolution would have enabled DO specialists to earn AOA Category 1-A credit via nonlive, online programs.

The limited availability of live CME opportunities spurred the resolution, said John J. Kowalczyk, DO, the measure’s author. The fact that CME meetings often take place at distant locations adds to the challenges, he said. “Not only rural physicians but even urban DOs find this difficult, especially if you are a solo physician or in a small group, as this requires time off and finding coverage, which can be costly,” noted Dr. Kowalczyk, a urological surgeon in Calif.

Yet some members of the AOA Ad Hoc Committee, which reviewed the resolution, raised concerns about the quality of recorded courses and how their proliferation might erode attendance at association-sponsored CME meetings, an important financial resource for many state osteopathic medical associations and osteopathic specialty societies.

Committee member William W. Henning, DO, the OPSC’s president-elect, countered that the online CME would provide a new revenue stream for state societies. “Our students and residents are used to going online,” he said during the committee’s review. “It’s time to start looking at new pathways to open up access to CME.”

“I would concur with you if the online meeting was live,” replied committee member Lawrence Edward Suess, DO, PhD. “But this resolution alludes to ‘not live,’ and that verges on undermining the tenets of our philosophy and practice, which is hands-on.”

The House agreed with the committee’s recommendation that the resolution be reviewed to determine how its implementation might affect current CME providers.

One comment

  1. Edward A. Posuniak,Jr.,DO

    I would like to obtain additional education on-line in my specialty, PM&R. The AOA Scientific Conventions are still a must for me each year as are the AOCPMR CME meetings as well. I recommend approving this additional source of Category-1A CME credits. Thank you.


    Edward A. Posuniak, Jr., DO

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