Researchers track Web&s presence in physician learning

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Researchers tracking how physicians consume medical education online are mostly of the same mind when it comes to the growing role of eCME.

Pri-Med's Physician Insights Study shows physicians earned 13% of their hours online this past year—a 63% increase since 2003. Primary care physicians and psychiatrists tend to do more education online than other physicians studied, said Anne Goodrich, Pri-Med director, physician insights. “These clinicians…see so many patients per week and are so limited from a time perspective that [the] added advantage of online CME is particularly attractive.”

The ACCME 2006 annual report shows 27% of physician CME was done online last year, a 65% rise over 2005, and Manhattan Research's Taking the Pulse study, which measures responses of 1,353 practicing US physicians, showed that 16% of CME is being conducted online.

To be sure, “Live CME continues to be the dominant channel, in terms of where the bulk of CME is earned,” Goodrich explained, adding that online is not increasing at the expense of live. “That's important, because as we move toward curriculum learning, which is about providing a series of learning across channels, the point is to provide multiple touch points around messages.”

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