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CME Credits

Trending CME Topics for Physicians and APPs in Primary Care

CME is an opportunity for primary care providers to build new skills while meeting state requirements. The best CME activities for physicians and APPs feature the latest evidence-based methodologies and actionable best practices while covering the trending healthcare topics both providers and patients need to know about.

The responsibilities of primary care practitioners are changing, which makes continuing education in current areas of emphasis even more vital. If you’re looking for relevant learning that will immediately benefit your practice and patients, consider these CME topics.

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Preventative Care

Preventive medicine encompasses a number of disciplines but primary care physicians are among those most naturally positioned for proactive care. Even PCPs who don’t specifically specialize in preventive medicine benefit from important, trending preventative care CME topics such as vaccinations, affordability, personalized medicine, wellness and aging well, and multidisciplinary care models. Primary care CME is also covering technology in healthcare, including AI, telemedicine and virtual care, and wearable technology.

Emergency Medicine

As emergency departments face both overcrowding and a shrinking supply of emergency medicine physicians, primary care and family medicine specialists are likely to see emergency medicine and urgent care cases. The AAFP makes a strong case for family medicine providers’ value in emergency medicine environments that need qualified leaders.

Primary care-focused emergency medicine CME covers healthcare topics like chest pain, poisonings, substance use and abuse, infectious diseases, psychiatric care and geriatric care. Trending topics in emergency and hospital medicine also include mergers and acquisitions as well as partnerships with both traditional healthcare organizations and new entrants to the industry, which can impact how providers deliver care.

Infectious Disease

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is just one infectious disease currently impacting global health. Dozens of other infectious diseases including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza are active globally and are regularly seen in primary care practices. Diseases such as hepatitis are also common. Infectious disease CME can prepare physicians to identify, treat and prevent communicable illnesses in outpatient settings, as well as educate their patients. Vaccinations for these and other diseases remain a point of contention in many communities that primary care providers must address.

Pharmacology and Pain Management

The health impact of the opioid epidemic and regulators’ attempts to control the problem have led to an explosion of interest in and need for responsible prescribing and general pain management. CME topics relevant to pain management include the long term management of opiate use, opiate dependence and overdose treatments, and alternative pain management. Other trending topics in pharmacology include the increasing role of cannabinoids and medication-assisted therapy.

Mental Health

The ongoing mental health crisis throughout the US impacts millions. The stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of generational and racial trauma affect patients of all ages. Fortunately, evolving primary care models provide opportunities to treat patients more holistically. Relevant training makes PCPs effective first-line care providers for the mental health crises affecting the communities and populations they serve.

Mental health CME topics often include the signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Depending on the populations a primary care physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant serves, sessions on maternal, youth and even healthcare provider mental health can be beneficial. It’s also worth considering continuing education on evolving mental health treatment methods such as behavorial medicine.

Cultural Competency

Diverse and culturally competent providers improve outcomes for diverse patient populations. Improve the patient experience with CME topics for doctors covering LGBTQ+ and transgender care. Health disparities and health equity, as well as navigating health beliefs and behaviors unique to specific communities, are valuable continuing education topics. Lastly, physicians must be aware of the latest research on social determinants of their patient population’s health, including racism, climate change and lead exposure.