The best destination CME conferences are immersive, in-person learning experiences held to educate healthcare practitioners on medical developments with guidance from distinguished presenters. These conferences are often held in enticing destinations, offering attendees the opportunity to earn credits while enjoying a vacation. High-quality CME conferences are interactive and engaging, presenting cutting-edge research and practical knowledge in in-person group seminars. The live conference format affords participants the opportunity to network with peers, receive mentorship from medical leaders, and acquire knowledge that positively impacts their practices.
Use the following criteria to evaluate which conference experience and CME provider is right for you.
Criteria for Selecting a CME Conference
The CME accreditation standards established by organizations such as the ACCME and the AMA ensure that CME providers meet the basic criteria for creating and offering CME activities, including conferences. Healthcare practitioners can participate in the learning experiences offered by these accredited organizations to earn the necessary CME credits to fulfill their state’s annual or biannual medical licensure requirements. Accreditation also helps ensure the activity is free of bias, such as promotional content.
Location: CME conferences are available in several domestic and international locations. When selecting a destination, it is crucial to consider various factors, much like planning a vacation. You should choose a location that offers a range of activities, sights and accommodations. However, the educational purpose of the trip means you must use your free time wisely. Some attendees prefer destinations with a more relaxed, slower pace to recharge after conference sessions. Many prefer locations that are compact enough to navigate easily while still offering the attractions of a large urban center.
Conference format: CME conferences vary in length, with some lasting two to three days and others lasting five or more. Longer conferences usually have shorter morning sessions that last between two to three hours. While a condensed schedule may mean less time away from home, it also means less free time outside of conference sessions, which can last six hours or more. Alternatively, morning-only conferences featuring four or five hour sessions are popular with attendees for their predictable structure and convenient format, allowing ample downtime for rest and relaxation.
Family-friendly: Popular CME destinations run the gambit of locations that are more adult-oriented such as Las Vegas, to those that are traditionally more family-friendly such as the home of Disney World, Orlando, Florida. If clinicians plan for the conference to double as a family vacation, they’ll want to choose a destination with kid-friendly activities and romantic attractions to enjoy with their partner. CME Seminars’ Florida conference destinations like St. Pete Beach provide breathtaking scenery and unspoiled white sand beaches, fun for both kids and adults. Public and private beaches are just a short distance from quality hotels including the Hilton Garden at St. Pete Beach.
Content quality: CME conference content provides clinicians with both the skills to improve patient care and the opportunity to advance their careers. When evaluating a conference’s value for you and your practice, consider the following:
1) Conference topics that align with your medical specialty or area of interest, such as primary care or internal medicine. 2) Content that refreshes foundational clinical knowledge while also introducing new approaches to care. 3) Conferences that offer opportunities to earn new credentials and specialize in in-demand areas of medicine. 4) Conferences taught by leading medical professionals who possess experience in both clinical practice and education. 5) Conference content that covers both medicine-related topics and professional development topics, including leadership, practice development and stress management.
Value: Conference experiences can range from luxurious and ultra-exclusive to value options with affordable accommodations and inexpensive attractions. Conference providers may choose to attract conference-goers with discounts or exclusive offers or offer indulgent extended retreats. Most will be interested in something in between the two extremes. While the conference portion of the trip is covered by your CME allowance, participants are financially responsible for their accommodations and activities. Quality conference providers often seek out ways to provide additional value with discounts for necessities like rooms or incentives on extras like car rentals.