Whether by professional body requirement or as a voluntary choice, almost every professional within the medical sector undertakes some form of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Doctors and other medical professionals have an essential accountability to remain competent wherever they practice in the world, irrespective of region and location.
Many countries have already established healthcare and medical industries, and it is expected that more and more countries will be taking proactive steps towards implementing a national CPD / CME framework for doctors, surgeons, nurses and other medical professionals within their borders.
As Continuing Professional Development or its acronym CPD, becomes a more internationally well-known phrase for learning, a question arises about the difference between CPD and CME. This informal article helps to outline the difference between CPD and CME, the benefits of completing ongoing professional learning and some simple tips on how to log your CPD hours / CME points effectively.
What is meant by CME and how does it differ to CPD?
CME is the abbreviated term for Continuing Medical Education. It is a term used to describe the medical-related educational activities that a professional in the healthcare and medical sector completes to enhance their career-related skills and abilities.
Whilst similar to Continuing Professional Development (CPD), CME is often more recognised as a component part of CPD. For instance, where CME may focus its learning towards specific medical and technical procedures, or medical regulation and legislative updates for examples, Continuing Professional Development is more widely recognised as the overriding and holistic term that defines the ongoing and overall improvement and competencies of the individual.
To help explain the difference between CPD and CME further, the General Medical Council states;