CCMEP™ is the only credential that designates qualified individuals as Certified CME Professionals.

Test Development in
collaboration with:

CCMEP Spotlight


Dave Clausen, CCMEP and member of the NC-CME Marketing Committee, interviews prominent Certified CME Professionals about becoming a CCMEP.

NC-CME Newsletter, August 2012 Issue:
Winnie Brown, MPA, CPMSM, CCMEP
Director, Medical Staff Services and Medical Education
HCA Midwest Research Medical Center; Kansas City, MO

Dave Clausen:
Why did you choose to pursue the CCMEP credential, when you already possessed a Masters-level degree relevant to your profession?

Winnie Brown:
My graduate degree is in Public Administration with an emphasis in health services administration. I had no formal training in adult or medical education. As many of us know that work in CME, you are continually challenged by others when you try to abide by all of the accreditation rules and implement a CME activity that first assesses "professional practice gaps." Frequently we are viewed as three-headed idiots for even suggesting that there is a "process" to developing a CME-credit worthy activity.

Not all CME providers interpret the requirements the same way and even "expert" advice can be conflicting. I felt that becoming a certified professional in CME would add a measure of credibility to my views and opinions. And, I hoped it would make me more marketable should the current job continue to veer too far off of the CME path, since that (CME) is the work that I enjoy most.

Clausen: Can you give an example of a major challenge you have faced in your role within a hospital office of CME?

Brown: I was recruited [to this position] because the organization’s CME program was in jeopardy. The program was on probation and a “final” report was nearly due. Unfortunately, the cases selected by the ACCME for review were from activities that had occurred prior to my arrival and there was no documentation to support compliance with ACCME Standards and Essentials. We lost our CME accreditation. The organization was eager to earn back its ACCME accreditation, but that was going to be problematic as well. You see, most of our activities were targeted to local or regional audiences.

Since we are a community hospital, it was more appropriate that we seek re-accreditation through the State Medical Association, rather than the ACCME. But even that proved to be challenging: the State Medical Association’s process would take at least a year before we could once again become an accredited CME provider! This might not sound like a terribly big deal to many hospitals. In fact, there are probably some hospitals that would look at this as a blessing. But, our organization does a ‘ton’ of CME and the doctors wanted/expected CME credit for every bit of education that they acquired.

We had to get creative. After exploring our options, we decided to seek approval from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) for our luncheon conference series as those sessions are targeted to primary care physicians. For our specialty conferences, we entered into a joint sponsorship with an external ACCME accredited organization. This has worked so extremely well for us that we made a thoughtful, deliberate decision to NOT seek to become an accredited CME provider.

What freedom there is in not having to carry the burden of an accredited CME provider – there is NO self-study, NO annual reporting and just wonderfully supportive partners to work with in providing even more CME activities than we did as an accredited provider. I know this is background that you did not ask for, but I felt compelled to provide it….

My role these days has very little to do with CME. I spend most of my time directing the efforts of our Medical Staff Services support team, the organization’s role in supporting medical education and graduate medical education activities of various local medical schools that supplement our own organization’s Family Medicine residency program, and the Medical Library. I work with other individuals within our organization (and some outside of our organization, but within our local Health System Division) making the connections between them and the accredited CME providers (yes, we now work with more than one accredited CME provider – primarily for political reasons) in a liaison/facilitator role. I also coordinate our luncheon conference series that is approved for CME credit by the AAFP.

This has been a very interesting journey; not at all what I had expected, but very enriching nevertheless. It has opened my eyes to another way of providing a wealth of certified educational activities to our physicians, without being an accredited CME provider. Frankly, I would recommend that other accredited CME programs struggling with staffing challenges inherent in supporting an accredited CME program, consider a similar approach.

Clausen: How did you prepare for the CCMEP exam? Any pointers to share?

Brown: I gathered all of the JCEHP journals I had and reviewed them, especially for information on adult learning theory and evaluations. I reviewed the Almanac publications and everything I could find on the ACCME website – primarily the Standards and Essential Areas. I hate to admit it, but I also did quite a bit of “Googling,” based upon the topics from the study guide.

Clausen: Any final thoughts to share?

Brown: I’ve already given you quite a bit more than you asked and can’t think of anything to add, except my wholehearted endorsement of the CCMEP credential as a way to attain recognition as a professional in CME. With the movement afoot toward inter-professional education, do you think there may be a CIPEP (or some variation thereof) credential in the future?

About Us   .    NEWSbriefs   .    Contact Us