Monday, July 9, 2007

Stay Up To Date With The Best CME

I like the Harvard courses in Boston called "Annual Update in ObGyn" that are held in spring and fall. I attend one of these courses every one to two years. The courses in Spring and Fall are not the same in terms of faculty and content. Check for alternatives at Yale, Duke, Cornell, UCSF, etc - these alternatives may exist, although I am not aware of them. A further advantage is that you have the chance to get in touch on a personal basis with the outstanding and very approachable faculty of Brigham and Women's. You also receive excellent print materials. You may purchase excellent Video CDs of surgical techniques for a reduced price.

Audio-Digest CDs, "the spoken medical journal" is the best CME program I have found.
After you subscribe they send you a CD (or MP3) every two weeks with selected lectures of very good, renowned, expert speakers, many of them nationally known, on topics that really matter. Lectures are easy to understand. I listen to the CDs in my car on the way to work and back, over and over again - until I am bored. This is a very effortless way of learning. The material kind of diffuses in.
They send you a printed summary of each CD, you can get short abstracts of their website, you can download a list of these lectures from their website. This is something I include in my recertification / relicensing papers. Of course you have the ability to collect CME points.
Has proven to be incredibly effective, I would not want to miss it. The best bang for the buck in terms of CME.

The other best CME is the ABOG list of publications and the corresponding questionnaires they send out four times a year. Our hospital librarian finds the publications and copies them for all the ObGyns that participate. You can't beat this - a. you keep your board certification up to date, b. someone does the legwork of selecting interesting and relevant publications for you and c. you get CME credits

Consider a subscription to “UpToDate”, my favorite medical database and, yes, textbook. It is written mostly by Harvard faculty, very easy to read, very uptodate (as the name implies), very thoroughly researched. Easy to search.
Uptodate also has another very nice feature: the section on "what is new in..." and the section on ObGyn then reports about "10 important developments in the last year". Very nice, easy tool to keep up and make sure you have not missed anything during the last year!!

I also like two of the Throw-away journals:
1. "OBGmanagment" since Robert Barbieri is the editor. Barbieri, the chief of the ObGyn department at Brigham and Women's, happens to be incredibly smart, talented and also is a brilliant teacher. He and his editorial staff have an uncanny ability to find out which topics are relevant at the moment. The journal is presented very well, with hints how to read it fast, with hints as to what is important. And on top of everything he is nice if you meet him in person.
2.Contemporary ObGyn, which is Yale-powered. Similar praises as for 1.

Not so good and not recommended:
1. ObGyn Survey: somehow the selection of topics is off, I subscribed, ended up not reading it and cancelled.
2. Practical Reviews, ObGyn and Women's Health by Oakstone Publishing: they select articles, review them and comment them. The selection was just OK, the abstracts were good, the comments were just slightly changed abstracts without many new insights. Overall - not worth the time and money. Cannot hold the water to AudioDigest.

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