New online CME system expands reach of Medicine Grand Rounds

New Online CME System Expands Reach of Medicine Grand Rounds

Every Friday at 8:00 AM during the academic year, members of the Department of Medicine and others gather in the auditorium of the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital for Medical Grand Rounds. Coffee in hand, the audience listens intently for news on the latest breakthroughs from experts with multifaceted perspectives.

The lecture series— a tradition dating back many decades— brings speakers from both within and outside of UW-Madison to present on topics related to internal medicine and its specialties. At Grand Rounds, medicine is considered from numerous angles, including clinical, research, medical education, medical humanism, and the intersection of health care policies and public health.

“When you consider the scope, breadth, and depth of Medicine Grand Rounds, it’s an incredibly robust series that makes a significant impact on how medicine is practiced here at UW,” says Richard Page, MD, George R. and Elaine Love Professor and chair, Department of Medicine.

Continuing medical education (CME) credit has long been offered for providers who attend Grand Rounds in person. Now, thanks to a platform developed in-house by Department of Medicine programmers, CME credit may be earned online for learners who are unable to attend the live lectures.

“Attending in person is ideal, since personal interaction with colleagues may provide connections in education, research and clinical care. But we recognize that clinical duties and other responsibilities often prevent attendance at live lectures. Also, this technology will allow us to reach adjunct faculty, alumni, colleagues, and others who are located outside of Madison,” said Dr. Page. The concept that education should influence people’s lives beyond the physical boundaries of academic buildings is the key component of the Wisconsin Idea, he noted.

Learners can create an account online, sign in, and watch lectures available for CME credit, which is earned by passing a quiz and providing an evaluation of the presentation. An FAQ and video tutorial about how to use the system are available.

“When we talked with alumni of our residency and fellowship programs, many were interested in ‘attending’ Grand Rounds from afar in order to stay abreast of the latest developments in the field,” said Robyn Perrin, PhD, public affairs and communications manager, Department of Medicine. “Distance learning can be a means of bridging space and time, allowing physicians to re-connect with the department in a new way and incorporate Grand Rounds into their busy schedules.”

The platform also allows learners to keep track of credits earned for attending live lectures, and serves as an administrative management system for organizing the Grand Rounds series.