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Committee Connection

ASCO Achieves Highest Level of Accreditation for Continuing Medical Education Program

07 Aug 2012 11:56 AM

In July, ASCO was awarded “Accreditation with Commendation” (the highest level achievable) by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). Fewer than 25% of CME providers carry the “Commendation” status distinction, which signifies an organization that develops CME activities that meet the highest standards of educational quality. The Society has maintained this esteemed level of accreditation since 2006 and has been an accredited provider of continuing medical education (CME) since 1977.

“ASCO’s renewed Accreditation with Commendation solidifies our goal of providing comprehensive educational resources for oncology professionals that will ultimately lead to improved patient care and outcomes,” said Primo N. Lara, Jr., MD, of the University of California Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Lara currently serves as Chair of ASCO’s CME Subcommittee.

ASCO’s CME mission is to provide a comprehensive educational program and facilitate the acquisition and maintenance of attitudes, knowledge, and skills of oncology professionals that will positively affect the care of patients with cancer, patients at high risk of cancer, and cancer survivors. Activities are designed for a wide range of learning styles, with a goal to maintain a diversified portfolio of learning formats that are continually reassessed to meet professional practice gaps and educational needs. The activities meet the highest standards of balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor.

CME credit can be obtained through participation in or use of a number of ASCO programs and resources, including attendance at the Annual Meeting and thematic symposia; completion of ASCO University® online-learning modules, ASCO-SEP self-assessment questions, and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Self-Assessment Modules; and participation in the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Performance Improvement CME Activity.

“As Chair of the CME Subcommittee during the accreditation year, I was continually impressed by the expertise and strengths that the ASCO CME staff brought to the process. I really believe that the preparation for the re-accreditation and the materials produced for the examiners set a new standard for the ACCME, and all members of ASCO can be proud that the educational mission of our Society is supported in a professional way with innovation and better technology always in mind,” said 2011-2012 Subcommittee Chair Thomas J. Fahey, Jr., MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Volunteers on the CME Subcommittee and ASCO staff committed nearly two years to producing an innovative digital 285-page Self-Study Report, 15 CME activity files, and video-conference interview for the 2012 ACCME evaluation. The digital submission was well-received by ACCME, and subsequently ASCO will showcase the format at the 2013 Annual Conference of the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions (ACEHP).

“ACCME has rightly awarded the Commendation status to ASCO’s CME program, which is exceptional in its multidisciplinary educational offerings, understanding of the true spirit of disclosure of potential conflict of interest, and cutting-edge educational technology. The ASCO CME professionals are extremely knowledgeable and sophisticated about the trends in learning,” said Lucille A. Leong, MD, of City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center and a member of ASCO’s CME Subcommittee. As 2010-2011 Subcommittee Chair, she oversaw the development of the report outline.

ASCO’s next evaluation will take place in 2018.

For more information on ASCO’s CME program, visit asco.org/cme, email cme@asco.org, or call 571-483-1403.

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