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Medical Education Online

For an Article Collection on

Refocusing on the “E” in Continuing Medical Education (CME)

Manuscript deadline
30 August 2024

Cover image - Medical Education Online

Article collection guest advisor(s)

Dr. Cha-Chi Fung, Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California, USA
[email protected]

Dr. Jonathan M Amiel, Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, USA
[email protected]

Dr. Ron Ben-Ari, Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California, USA
[email protected]

Dr. Kathryn Huggett, Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, USA
[email protected]

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Refocusing on the “E” in Continuing Medical Education (CME)

Engagement in Continuing Medical Education (CME) or Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities is a critical professional obligation of physicians (and other health professionals) to ensure that they maintain or acquire competencies that meet their professional needs and improve patient care. Medical boards, societies and licensing agencies require evidence of CME for maintenance of certifications and licensure. Some content may be required of physicians by legislation or an institution, e.g., pain management, but physicians are largely responsible for determining their own personal learning needs and gaps and are poor at independently making those determinations.  While there are broad expectations of physicians to engage in CME, the scholarship on helping physicians (and other healthcare professionals) identify the best ways in which to address their needs and for guiding CME programs on which are the most effective interventions to achieve the goals of their activities are less well studied than in the undergraduate and graduate medical education realms.

Identifying how to define and implement CME activities that address the diverse roles of physicians in practice, the logistical challenges of incorporating education into practice, and the determination of meaningful outcomes warrants more investigation and dissemination.  The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) renewed their commitment to supporting educational scholarship in their most recently published Strategic Plan 2022-2026 and to better support the educators in accomplishing those goals, the ACCME awarded the Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education (SACME) with a grant in 2022 to develop the “CE Educator’s Toolkit: Evidence-based design and implementation strategies for effective continuing education” (

The goal of this Article Collection is to further the call for educational scholarship and to enhance the body of knowledge in CME/CPD. This Article Collection aims to disseminate relevant original research, review articles, short communications, and rapid communications related to the following topics:

  • Refocusing on the E in CME: outcomes and effectiveness of CME/CPD programming, curriculum development, and program evaluation.
  • Modern learning theory, strategies, and instructional methods (e.g., e-learning modalities, remote learning, virtual learning, active learning, etc.).
  • State of the Joint Accreditation practices in CME and progress toward true interprofessional education experiences to meet the joint accreditation requirements.
  • Innovations in CME/CPD for special topics, e.g. Quality Improvement and Physician Wellbeing.
  • Equity pedagogy and educational interventions in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
  • Meeting the needs of the future physician workforce.
  • Infrastructure and resources needed to promote educational research and scholarship.


  • continuing medical education (CME)
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
  • joint accreditation
  • faculty development
  • physician wellbeing
  • physician workforce
  • interprofessional education

Guest Advisors

Dr. Cha-Chi Fung received her PhD in Educational Psychology from USC Rossier School of Education in 2003. She’s currently one of the Vice-Chairs of the Department of Medical Education at Keck School of Medicine of USC and the Assistant Dean for Research and Scholarship in Medical Education at Keck School of Medicine of USC.  She directs the research arm of their Master of Academic Medicine degree program and is also a faculty member in the AAMC Medical Education Research Certificate (MERC) program.  At the national level, she’s served as the Western regional representative of the AAMC Medical Education Scholarship Research and Evaluation (MESRE) Section and the Chair for the Western Group on Educational Affairs (WGEA).  She’s currenting serving as a member of the Research in Medical Education (RIME) Planning Committee at AAMC.  Dr. Fung’s primary research interest is in student performance assessment.

Dr. Jonathan Amiel, MD, is a Professor of Psychiatry and Senior Associate Dean for Innovation in Health Professions Education at Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons. Dr. Amiel is past chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ (AAMC) Organization of Resident Representatives and Northeast Group on Educational Affairs and led its Core Entrustable Professional Activities pilot. He served on the Advisory Committee for the Gold Humanism Honor Society and chaired its Membership Committee. Dr. Amiel’s work focuses on competency-based education and its relationship to the development of health professionals' identities. In his work, he partners with educators across the medical school, medical center, university, and colleagues in national and international professional societies to advance the training of health professionals to optimally meet the evolving needs of the public. The overarching goal is to ensure that training is intentional, just, and aligned with public health needs - including developing our next generation of clinician scientists, educators, and advocates.

Dr. Ron Ben-Ari, MD, FACP, completed his medical school and internal medicine training at the Keck School of Medicine (KSOM) of the University of Southern California (USC) and joined the USC Department of Medicine faculty in 1992 and the Department of Medical Education in 2021. He is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and Medical Education (Educational Scholar) and was appointed KSOM Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education in 2023. Dr. Ben-Ari served as the Assistant Dean for Curriculum (2012-2016); Associate Dean for Curriculum (2016-2023); Associate Dean for CME (2012-2023); Director of the USC Internal Medicine Medical Student Program (1992-2009); Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Training Program (1995-2011); and Vice Chair for Educational Affairs in the Department of Medicine (2009-2016). He served on the WGEA Steering Committee as the representative for the section on Continuing Professional Development (2014-2018) and was named to the Board of Directors of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education in 2018.

Dr. Kathryn Huggett, PhD, is the Director of the Teaching Academy, Assistant Dean for Medical Education, and Robert Larner, MD Professor in Medical Education at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont. Dr. Huggett leads faculty development for teaching, assessment, and educational scholarship. In addition, she leads the team responsible for curricular evaluation and serves as the co-chair of the medical school’s Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) committee. Her research and publications address academic program quality; mentoring and faculty recognition; curricular innovation; and interprofessional education (IPE). Dr. Huggett is lead editor of the book, An Introduction to Medical Teaching: The Foundations of Curriculum Design, Delivery, and Assessment (Springer 2022).

Disclosure statement: Dr. Cha-Chi Fung, Dr. Jonathan Amiel, Dr. Ron Ben-Ari and Dr. Kathryn Huggett declare there is no conflict of interest.

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All manuscripts submitted to this Article Collection will undergo desk assessment and peer-review as part of our standard editorial process. Guest Advisors for this collection will not be involved in peer-reviewing manuscripts unless they are an existing member of the Editorial Board. Please review the journal Aims and Scope and author submission instructions prior to submitting a manuscript.