As part of our ongoing efforts to promote the value of accredited CME, we are highlighting the role of clinicians as planners, teachers, learners, or CME committee members. 

Is there a clinician who makes valuable contributions to your CME program? Please submit the Clinician Spotlight Nomination Form!

SaagMichael S. Saag, MD

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Associate Dean for Global Health
Jim Straley Chair in AIDS Research
Director, UAB Center for AIDS Research
Professor of Medicine
Member, IAS-USA Board of Directors

What does accredited CME mean to you?

In a phrase: Quality and Effectiveness. All providers need ongoing education throughout their careers. It’s said that a physician is never more up to date than the day they leave their training program! And while their experience grows over time, the facts they learned during training often become outdated and new information is constantly being generated through research. But just getting new information is not enough. The clinician needs to know that the information delivered is accurate, unbiased, and trustworthy. Therefore, having the imprimatur of an accredited CME provider assures both the clinician trainee and the public at large that the information taught is of the highest standards. The value of this is immeasurable.

How does accredited CME support your work as a clinician?

In addition to assuring quality, accredited CME activities help me identify areas of greatest needs. Through formal needs assessments conducted as part of a high-quality CME program, education experts with input from rank-and-file members of the target audience identify the areas that are the most relevant and impactful for my practice and the other attendees. As a frequent faculty member of accredited CME activities the needs assessment helps keep me in touch with areas of challenge other clinicians are encountering and stimulate me to develop a sharp focus for my presentations and meaningful enduring materials for those who participate in the program. 

What value does accredited CME bring to your work?

In addition to being a clinician and educator, I am also a researcher. Many times, through my participation in accredited CME events, I uncover areas of unmet needs where answers are either unclear or non-existent. This helps me create and fine tune research questions that are relevant to clinicians in practice and, hopefully, can begin to answer the questions raised during the CME activities. Oftentimes, the areas or unmet need are exposed in the Q and A sessions, which I find are the most instructive in this regard. I am also stimulated by my participation in organizing and presenting CME via accredited programs to develop innovative ways to communicate to audiences; this is especially true for communicating complex material or creating ways to better engage the participants into the learning process. This has been a very rewarding aspect of my work with CME.