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Updated: October 23, 2021
By Modern MedEd

Medical Reviewer: Jordan P. Roberts, PA-C

CME Activities with
Underrated Global Benefits

And Considerations for Frequent CME Flyers (like me)

CME Activities & Charity: Global Benefits

Maybe it’s because I look for this stuff, but have more CME providers been making charitable giving core to their mission?

Maybe it’s because I keep an eye on this stuff, but I’ve noticed an increasing number of CME providers integrating their support for charitable causes into their core mission.

Year after year, study after study evaluates factors influencing how healthcare professionals choose continuing medical education activities. For the most part, it’s a stable, honorable roster of reasons:

  • Identification of new treatment options
  • Improved treatment protocols
  • Improved diagnosis or testing

Also, we kind of have to earn CME credits, but that’s a topic for a separate analysis.

This is by no means the most influential factor for my own choices in CME, but it’s on my radar, which is not something I could have said two years ago.

I think the shift toward more mindful CME choices is pretty cool. I’m also feeling a bit guilty about the deforestation that must have been caused by all of my Amazon deliveries since the start of the pandemic.

And if we’re being honest, since I signed up for Prime.

Turns out I’m not alone. Other clinicians are rethinking CME travel based on the larger global impact, in part.

CME That Gives Back: Criteria

With that said, here are six CME providers that contribute to some good in the world every time one of us spends our CME money with them.

By “good in the world,” I mean a tangible benefit to charitable causes, the environment, an ongoing attempt to address health inequity, or by otherwise giving back above and beyond the call of duty.

Specific Initiatives

There are a lot of ways to structure a post like this. But because I’m in charge of this article, I’m going to show you my favorite two first, followed by a reverse-alphabetical list of the other great examples of giving.

Continuing medical education providers exhibit some degree of the following five initiatives that we feel deserve to be highlighted.

Below, there will be a badge and description for each applicable category to recognize the qualifying CME provider. I’m not sure how to order the list aside from reverse alphabetical order or any other random sequence at this point. So rev-alpha it is today!

I think it’s also worth acknowledging the environmental impact all online CME inherently offers.

While a lot of us miss in-person CME conferences, (I’m told) there’s no doubt that saving the hassle of traveling can benefit our mental and physical health, families, and our planet. 

CME Activities with Impact

The most noteworthy initiatives are Project Impact and #GiveVax. Please take a look at the details for each below.

Other CME initiatives worth mentioning are:

  • StatPearls Founding Member Global MedEd
  • Oakstone MedEd
  • MDCalc FOAMed
  • Master Clinicians Donations
  • Hippo Education Donations

You can find the descriptions and details for each one further down the page.

Project IMPACT Reduces Social Inequities in Healthcare

VisualDx Promo Logo
Project IMPACT Pledge

Project Impact (Improving Medicine’s Power to Address Care and Treatment) is a community dedicated to reducing healthcare bias in skin of color.

VisualDx is an award-winning application designed to enhance diagnostic accuracy, aid therapeutic decisions, and improve patient safety.

With DermExpert, you have the world’s best medical image library in your pocket to make timely clinical decisions. See the video on how to use the Skin of Color feature.

Learn more about VisualDx CME and the impact they are having.

What Can You Do?

1. Take the pledge.
2. Get involved.
3. Follow on Instagram.

4. Get an artificial intelligence-powered, machine-learning CME subscription that reduces health inequity imposed upon by patients with skin of color.

5. Use it for the benefit of your patients, community, and society. Not to mention your CME requirements. Do good with VisualDx here.

BoardVitals & Vaccine Ambassadors #GiveVax Program Saves Lives

Board Vitals Logo

I love this one. As healthcare professionals living in this *particular* pandemic, this initiative seems to have come at the perfect time. 

However, I can tell you from experience that this program long predates any coronavirus-era dystopia in which you may find yourself at the time of publication.

Vaccines are an initiative close to my heart, for reasons we can get into later. 

For those of you without hearts (or with accounting backgrounds), it might help to know that $2.00 can save a child from a potentially deadly or debilitating vaccine-preventable illness. 

Giving Back

Here’s how it works. You buy a question bank.

Each new customer = a desperately needed vaccine, donated to someone in need.

Did you buy a question bank? Awesome! You’ve made the world a better place (once again, go you!). Thank you.

Now you can have a $4.50 latte in the morning and sleep soundly at night.

Not in the market for a medical question bank at the moment? You can just donate the $2.00 (or any amount) you want right to Vaccine Ambassadors.

BoardVitals works with Vaccine Ambassadors to equitably distribute the donated vaccines to communities that need it. You can learn all about #GiveVax here.

StatPearls Founding Member Global MedEd Initiative

StatPearls Logo

StatPearls Founding Member CME offer allows you to access more than 6,000 category 1 CME activities and unlimited board review resources in every specialty of medicine for the rest of your life. That’s a pretty good deal if I’ve ever seen one.

Giving Back

StatPearls believes – without hesitation – that  CME funds should be spent furthering the practice of medicine in a smart and ethical way.

They are not offering cash back, instead asking you to join them to further develop content, while offering it for minimal costs to practitioners in developing nations.

Pay it forward.

Oakstone CME Subscription Saves the Planet While Saving You Money

Oakstone Board Reviews

Oakstone offers the longest online CME subscription on the market, at a price way more cost-effective than the same amount of CME credits earned from a conference.

Every three-year purchase to CMEinfo Insider counters one Amazon Prime membership worth of shipping boxes[citation needed].

Giving Back

Not only does Oakstone offset your carbon footprint three times over, but they’ve also been instrumental in helping us get high quality CME to new graduate clinicians.

We generally sponsor a small local or regional CME meeting each year, and Oakstone has been a part of them all since we started that practice.

I remember being a cash-strapped new graduate who was also thirstier than ever for more medical knowledge. I’m thankful Oakstone helps us pay it forward here.

See more great Oakstone CME here.

MDCalc CME Supports FOAMed Around the World

MDCalc CME

MDCalc has long been a leader in providing Free Open Access Medical Education (FOAMed, if you’re on the Twitter). 

Every single one of their just-right in terms of length clinical calculators and explanations remains free. The exciting part is the addition of CME eligibility to many (hundreds) of the calcs, and counting.

Giving Back

MDCalc CME plans range from a handful of credits to a whopping unlimited credits.

The CME with gift card plans best support their mission, your CME needs, and FOAMed around the world. 

Master Clinicians donates 10% of Profits to Charity

Master Clinicians Logo

While it’s not quite as good as making the charitable donation yourself, a company like this donating to a worthy charity is icing on the giving cake.

Knowing that a company creating good, foundational medical education is also supporting the medical community at large is a solid reason to choose their CME activities. Charity aside, their urgent care bootcamps, mastery workshops, and free CME is reason enough.

Giving Back

Master Clinicians sends 10% of their profits to a healthcare charity. This year, the charities are:

  • Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund

Check out all Master Clinicians charitable urgent care CME here.

Hippo Education Offers You 20% off and Gives $50 to a GiveWell Charity

Hippo Education Logo

New RAP subscribers can save 20% when signing up through our links, which also gets a GiveWell charity $50 for your efforts.

I wasn’t familiar with GiveWell before this promotion, here’s their link:

Does This Matter to You?

I’m trying out an experiment of sorts with these blog posts. By adding some interactivity, can I create articles you’ll enjoy more? Am I writing about topics that interest you? How many rhetorical questions can I ask before you skip to the poll?

I would like to request your feedback if you have a few seconds to spare. 

This is a poll that will ask you no more than three questions and take less than a minute to complete, if I had to estimate. Submitting your response will not take you away from this page in case you weren’t done.

Regardless of your poll participation, thanks for reading!

CME & Giving Back Poll
How important is it to you that your CME supports a "good" cause?
How likely are you to purchase from one of the aforementioned CME providers?
Which one?

Subscribe to Modern MedEd

First Published: October 28, 2021

Further Reading

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Enhance your medical survival skills by practicing in real-life environments with experienced instructors.

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Just you watch.

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ANy CME we recommend meets the following standards:

Providers not meeting these standards may be mentioned for sake of completeness or topic relevance.
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