I don't know about you, but I'm getting tired of this pandemic. While there is a lot I miss about the pre-covid era, I didn't anticipate live and in-person CME conferences would make the list.
But through the first half of 2021, I found myself cautiously looking forward to joining other healthcare professionals IRL at a CME meeting before 2022 arrived.
On a practical level however, I was mentally preparing for something like the delta omicron variant to ruin in-person CME conferences again. Not because I can predict the future, but because that's what the experts said would happen if we didn't get our collective act together.
I did not attend any conferences in 2021, though that's not to say there weren't options. This year, however, I anticipate there will be more conference choices, mostly with predictable safety policies.
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Online CME vs In-Person CME Conferences
Don't get me wrong, I love getting my CME online. With so much relevant, interesting, and unique online CME out there, it's hard not to love it. Plus the convenience is such a game changer.
But I've always balanced my continuing education by attending local or destination CME conferences, too. That's because of the ‘in-between' moments only possible at a live event.
These are the personal connections, the spontaneous, serendipitous clinical and professional pearls shared in the hallway after a compelling presentation.
The new job you stumbled into at the hotel coffee shop, the practice-changing medical reference you didn't know you needed.
It's all the other greatness that occurs in between lectures and scheduled events.
CME Conferences Planned for 2023
The first year of the covid-19 pandemic was carnage for the conference industry. Several were straight-up cancelled or forced to shut down at the last minute.
In addition, growing competition from the online CME world has been squeezing already tight margins within which some CME conferences operate. But now the industry has made a cautious comeback. In person meetings can never be fully replaced, no matter how high Zoom stock goes.
On-Demand CME More In-Demand Than Ever
Traditional, in-person CME conference attendance has been declining for decades. Here is a study from more than 10 years ago showing the rise of online CME. That says a lot because do you even remember the internet 10 years ago.
Clinician preference has been shifting away from in-person conferences towards online CME for nearly a decade prior to the pandemic.
This makes sense. Traditional online CME is typically more cost effective and definitely more convenient than CME conferences, especially considering the associated planning and costs attendees bear.
Virtual CME conferences are also more accessible to people who otherwise would stay home because of work, family, financial, or personal reasons.
Medscape recently reported on burgeoning physician intent to avoid ever returning to pre-pandemic conference travel frequency.
These factors contributed to skyrocketing demand in 2020 for online CME.
The demand was especially high for unconventional or interesting ways to spend CME money during a pandemic.
In-Person CME Conference Advantages
Attending in-person events pre-covid came with several benefits, both tangible and intangible. My favorite part of going to CME events was meeting new people and old friends. I was saddened to miss my favorite CME meetings, but not as sad as the meeting organizers. Their very livelihood was under serious threat.
Conference organizers were forced to adapt quickly in order to survive. And survive they did.
As a result, creativity and innovation are elevating live CME conference experiences more than ever.
Flexible refund policies, CME money back guarantees, and ubiquitous on-site safety practices means your conference will likely never look same again.
The introduction of hybrid CME meetings, in part led by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, is setting this expectation for all future conferences.
Featured CME Conference Organizers
With that in mind, let's look at the top CME conferences, organizers, and specialties for the rest of 2021.
This list will be updated in real time as we add more conferences to our database.
For you convenience, here are a few trusted CME conference organizers you may want to explore further anytime of year.
A note for those wanting to get specific with their conference – we've built a new page that displays all CME events and separately in-person meetings side-by-side.
Please visit our new CME conference hub here.
CME Conference Specialties & Venues
We've identified important differentiating factors such as setting or venue options, hybrid offers, and specialties covered.
2. Emergency Medicine
3. Family Medicine
5. Internal Medicine
6. Primary Care
9. Urgent Care
10. Women’s Health
CME conference venues & options
2. Hybrid virtual & in-person live
3. Virtual, live
4. Virtual, on-demand
5. Traditional online CME
List of In-Person & Virtual CME Conferences 2023
Overview of palliative care, CME and more resources for healthcare professionals. By Kim Spering, FNP-BC palliative care nurse practitioner.