Professional Development

12 - Global growth
Physicians in the U.S., where CME has been mandatory for decades, are no doubt more than familiar with CME, but those outside the U.S. and who are not currently obliged by national or other authorities should probably begin to think about it if they have not already done so. In recent years, more and more countries around the world have been creating and implementing mandatory systems, many of which are using the U.S. system as a model while trying to accommodate for the cultural or historical differences that may exist. One of the more recent initiatives in this effort has been the creation of the European Accreditation Council for CME --or EACCME-- in 2000. The EACCME aims to establish European-wide standards for medical education, to harmonize and improve the quality of medical care and to facilitate credit exchange among European countries. It has not been an easy task given all of the differences among the European countries, but the EACCME reports that there has been an increase in mandatory CME in Europe and in “the pressure, both from doctors and from CME providers, to obtain recognized CME credits.”EACCME credits are recognized in most European countries, and thanks to an agreement between the AMA and the EACCME, these credits can be converted to AMA PRA credit. Both organizations have or are establishing similar agreements with other CME authorities throughout the world.