My father used to say that education is the one thing that cannot be taken away from you. Yet, many ophthalmic professionals do not take advantage of the wealth of continuing education (CE) opportunities available to them. They offer a variety of reasons:
My employer pays for certification, but not the courses to re-certify.
I have been in the field for so long that I don’t need to learn more about that topic.
It’s too expensive.
My practice will only send one or two of us to the national meetings.
While it can be challenging to keep up with CE, the fact remains: ophthalmology is changing so rapidly that, in order to provide our patients with quality care and our doctors with quality work, it behooves us to remain current in the field. This applies not only to the clinical staff but to all team members. Consider, for example, the government mandates that everyone keep abreast of changes to OSHA, HIPAA, etc. And insurance rules may change frequently, including prior authorizations, for prescriptions and procedures.
Value beyond certification
CE is a misnomer. It is not just for certified and licensed personnel, although they must show proof of a specific number of hours when re-credentialing. The modules and courses widely available are useful to enhance knowledge of a specific area of our work and can help new hires get acclimated to this changing world of ours.
There are many online CE sessions, both in print and webinar formats, that are accessible anytime and available anywhere there is an internet connection. Additionally, regional meetings are held periodically for those who prefer classroom-style learning with like-minded peers who can share the commonalities of ophthalmology with others in the field. Granted, these may require more effort on the part of the attendee who has to block a day and possibly travel to attend.
With the ASCRS/ASOA annual congress approaching, now is the time to determine who should participate. For those in attendance, the difficult decision is which courses to take and share at home with co-workers. For those remaining in the workplace, the opportunity to learn is present. With doctors out of the office, this is the time for everyone to improve their knowledge or advance their skills. OP