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How to Get the Most Out of Your CME Allowance

Is $3,691 enough to cover your relicensing expenses? According to Merritt Hawkins, that was the average CME allowance offered to physicians in 2022. In 2012, the average CME allowance offered to physicians was $3,391.

So, in the last decade, CME allowances have increased by over 8% on paper, but in reality, the average CME allowance has actually decreased rather significantly when purchasing power is considered.

As healthcare professionals are increasingly expected to do more to meet their relicensing requirements with less funding, how can you, as a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant make the most of your CME allowance?

How to Make the Most of Your CME Allowance

CME courses and conferences can be costly, but the content they provide, which is highly developed and polished material that can lead to significant change in your healthcare organization, is valuable indeed.

To ensure that you’re continuously improving your skills and staying up to date on the latest advancements in healthcare, 92% of healthcare job searches offer to pay for continuing medical education. However, how far that pay actually goes varies greatly depending on the courses that are taken. Let’s take a look at the best ways to use your CME allowance.

1. Use Your CME Allowance to Livestream Conferences

CME Conferences are a popular way nurse practitioners, and PAs obtain CME credits. However, the world has shifted toward online courses, and many healthcare professionals have made that shift as well. There are also live-streaming conferences which allow you to split the difference and gain access to the highly-engaging CME-conference experience without travel costs.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for maximum flexibility in your CME requirements, you might use your CME allowance to take online CME courses.

2. Use Your CME Allowance on Online CME Courses

One of the most straightforward ways to use your CME allowance is by enrolling in online CME courses. A wide variety of online CME content is available, with topics ranging from primary care to various subspecialties. Online CME courses also tend to offer outstanding value.

To get the most out of online CME courses, make sure to do the following:

  • Make sure the course offers the necessary credits: Different courses will offer different types of credits. Depending on the state you’re registered in and your medical profession, you may require a specific type of credit. Not all courses will offer the same credits, so double check before spending your money.
  • Avoid Glorified Slideshows: Not all online CME is created with the same care, quality, or production value. Therefore, it’s important to verify what you’re getting before you make a payment, as you don’t want to end up sitting through hours of podcasts and slideshows. While that might help you meet your CME requirements for relicensing, it won’t encourage you to develop the new skills that quality CME does.
  • Ask yourself if the topics are important for your daily work: Many CME providers are heavily subsidized by pharmaceutical companies. While this might allow them to offer CME credits for a low price or even for free, it might not be what you—or your patients, for that matter—need. CME should help you grow as a physician, so make sure that you choose topics that will push you to do your best work.

Online CME and CME webcasts or livestreams have tons of benefits: there are no travel costs, they’re easier to fit into a busy schedule, and they allow you to select the topics that are most relevant to you. However, online learning simply isn’t the optimal learning format for everyone. If you prefer in-person learning, CME conferences are the best choice for you.

3. Use Your CME Allowance to Attend CME Conferences

Finally, consider enrolling in a live CME conference. While CME conferences typically require travel and are also usually the most cost-intensive type of CME, they also tend to be the most rewarding CME experience. Live CME conferences allow you to interact with the facilitator and peers and have your questions answered immediately by an expert, deepening the learning experience.

Additionally, live CME conferences are typically held in beautiful locations, allowing you to make the most of the experience. Not only do you get highly-engaging CME sessions during the day, but you will get to spend the afternoons and evenings on sandy beaches or in exciting cities.

Whatever You Choose, Continuing Education Company Has It

Whether you prefer a webcast, an online CME course, or a live CME conference, Continuing Education Company (CEC) has been perfecting it for over 30 years. CEC offers a wide variety of live conferences throughout the year in stunning locations, but also offers online CME courses of the highest quality, and live webcasts that will make you feel like you’re right there in the room.

To find your next CME conference or online course, browse our upcoming conferences or our online course catalog today.


About Continuing Education Company.

CEC is an independent, non-profit (501 (c)(3)) continuing medical education organization. Our courses provide AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™, and our live conferences and CME events offer Prescribed credits approved by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). We offer Medical Knowledge MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program.

To learn more about Continuing Education Company’s live CME conferences, check out our upcoming conference calendar. Or, browse our online course catalog that offers some of the most engaging online CME available!

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