What resources does SIR provide its members?
By Gretchen M. Foltz, MD, and Atul K. Gupta, MD Summer 2017
As you all know by now, continuing medical education (CME) is a big part of your yearly Maintenance of Certification (MOC) with the American Board of Radiology (ABR). To remain compliant with MOC Part 2: Lifelong learning and self-assessment, the ABR requires that each individual attest to completing 75 CME credits over the past 3 years and at least 25 of these credits must be in the form of self-assessment CME (SA-CME) activities.
The ABR defines SA-CME (formerly referred to as SAM) activities as interactive learning opportunities that use self-assessment tools to help learners reflect on their practices and identify their individual needs. In general, SA-CME activities require the learner to 1) measure achievement of the educations purpose or objective of the activity (using a posttest in most cases), 2) communicate a minimum performance level that must be demonstrated and 3) provide reference to appropriate bibliographic sources to allow for further study. All of the online SIR on-demand activities have approved SA-CME status through the ABR and most SIR meetings provide live SA-CME credit(s).
SIR resources for CME and SA-CME credits
SIR provides a number of resources to its members to earn CME and SA-CME credits. The most obvious is the credits you get from sessions attended at the annual meeting and other SIR topic-based live meetings, such as Y-90 or the new venous meeting, Advanced Therapies in Venous Interventions (ACTiVE). Others include CME and SA-CME credits available through the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology (JVIR), SIR sponsored webinars, and SIR sponsored and jointly provided meetings. Lastly, SIR offers on the IR Store an entire catalogue of on-demand activities on various topic areas. Many of these credits are free or priced at a reduced rate for members and take a modest amount of time to complete.
Tracking your CME credits
It is important to remember that only the CME/SA-CME credits from the past 3 years are reviewed when you are doing your yearly attestation for the ABR. The ABR once had a reporting system in which you could enter your credits and track how many you earned over a certain time. When ABR updated its MOC process, however, it removed that function from the website. Now it is the responsibility of individual diplomates to keep track of what credits they have and attest that they have enough to satisfy this requirement. When a diplomate is audited by the ABR, it is that individual’s responsibility to produce documentation (like providing CME and SA-CME certificates) that he or she does have the credits attested to. While some extremely organized individuals may be able to track that information or have administrative assistants who can do that for them, many of us do not.
Although SIR provides users the ability to review all SIR-earned credits through the SIR Learning Center at learn.sirweb.org, we realize that members use multiple sources to earn all of the required credits. SIR has partnered with CME gateway (cmegateway.org) to help its members keep track of the CME credits they have earned. CME Gateway is a free service that will collate the CME and SA-CME credits you have earned from different organizations (SIR, RSNA, ACR, ARRS, et al.) and then report those credits to the ABR. Using CME Gateway is the only way your credits will be passed to the ABR.
If you participate in this program you may notice that, when it’s time to enter your yearly attestation with the ABR, the Part 2 attestation will already be labeled as complete. If Part 2 is not prepopulated as complete, then you would need to attest to the fact that you have additional credits not included in CME gateway to satisfy that requirement. If you are audited, be prepared to provide proof (course certificates, transcripts, etc.) to the ABR. To see a full list of all of the organizations that participate in CME gateway, visit cmegateway.org/organizations.php.
Overall, the ABR has tried to simplify the MOC process for its diplomates, though there are persistent administrative headaches for the diplomates. Through the resources outlined above, SIR hopes to make this process easier for its members. Additional information on the MOC process and resources available through the SIR can be found at bit.ly/2ryZxLG.