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Alliance 2024

Pearls of wisdom from Alliance 2024

Posted by Elsbeth Headley

This year’s annual meeting of the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions was held during the February Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans, which certainly made for an interesting atmosphere in which to discuss global CME and its future trends. Whilst those outside celebrated by cheering on parade floats and catching beads, those of us inside the venue concentrated instead on grabbing pearls of wisdom from the expert presenters (apologies, I couldn’t resist the theme!).

It was our first time attending the event as Springer Healthcare IME – a sign of our growing reputation and strength within the US CME market. Despite this, there were also many faces present from outside the US, giving it the feel of a truly global event in the IME/CME industry. In fact, several sessions focused on the different accreditation systems used in the EU versus the US, with the gap between the two seemingly widening rather than drawing closer in alignment.

Unsurprisingly, many of the most popular presentations focused on the use of AI to improve and streamline medical education, including the outcomes measurements processes. AI can be advantageous in providing insights based on multiple programs or over a longitudinal analysis, or actionable insights based on qualitative data, both of which would be difficult and time-intensive to do manually. However, concerns in the room were raised on how repeatable these insights would be (depending on the specific prompts used), as well as whether there should be transparency in declaring when AI had been used. I found the discussions fascinating, and I guess each provider will need to make their own decisions on how and when to implement this technology.

Of huge interest was the talk on how to design education for Next Gen learners (aged 20-44).  We heard that this generation want to have fun whilst learning, to access education in styles adapted to their personal needs,  and to feel a sense of collaboration during the learning process. I heard the term “vintage innovation” for the first time – taking tried and tested formats but combining these, for example, with cutting-edge technology, giving a fresh feel to some old learning tools. Gamification of content has proven appeal for this generation, and at Springer Healthcare IME we are currently designing and developing several new programs with this theory forefront in our minds.

Away from the main theory of continuing education itself, there were fabulous sessions on how to carve a successful career as a woman in CME/CPD and stories of successful entrepreneurship within the industry – all truly inspiring food for thought.

However, it is also important of course to mix work with fun. And so we also managed to find time to throw ourselves into the fun and chaos of Mardi Gras, with my suitcase on the long journey home being considerably heavier due to the stash of glittery beads and sequinned baseball jacket that (at the time at least) seemed like an appropriate purchase!

We very much hope to attend the IME & Grants Summit later in the year, and the Alliance meeting again next year. It feels so important to be a visible part of these meetings and to contribute to the discussions and developments taking place in the IME/CME industry. If you are attending, do let us know – we’d love to meet and say hi!