On-Demand Education: Pros Clearly Outweigh Cons

On-demand continuing medical education (CME) is growing in popularity for several good reasons. Most medical professionals need to have a required number of CME hours to maintain their professional licensures. This can be a challenge for working professionals juggling careers and personal lives.

Most medical professionals who have graduated with degrees in the past decade are very familiar with online learning and have become accustomed to using that venue for their learning needs. On-demand education can help individuals achieve their educational needs in several beneficial ways:

  • Flexibility: You can listen to an online video or take a module when it is convenient and from anywhere there is internet access.
  • Easily accessible: Online courses are readily available with a wide selection of topics.
  • Study at your own pace: Generally, courses can be started, stopped, and completed later.
  • Less expensive: Courses are usually one hour in length and are considerably cheaper than hours-long live courses. Budget cuts at hospitals and clinics increasingly make it more difficult for individuals to attend live events.

For these reasons, on-demand education is a convenient alternative for many medical professionals to obtain their required CME credits.

There are a few disadvantages to on-demand learning, which should be noted. Some learners miss the interaction with colleagues available through live continuing education courses. Some learners may have a more difficult time focusing on a video or module if left alone to do so, due to distractions at home or in the office. Some may delay taking online courses (because they can) and are more likely to attend scheduled live events.

Considering the patient loads and time constraints put on our health care systems, the advantages of on-demand education outweigh the disadvantages and will continue to be an important avenue for health care professionals to meet their CME needs, now and in the future.

Mayo Medical Laboratories offers a wide variety of laboratory and clinical-based on-demand courses on our website. If you would like information or if you have questions, visit our website or contact the Mayo Medical Laboratories Education Department at mmleducation@mayo.edu or at 507-284-3156.

Janice Bergquist

Janice Bergquist is an Education Specialist at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She manages live conferences as well as Mayo Medical Laboratories Visiting Faculty Program, and client site visits.