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Branching Out: How to Continue Your Medical Education after Med School

The medical field is always evolving and progressing. As such, physicians also need to continually expand their knowledge and skill sets. There are numerous ways to continue your medical education after graduating from med school.


Requirements for Continuing Medical Education

Doctors, in most cases, are in fact required to continue their medical education. The reasons for this are easy to understand. Continuing to learn allows physicians to not get left behind in regards to new medical discoveries, treatments, and medications. The rules for continuing medical education for doctors varies by state. Check what these rules are for your state. If you don't follow them, you could lose your license to practice medicine.

The Credit System

In most states, the system for continuing your medical education involves obtaining credits. For example, Iowa requires obtaining 40 credits during a term of two years. Alternatively, Alaska requires 25 credits each year. The requirements can also be different depending on different medical boards in the same state. Your Options for Education

Under most state systems, you have a wide variety of options to choose from to continue your medical education. Most states allow you to attend classes, conferences, lectures and seminars. Some states even allow you to count seminars attended via the internet and the reading of certain medical texts towards your continuing medical education credits. Check the rules for the board that gave you your license about what options will count towards your required credits. 

Expand Your Knowledge

Overall, you shouldn't only obtain credits to meet the requirements of your medical licensing board. You should also be using them to expand your practical knowledge of medical science. Whether it is learning about the newest treatments or more obscure topics steroids, there is a lot of knowledge to be gained. That knowledge could even allow you specialize into new areas of medicine you had no previous experience with.

Learning more about medicine and health care does not stop once you obtain your PhD. Instead, practicing doctors and other health care professionals are required to keep learning as long as they remain licensed. This helps to ensure that patients are always receiving the most cutting-edge treatments that have a highest likelihood of healing their ailments.

Article Originally Published on ACOG Career Connection