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ACCME 2020 Online Meeting Learning Together How to Learn Apart

In May, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) held their Annual Meeting. Like many organizations, the ACCME had to rethink and restructure their annual conference due to COVID-19. Instead of their traditional live Chicago-based conference, the ACCME held a two-day virtual meeting. While the meeting was held live, posters, handouts, and recordings of selected sessions are available on the ACCME 2020 Online Meeting website, and additional information is on the ACCME 2020 Meeting Recap page. The best part? They changed the price to free. In part thanks to that price point and the fact that no travel was required, more than 2,000 individuals were able to participate. And while we all have seen a short webinar here or there, for many of us this was our first experience with a virtual multi-day conference that included posters and concurrent breakout sessions.

In addition to the usual sessions on accreditation and commendation, the meeting included sessions about the changing educational environment. Some key takeaways are:

1. The old system of CME doesn't work in a time when social distancing is required. We must build a new system, and we now have the opportunity to build something better. We can make the new system be more inclusive and collaborative

2. The pandemic has led to an increase in telehealth/telemedicine. Now we need to find ways to use this technology to create more equity in the distribution of care

3. Both learners and educators need additional support to be mentally and physically prepared to participate in an educational session

While the conference was not perfect and lacked the numerous networking opportunities that we frequently seek out at a large international meeting, it was a good example of how to rapidly change a large meeting from in-person to online. We were left with a lot to think about in how we can transform education to meet the needs of the world today in a way that will be better for the world of the future.


Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (2020). ACCME 2020 Online Meeting. Available at:

Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (2020). ACCME 2020 Meeting Recap. Available at:

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 

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