7 Reasons Physicians are Frustrated with Continuing Medical Education Online Courses


To stay licensed as a physician, a certain number of continuing medical education (CME) credits are required. It's normal for doctors to study online, as it prevents schedule conflicts.

While physicians do face issues with continuing medical education online, it’s still seen as a valuable avenue for education. The cons list is shrinking by year, as schools improve what they offer -- just look at how online schooling has boomed as of late.

All said, take a look below at seven problems that frustrate doctors taking online CME courses.

1. There Aren't Any Personalized Explanations

The 1-on-1 discussion held in front of an instructor is what counts. You just can't get the same in an online school experience. Since most medical professions involve specific physical interactions, it's good if your teacher is actually there.

2. It Comes Across Like Computer Class

It almost feels like you're training for a job in which you'll work online from home. There are many different materials you will access, such as online discussions and webcasts. You always need to be caught up and that requires sticking yourself in front of a computer. This means you need to be living in the digital world to get through your courses.

3. You Don't Always Have Set Deadlines

All of a sudden you need to have Wi-Fi at a certain time. There's a scheduled webcast you must watch, or sudden deadline you must reach. The reason isn't what matters, but it's frustrating to know you always need internet access to get your coursework done.

4. Studying Online can be Difficult

Online study can be difficult. Understandably, your ability to focus will be impacted. There's not much you can do, as your working environment is likely to be home or the library since you need internet access. Unfortunately, the in-school experience is sometimes needed to keep your mind on track.

5. Being Able to Pace Yourself Means Nothing

If your online course is set up without constant deadlines, what's the good of it? You end up with the ability to procrastinate. If you're not set up, the next person on the team is -- no one is on the same page at the same time, which means there's no working together.

6. Your Organizational Skills are Quickly Challenged

You have five deadlines this week, three next week, and two or four after that. It's impossible to know what's to come. Your schedule needs to adapt to what the course presents. This can be unpredictable, especially when it comes to deadlines. So you really need to keep a close eye on when the outstanding assignments are due.

7. There Are No Demonstrations with Physical Objects

Until interactive media reaches the future, doctors won't be learning physically through technology any time soon. This makes an online education less than worthwhile if you want to get a real learning experience. The medical world is hands-on and you're selling yourself short by not getting an in-class experience.


Online schooling is an easy way to obtain continuing medical education credits or CME credits. It's also a great way to learn from home, or even while taking breaks at work. You can often work at your own pace and it can work around your family schedule.

So even with all the problems that come with continuing medical education online, you can't help but love what it brings to the table. If you're already busy practicing as a doctor, then don't let these superficial issues bother you.

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