ACR Puts CME on the Web

July 07, 2006
by Michael Johns, Project Manager
As reported on

Time is of the essence
Imaging professionals know better than anyone that time is of a premium. In an effort to make earning valuable continuing medical education (CME) and self-assessment module (SAM) credits as convenient as possible, the American College of Radiology (ACR) recently put an array of CME opportunities online with the launch of its new ACR Campus.

"The ACR is pleased to offer its members the opportunity to tailor their individual professional development needs and, at the same time, provide them with a unique and innovative online learning experience," said Lawrence P. Davis, MD, FACR, chair of the education commission for the ACR; vice chair and program director of the Department of Radiology at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center; and professor of clinical radiology and clinical nuclear medicine for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. "Also, upon completion of an online course, a purchaser can immediately print out a CME certificate for the course."

Lectures in a Virtual Hall
No education would be complete without an informative lecture--or several. Conducted in a Virtual Lecture Hall, both anatomically based and modality-based topics are addressed by some of radiology's best-known experts.

"For each talk, the lecturer will emphasize the triangulation approach to diagnosis, based on an in-depth review of differential diagnoses, patient history, and a review of the images," Davis said. In addition, the ACR Campus is now offering the first installment of a three-lecture series. "Cardiac Lecture Series: Basic is designed to supplement institutions' current teaching curricula and provide the necessary tools for today's practicing radiologist. The program offers three critical modules comprising of instrumentation, pediatric cardiac imaging, and adult cardiac anatomy and physiology," Davis added.

The curriculum features key lectures in basic cardiac imaging covering plain film, CT, MRI, and nuclear medicine. Lectures can be purchased as an entire series, a package of select lectures, or individually.

It's been said that a little friendly competition never hurt anyone. The spirit behind that sentiment drives two of the interactive courses available through the site. Designed to appeal to a range of radiologists, from residency to retirement, "Doctor Challenger" is a case-based educational opportunity in which radiologists can attempt to best their online "opponent" providing the proper diagnoses of challenging radiologic studies. The current module focuses on chest radiology.

Virtual Learning
"The Waiting Room" is a virtual version of the real thing--a lobby full of patients awaiting to consult with their physician. Logging in starts the clock.

"The setting for this program is a true-to-life waiting room in a breast-imaging center where you must interpret your patients' studies by the end of the day," Davis explained. "In this module, you will review a series of challenging multimodality breast-imaging cases using questions, rationales, and references."

Once completed--which takes an average of 4 hours for each--both interactive sessions provide a score and a review of any cases that were misdiagnosed. The system also lets practitioners see how they fared against their peers across the country who also have participated.

Available on the Internet - Anywhere
Not only are all learning opportunities through the ACR Campus available online and on demand, but they also are available through any Internet-connected computer.

"When talking to members and nonmembers during the development period, the ACR decided to move toward Web-based products to ensure easy access 24 hours a day, all from the convenience of a desktop," Davis said. "As long as the CME is available for a product, one can log on to the ACR Campus [and] access purchased courses offered by the ACR Campus anywhere, anyplace."

Currently, work is being done to expand ACR Campus offerings. In the coming weeks, the ACR Campus will debut "Grand Rounds," in which a new topic will be presented in monthly "rounds" designed for both radiology residency programs and practicing radiologists.

Rounds currently are scheduled to be led by Lee Rogers, MD, FACR, who will cover Diagnostic Considerations in Shoulder Trauma; William G. Bradley, Jr, MD, PhD, FACR, discussing Proton MR Spectroscopy in the Brain for Radiologists; Larry Bassett, MD, FACR, addressing Digital Mammography; and Pablo Ros, MD, MPH, FACR, looking at New Horizons in Abdominal Imaging: Virtual Lapartomy and Beyond.

An OB/ultrasound Web lecture series is on tap for the fall, and new lectures will continue to be added on a quarterly basis.

Sessions can be purchased online and accessed immediately. Radiologists eager to discover more are invited to take a campus tour.

Go to the ACR Campus website to find out more.