Office of Continuing Education: Who we are and what we do
Penn State College of Medicine’s Office of Continuing Education (CE) is charged with provisioning and accrediting high-quality educational content that positively impacts health care provider competence, performance and patient outcomes. Our primary audience is general practice and specialist physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. We also offer topics for nurses, medical researchers, pharmacists, medical social workers, dietitians, educators and patient educators. Our educational focus tends to be topics of broad appeal, knowing that many seek highly subspecialized content from national professional societies.
CE has maintained Accreditation with Commendation, the highest standard, from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) since 2000.
Full-time staff include: Bonnie J. Bixler, director; Tracy Miller, assistant director; three education program specialists; four administrative support assistants; and one proposal and awards specialist. A marketing and communications specialist is a dotted-line report to the director. Melissa George, DO, associate dean for CE, oversees the activities of the office.
CE is self-sustaining with conference registration fees, educational grants, commercial exhibit fees and continuing medical education (CME) credit certification fees being used to cover all direct activities and conference costs as well as staff salaries and fringe benefits, computer equipment, professional development, and electronic learner systems including Compass/Electronic Education Documentation System (eeds) and more. This is why departments or divisions are charged an annual fee to certify regularly scheduled series (RSS), such as Grand Rounds, for internal learners for CME credit. A fee schedule for our range of services is updated periodically by the CE office and approved by the associate dean and Business and Finance Office.
Did you know?
Annually, CE certifies for credit more than 130 RSS, such as Grand Rounds and Journal Clubs, and almost 200 non-RSS activities, such as workshops, seminars and regional conferences, with total enrollments exceeding 60,000. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed our offerings with an overall decrease in the number of in-person activities and a pivot to hybrid offerings that combine in-person with virtual content, and the addition of more enduring material for on-demand access. Upcoming offerings can be found at this link.
Individuals can also register for email updates for their content of interest here.
Local and regional conferences
A core part of our mission is to work with academic/clinical units to develop activities for a regional audience, disseminating research and knowledge on disease prevention, treatment, clinical practice, safety, ethics, leadership and professionalism.
Jointly provided national CME activities
CE partners with external educational groups to deliver symposia and self-study learning projects to a statewide, regional or national audience. Projects are often funded through multi-year, multi-project commercial grants and are executed with partners handling many of the logistics and technology.
The eeds CE management and registration system began in 2021 and has been a valuable tool in advancing the CE office in terms of managing and reporting Maintenance of Certification/Continuous Certification points and creating a better learner experience.
In light of new paradigms created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the CE staff rapidly adapted to learn Zoom, Tulleyvision, Chime, ExhibitorMap and other technologies to pivot in-person learning to live online while maintaining compliance with ACCME standards. We continue to enhance our online presence to stay current in the CE/CME space to increase our visibility and make our offerings convenient and accessible.
CE strives to be responsive to the needs of our providers and is always keeping an eye toward the learner of the future. We hope to look for opportunities for providers to earn CME credit during their daily work, and ways to configure content already offered to meet the needs of Pennsylvania licensure.
If you're having trouble accessing this content, or would like it in another format, please email the Penn State College of Medicine web department.