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From: The Rheumatologist, May 2013

ACR Boosts CME Credit Hours for Advanced Rheumatology Course

The ACR announces increased continuing medical education (CME) credit hours for all three tracks of the Advanced Rheumatology Course (ARC), as well as new CME credit hours for each individual module. The number of credit hours is outlined below:

  • Pediatric track now offers 56.5 CME credit hours;
  • Adult track now offers 100.5 CME credit hours;
  • Combined track now offers 117.5 CME credit hours; and
  • Individual modules range from 3 to 9.5 credit hours (hours vary by module).

The ACR designates this enduring material for a maximum of 117.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Participants should claim only the credit hours commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The Advanced Rheumatology Course (ARC) went live in December 2008 in response to the ACR’s “United States Rheumatology Workforce: Supply and Demand 2005–2025 Report.” This report stated that there is a critical shortage of rheumatologists in the United States, a dearth that is expected to worsen as the U.S. population ages and the number of persons with a rheumatic disease increases.

The report further states that establishing a collaborative rheumatology practice between a rheumatologist and a nurse practitioner (NP), physician assistant (PA), or other rheumatology clinician has been identified as one solution to the critical shortage of rheumatologists, while maintaining accessible, high-quality care for rheumatology patients. Because NPs, PAs, and other rheumatology clinicians may receive inadequate rheumatology training, the ACR created this comprehensive, 19-module program to provide them with advanced knowledge and clinical skills in the management of rheumatic diseases in an innovative, Web-based format. By offering the ARC online, the ACR eliminated travel expenses and time away from the job while providing a flexible, affordable, and self-paced way to enhance rheumatology knowledge.

Now in its fifth year, the ARC continues to provide in-depth knowledge of rheumatology and practical clinical skills to rapidly train NPs, PAs, and other clinicians who are new to rheumatology practices or academic training settings. Physicians and fellows-in-training have also found this course helpful in extending their learning and enhancing care for patients who have or are at risk of developing rheumatic disease and musculoskeletal conditions.

In the past two years, the following modules were revised: Documentation, Coding, and Practice Issues; Metabolic Bone Disorders; Chronic Arthropathies of Childhood; Crystal-Induced Arthropathies; Spondylarthropathies; and Musculoskeletal Imaging Studies. Registrants may select one of the three tracks (adult, pediatric, or combined) or individual modules, depending on their educational needs.

There are four components to each module:

  • Preassignment challenge questions that assess the learner’s knowledge of rheumatology through the learning objectives, which may include case studies and suggested readings;
  • A lecture presentation that includes audio-annotated PowerPoint slides that enable the learner to incorporate the acquired knowledge and skills into their practice;
  • Clinical pearls that can be printed for use in a clinic or practice setting; and
  • An assessment of the learner’s knowledge after completing all module components. To receive CME credits, a score of 70% or greater on each module assessment must be achieved.

The ARC was designed to be convenient, allowing the learner to log in to the course around the clock from work, home, or while traveling. If you are looking to save money, join the ACR and receive the member discount. Or, if you know two other interested colleagues, you can save by registering through the group track. For additional information, to register, or to see what graduates have to say about the course and its effect on how they care for patients, visit and click on “Professional Meetings & Courses.”

The ARHP thanks the following organizations for their support of the Advanced Rheumatology Course: Amgen, Lilly, UCB, AbbVie, and Genentech.


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