Each year, almost 15,000 healthcare professionals worldwide participate in an ACR/ ARHP educational activity. When surveyed, ACR and ARHP members always list education as a highly rated member benefit, because it provides state-of-the-art rheumatology practice and research instruction and, in the case of live activities, a forum for networking with colleagues. The importance of this benefit is just one of the myriad reasons that providing quality rheumatology education is a responsibility that our various educational planning committees (e.g., Annual Scientific Meeting, State-of-the-Art Clinical Symposium, etc.) take quite seriously. The volunteer members who represent the entire ACR membership on the ACR/ARHP educational planning committees are busy healthcare professionals. They recognize that, for the ACR to be the premier educational source for rheumatology professionals, it is not enough to provide high-quality education that is timely and relevant; this education must also be readily accessible on our schedules.
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Explore This IssueJanuary 2010
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Recently, the ACR has expanded its online offerings and introduced several new initiatives including the NP/PA Postgraduate Rheumatology Training Program, tools for recertification, SessionSelect, the Rheumatology Image Bank, and the Rheumatology Clinical Registry (RCR). The method of delivery for each initiative was developed or selected to make education more accessible for healthcare professionals in rheumatology and in response to member requests.
An Educational Overview
If you have ever thought, “I would like to hire a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant, but I simply don’t have the time to train anyone,” I recommend you look into the ARHP’s NP/PA Postgraduate Rheumatology Training Program. This Web-based program consists of 19 modules organized into three tracks: core, adult, and pediatric. Each module includes a self-evaluation challenge to help the NP/PA determine his or her base knowledge and a post-test to evaluate knowledge retention. Using various formats, including lectures, case studies, clinical pearls, and links to online resources like suggested readings, the curriculum is designed to accelerate the training process and improve competence. To date, more than 160 NPs/PAs have enrolled in the program and more than 40 have graduated.
The ACR continues to proactively meet the needs of rheumatology professionals. Its efforts in support of the more than 50% of rheumatologists who need to recertify demonstrate its commitment and responsiveness. Since 2006, the ACR has committed significant resources to developing online activities approved by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) for Maintenance of Certification points.
CARE, an online self-assessment tool, consists of case-based questions to assess the learner’s knowledge of a broad range of topics related to rheumatic diseases. Each September, a new CARE module is released; currently over 200 questions are available through CARE 2009, 2008, and 2007. AIM, the ACR’s practice-improvement module, can help you analyze your practice patterns and identify strengths and areas for improvement. AIM: Rheumatoid Arthritis and AIM: Gout are available now and are also approved for ABIM Maintenance of Certification points.