Earlier this year, I was chatting with colleagues at a committee meeting when the topic of continuing education (CE) came up. It’s always interesting to compare notes: how much do you have to get in your state, when does your CE cycle start over, and the like.
A subtopic of CE came up during the conversation and I hear it mentioned more and more often: virtual CE. That’s right, learning about the human eye in the comfort of your own bedroom slippers (yes, even the fluffy beer can ones your spouse won’t let you take the trash out wearing).
Maybe I’m an old soul, but I have seldom left a live meeting without having gained something from the in-person experience. There is just something about having discourse in real life that the Internet can not palpate. Maybe it goes back to just being a human being.
Previously by Dr. Casella: Legislative session offers opportunity to join in Lecture vs. basketball
However, in the spirit of being open-minded, I will share with you a story that happened to me a few years ago. I was lecturing to a group of ODs (I won’t say whom, where, or when in order to protect the guilty) when I noticed a group of people in the back sharing a laptop. Were they following along with my riveting lecture on meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) by simultaneously reading e-copies of my slides? No. They were not. They were checking the score of a basketball game.
Now, to their defense, I was in the same state as the team they were checking up on, and I suppose they could have just as easily (or perhaps more easily) stayed at home in their bathrobes and minimized the screen of a virtual course in order to watch the game.
However, I recently had to take an online course unrelated to optometry during which a timer stopped when I minimized the window (which, of course, I would have never tried to do-wink, wink). I was also open-book quizzed afterward.
On a similar note, I recently learned of certain surgical procedures recently approved in the U.S. which are taught via webinar.
Admittedly, I haven’t yet discovered how to make MGD more exciting than basketball, and I think the bottom line is the fact that CE requirements exist and must be fulfilled-and with good reason. However, whether live or virtual, captivating an audience can be tricky, and you need more than a catchy title to do so.
I am interested to hear how your state association handles continuing education. How many hours are allowed online, and how many must be in a live format? What are your thoughts on my preferred format of in-person CE or CE with the cat on your lap?