From Astoria to Australia, 43rd annual Primary Care Review a CME success

When events are done annually for 43 years, they start to run like well-oiled machines. The OHSU Office of Continuing Medical Education (CME) held its Primary Care Review in February, and a look back at the event demonstrates why the week-long conference has been a go-to source of professional education for four decades and counting.

43rd annual Primary Care Review at-a-glance:
  • 291 participants
  • 20 plenary presentations
  • Over 60 hours of breakout sessions
  • Longest distance traveled to attend: 7,000 miles!

2012_PCR_yearspracticeAlthough the majority of attendees – mainly family physicians and primary care providers – are based in Oregon, the audience included four practitioners from Alaska, three from Hawaii and even one attendee who came from "down under" in Australia. Attendees had varying amounts of years in practice, as shown in the chart at left, with a good balance of new practitioners and seasoned providers with 26 or more years under their belts.

CME leaders and staff are continually improving conference content, and offered several new features to the 2012 course, including debates on medical versus surgical treatment of weight loss and acid reflux; new breakout session tracks on hospital medicine and treatment of existing medical conditions in pregnancy; and, a new program called "Making a Difference in Your Practice."

Making a Difference encourages attendees to identify one or more improvements they plan to make in their practices as a result of attending the meeting. The CME office then follows up with them at four, six and 12 week intervals to remind them of their goals, follow their progress and, where possible, provide assistance.

"Our goal with Making a Difference is to facilitate the process of practice improvement, and the follow-up is critical," said Elizabeth Bower, MD, MPH, Assistant Dean for CME and Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine. "We ask if our program attendees are encountering any barriers in implementing changes and we do whatever we can to help them overcome these barriers."

Plenary presentations focused on issues of the heart, updates in mental health, issues in skin disorders, controversies in hematology-oncology, complex issues in lung disease, care of the aging patient, challenges in women's health and much more.

OHSU's CME program counted more than 21,000 participants in nearly 100 offerings in 2011. Find out what's coming up at the CME website.

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