CME Meetings & the Evolving Role of Meeting Planners

Continuing medical education (CME) providers are tasked with researching the professional practice gaps of healthcare providers so they can design education that will help close those gaps.

The History

Continuing medical education came into being in the United States in the late twenties. The mandatory nature of continuing education was widespread by the end of the sixties and by 1981 the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education was founded in order to create a national accreditation system. ACCME’s purpose is to oversee a voluntary, self-regulatory process for the accreditation of institutions that provide continuing medical education.


MPI’S Evolving Role

Meeting Professionals International has launched an MPI-MD online membership community and supporting advisory council to strengthen its suite of resources for those who plan CME meetings for medical/healthcare organizations. The MPI-ME advisory council was formed to provide guidance on curriculum design and answer questions on the MPI-MD forum within the MyMPI online community.

Currently more than 90 percent of those who are in the online community, which was formed in February, are planners, according to an MPI spokesperson.  However, MPI’s intention is to continue to focus on the establishment of the community and continually add thought leaders from a wide variety of medical and non-medical departments such as Quality Assurance and Safety, Pharmacy, Nursing, the Chief Medical Officer, Academic Affairs, Graduate Medical Education, Grant Writing, Public and Community Relations, Case Management, Residency Programs, the Emergency Department, and County and City Health Departments. The council, which serves a two-year term ending December 2018, currently includes 21 corporate and third-party planners, suppliers, and consultants.


Gap Analysis

Information is gathered from this diverse group of disciplines by asking everyone the same two questions:

  1. What are you most proud of in your department?
  2. What are the two areas of most concern? What keeps you up at night?

The answers from such a wide variety of departments and disciplines are then collated into a GAP analysis used to create a curriculum that can fill practice gaps and improve the quality of care and patient safety.



The participation of all the various medical and non-medical disciplines produces more effective PICME evaluations. Performance measurements applied before CME sessions, and then immediately after, help providers to alter the curriculum to best fill performance gaps.


Current Status

More than 2,000 organizations offer CME to more than 20 million health professional participants annually. These organizations partner with meeting planners across the country to design and execute accredited CME sessions almost every day of the year. We are an integral part of the larger healthcare delivery system and are proud of our daily contributions to excellent medical care.

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