As the first medical director of Feinberg’s Office of Continuing Medical Education (CME), Clara Schroedl, ’06 MD, ’09 GME, instructor in Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, will oversee plans to expand and improve current education offerings through innovation and technology. Also on her agenda will be the office’s upcoming reaccreditation.

“It’s an exciting time for us,” says Dr. Schroedl. “CME has never had a medical director before, so I hope to provide some new insight and ideas for innovation, in addition to continuing to do what we already do and deliver.”

Feinberg’s CME program offers and provides credit for live events such as conferences and regularly scheduled series, including grand rounds and journal clubs. In 2014, the office accredited 1,897 live courses, 97 series, 11 live Internet courses and 41 enduring materials. It also served nearly 40,000 physicians, from Northwestern and far beyond.

The medical school has “Accreditation with Commendation” status by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through March 31, 2017. To again achieve this highest level of ACCME accreditation, Feinberg must demonstrate the values and attributes necessary to make the greatest impact on health care, patient outcomes and physician practice.

“As we look ahead to our reaccreditation, we will be highlighting our efforts to integrate CME into professional practice, identify and overcome barriers to high quality education, build bridges with our community and integrate our efforts into the institutional framework of quality improvement,” she says.

Representatives from multiple subspecialties at the medical school, the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago participate on the CME review committee. Reviewing applications for CME activities, the committee ensures they are of the highest quality and free from commercial bias. Additionally, the group looks for activities that incorporate active learning, such as hands-on demonstrations or simulation and small group breakout sessions.

As physician certification maintenance evolves, the office plans to integrate the American Board of Internal Medicine’s Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program and accredited CME. “As the Northwestern community grows, we hope to engage our affiliates and be the best resource possible for our healthcare provider’s continuing professional development,” says Dr. Schroedl. “Northwestern providers are located all over the Chicagoland area. We want to grow our program to meet the needs of all of these learners.”

Dr. Schroedl plans to develop more online content and bring more innovative teaching techniques to CME, including simulation modules, audience response systems and small-group learning.

“You can always sit down in a classroom and listen to a lecture, but there are other exciting, more innovative ways to provide education and we can study those interventions to see if they are making a difference in patient outcomes and physician performance,” she says. “Using simulation can improve the cognitive, technical and professional skills of our healthcare providers.”