On May 10 and 11, the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) hosted its first continuing medical education (CME) event for faculty members as well as health care providers in the surrounding area. CME courses are designed to help health care providers maintain and increase their knowledge and skills. Some states and most hospitals require a specific number of credits annually for physicians to maintain their medical licenses and credentials.

The BCOM conference, entitled “Moving Medicine Forward,” consisted of 12 hours of coursework, many taught by BCOM faculty, covering topics such as “Responding to Medical Events during Commercial Airline Flights,” “Managing the Difficult Patient,” and “Lupus and the Hispanic Population.”

BCOM Pediatrics Chair Scott Cyrus, DO, headed up the event which he says drew in over 50 participants, including 35 physicians and health care providers from outside the BCOM faculty and student body. Attendance was open to all community physicians for just $25 and free for faculty and physicians who have signed up to be one of the clinical preceptors who mentor the medical students as they go through their third and fourth year rotations.

Dr. Cyrus said, “This is our first annual CME event and we’re looking forward to making it bigger and better in the future, and hopefully offering even more credit hours. Maybe we will even start offering it twice per year.”

John Tucker, DO, grew up in Las Cruces. He earned his DO at Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Nevada and practiced in Albuquerque before returning to his hometown. He is currently a family medicine provider at Family HealthCare Center-Sonoma and a BCOM clinical preceptor. Dr. Tucker said he was most interested in hearing the “Structural Competency” lecture by John Andazola, MD, and Mary Alice Scott, Ph.D., and hearing about legislative updates in the state.

Emergency medicine physician Robert Patterson, DO, said he came to the event because he recently began precepting BCOM medical students. “I thought it was a good opportunity to get more familiar and more closely affiliated with BCOM as a local provider who has students coming through in rotation,” he said. “I also wanted to avail myself of the opportunity to get some convenient CME.”

Angela Amakiri, a nurse practitioner in El Paso, Texas, attended primarily to hear the lecture on human trafficking, as well as the two-hour session led by Dan Duhigg, DO, on safer opioid prescribing. “That’s an issue I come across regularly in my work,” she noted.

BCOM Dean Don N. Peska, DO, said that while hosting CME events is an expectation for medical schools and a requirement for accreditation, he’s most excited about how this event gives back to the community. “As an education center, it’s our obligation to the community to provide education throughout the continuum of health care, not just for the students,” Dr. Peska said. “We noticed a demand for CME courses in the community and this is a way for us to pay it back to our preceptors who are helping to teach our students.”