Staff of Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar’s (WCM-Q) Division of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) provided valuable input to the fifth annual meeting of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), recognised as the leading accreditation body in the US.

The ACCME, which is based in Chicago, invited Deema Al-Sheikhly, Director of Medical Education and CPD at WCM-Q, to participate as a member of the Steering Committee of the ACCME 2021 Annual Meeting: Embracing Change event, which took place online over three days.

Al-Sheikhly also took part in a panel discussion at the event titled ‘Advancing the Research Agenda,’ in which she spoke alongside other education leaders on ways to facilitate the participation of accredited continuing professional development professionals in scholarship and research that improves educational programs and promotes inclusiveness across health professions and organizational settings.

Along with fellow WCM-Q CPD members Laudy Mattar, Continuing Professional Development Manager, and Dr Phyllis Navti, Assistant Director of CPD, Al-Sheikhly presented a workshop at the ACCME event, titled ‘A team-based approach to online modality during a pandemic.’ The workshop discussed the CPD team’s response to the pandemic, which involved rapidly migrating events to online platforms and developing new content to meet the evolving needs of healthcare professionals in the pandemic. Al-Sheikhly and Mattar then delivered a second workshop, titled ‘Rapid transformation during a crisis: The value of a business continuity plan,’ in which they explained how the division had continued to function during the pandemic without compromising the quality of their CPD activities. Al-Sheikhly said:

It was a great honor to be invited to contribute to such an important event and to work closely with the ACCME to share knowledge of how our division managed the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Continuing professional development has been of critical importance during the crisis, helping healthcare professionals access the latest information about COVID-19 and the evolving best practices for effective containment, prevention and management of the disease. We are very happy to have been able to facilitate these processes and to have had the chance to share our experiences with other CPD professionals through the ACCME annual meeting.

A WCM-Q team comprised of Dr Ziyad Mahfoud, Associate Professor of Population Health Sciences, Al-Sheikhly, Mattar, Dr Navti and Mark Healy, Education Assessment Analyst, presented a research poster titled ‘Establishing a Certificate in the Analysis of Medical Data: Processes, Results and Feedback’ at the event. The research project examined the potential for certificate programs in biostatistical data analysis to boost research capacity in Qatar by enhancing the skills of locally based healthcare professionals. The project highlighted that of the 51% who completed an online survey, the workshops helped 70% in drafting a new manuscript, 56% in publishing a new manuscript and 78- 86% to improve their abilities in a variety of statistical analysis areas.

Dr Thurayya Arayssi, Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education and Continuing Professional Development, said:

The sudden emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the quickly changing nature of the crisis presented a great challenge to continuing professional development professionals everywhere. The fact that our experiences of rapidly pivoting to online delivery and successfully developing new, high-quality content about COVID-19 and other medical areas for healthcare professionals have been of use to the participants of the ACCME 2021 Annual Meeting is very pleasing indeed.

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