Education Begins at Home: Continuing Education Benefits McLean Professionals

May 2, 2011

McLean takes great pride in offering continuing education opportunities for McLean faculty and staff, academic clinicians, community-based professionals, and the public. “Every year, our conferences are setting new records for reach and visibility, drawing participants from around the world,” says Christopher M. Palmer, MD, director of McLean’s Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education (CE).

McLean’s “Psychiatry in 2010,” co-sponsored by Harvard Medical School, achieved its largest-ever audience. In addition to this three-day conference offered each year to highlight advances in psychiatry, McLean’s CE courses address a wide array of topics, from addiction to mentalization-based treatment to coaching psychology, attracting thousands of participants each year. With a newly formed strategic planning committee in place, the department is determining the focus of future educational activities to meet the hospital’s academic mission, target educational gaps, and leverage the unique expertise of McLean faculty and staff.

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The hospital’s CE programs are geared toward mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, and nursing home administrators. McLean also sponsors weekly Grand Rounds, featuring local, national, and international experts. All of these programs, while geared to clinicians, are open to patients and families who would like to attend, according to Palmer.

McLean is the only Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital to date accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). As such, McLean offers continuing medical education credits to physician attendees and accredits other institutions’ programs through joint sponsorship. Psychologists, social workers, and nurses also receive CE credits for attending McLean’s educational programs. “Two important elements of the hospital’s mission are to disseminate what we are learning to others in the field and, through education, to improve patient care around the world, not just in our own institution,” says Shelly F. Greenfield, MD, MPH, McLean’s chief academic officer. “These conferences are one of the ways we do this. They also enable us to highlight many of our own stellar faculty and researchers and showcase highly regarded experts from around the world.”

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