Brief Report

Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 626-629

First online:

Measuring Continuing Medical Education Outcomes: A Pilot Study of Effect Size of Three CME Interventions at an SGIM Annual Meeting

  • Saul J. WeinerAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine and Department of Pediatrics, University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Veterans Affairs Center for Management of Complex Chronic Care Email author 
  • , Jeffrey L. JacksonAffiliated withUniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
  • , Sarajane GartenAffiliated withSociety of General Internal Medicine

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access



The ACCME is phasing in new criteria for accreditation from 2008 to 2012. These criteria require CME providers to assess the impact of their interventions.


To assess the feasibility of measuring outcomes at a national meeting, the SGIM evaluation committee conducted a pilot assessment of two workshops and one precourse.


Session coordinators prepared a five-item questionnaire to assess the knowledge and confidence of participants. The questionnaire was administered pre, immediately post, and 9 months after the educational sessions.


Changes in performance were calculated as a standardized difference, or effect size.


All three sessions demonstrated initial knowledge acquisition with effect sizes ranging from 0.39 (small) to 0.99 (large) immediately after the sessions. One session demonstrated sustainment of knowledge over the subsequent 9 months while the other two demonstrated decay. Confidence levels decreased following one of the sessions with an effect size of −0.72 (modest effect).


Effect size measurement of sessions provides quantitative information about their impact on learning and is one way to achieve ACCME compliance. The method, however, poses methodological and logistical challenges that raise questions about the feasibility of tracking learning and retention following a national meeting.


CME accreditation practice performance continuum of medical education quality and improvements in health care