Continuing Education Mission Statements

Continuing Medical Education Mission Statement

Approved at the annual Meetings Board meeting September 2011

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) is the world's largest scientific society of individuals interested in the microbiological sciences. The mission of ASM is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health, environmental and economic well-being worldwide. Continuing education is critical to the ASM in the accomplishment of this mission.

ASM’s CME program provides education to physicians and other health professionals and is designed to improve their ability to apply knowledge learned to their work in research and clinical care and, therefore, improve health care quality and cost-effectiveness. ASM strives to provide up-to-date and learner-driven activities that use new technologies, practices, and developments in microbiology to improve clinical practice and patient outcomes.

Educational activities offered by ASM provide evidence-based content identified through an analysis of learners’ needs and professional practice gaps in the fields of general microbiology and infectious diseases.  Specifically, ASM’s program of continuing medical education covers the following curriculum:

  • New and emerging data from research in the basic microbiological sciences related to human disease
  • Updates on clinical diagnosis, preventative modalities and therapeutics relative to microbiology and infectious disease
  • Recent trends in health care management as applicable to practices in infectious disease.
  • Factors contributing to the spread of infectious diseases throughout the world.
  • The developing resistance of pathogens to diverse therapeutics.

Target Audience
Educational activities are designed for clinical microbiologists, virologists, pathologists, researchers, public health and epidemiologists, quality improvement professionals and infectious disease physicians. While the ASM membership is a primary recipient of educational activities, the Society’s premier conference on antimicrobial agents and infectious diseases, Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) attracts learners from the infectious disease community worldwide.

Type of Activities
ASM addresses a wide range of learning styles and preferences through various formats including, but not limited to:

  • Live face-to-face meetings and online activities and workshops.
  • Enduring materials, including Internet-based activities and print CME.
  • Journal CME.

ASM’s major CME program with clinical application is the annual ICAAC, which is held in the fall each year. Through invited sessions, workshops, and abstracts, world-renowned scientists present their latest research on infectious diseases and antimicrobial agents.  ICAAC includes the following types of educational sessions:

  • Key note sessions
  • Meet-the-Experts
  • Symposia
  • Slides Sessions
  • Special Lectures

Expected Results of the Program
The ASM provides continuing education to health professionals for the purpose of improving the quality and safety of care offered by physicians. Every educational activity certified for AMA PRA Category 1TM credit is evaluated for one or more educational outcomes as follows:

  • For activities that intend to improve learner competence, ASM measures to ensure that learners can apply knowledge learned to either patient care situations or research environments. This measurement is accomplished at the end of each activity using either case vignettes through which learners can indicate strategies they would apply to that case and/or questions that serve the same purpose.
  • For activities that intend to improve learner performance-in-practice, ASM measures learners’ responses through a questionnaire sent via email approximately 90 days post-activity to determine if intended new behaviors were actually implemented in practice.
  • The analyzed results of educational outcomes measurements are reviewed by course directors and the program committees to determine if the results are acceptable to ASM and, if not, the changes to be made to the CME Program to improve future activities. In addition, EOM results will be used in the design of future educational activities.