This month establishes a milestone for CME LLC Not only is it the company's 11th annual U.S. Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress, it also marks the 20th anniversary of the company's first conference.
Founded by psychiatrist John L. Schwartz, M.D., in 1978, CME LLC grew out of his desire to reach and educate more people regarding psychiatric issues. One way to do this was by developing high-quality continuing education opportunities. The company later expanded its efforts with a psychiatric newspaper, Psychiatric Times, which blends topical news stories with peer-reviewed clinical articles.
In January 1985, the first issue of Psychiatric Times made its debut with 16 pages in a bimonthly format. At that time, it was the least-read of 11 psychiatric publications. Now, 14 years later, Psychiatric Times is No. 1 in its field, and has been for the past six years.
The number of CME LLC continuing education meetings has also grown from one meeting in 1978 to 160 meetings in 1998. Staff has expanded. In 1978, there was one employee, and Schwartz. Today, the company is 96 strong.Meeting Customer Needs
Three divisions within CME LLC-publishing, meetings and multimedia-specifically serve the continuing medical education needs of its customers.
In order to help physicians earn continuing medical education credit, Psychiatric Times, the flagship offering of CME LLC, publishes a category 1 article monthly as part of its regular editorial format. Other category 1 articles are supported by unrestricted educational grants and are printed as supplements.
The meetings division currently holds weekend meetings, half-day meetings and the annual U.S. Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress-giving physicians their choice on how to obtain continuing medical education credit.
The multimedia division of CME LLC is responsible for developing home-study educational products, such as audio and video courses. This division recently debuted its first psychiatric CD-ROM on the popular topic "Psychiatric Board Review," as well as a subscription audiotape club called "Audio Monthly," which sends subscribers a monthly audiotape from one of CME's many conference offerings.
In 1995, the company launched its World Wide Web site, Mental Health InfoSource. The site currently averages 1.3 million hits per month. Physicians can go online and register for conferences or read full-text articles from Psychiatric Times.
In addition, patient help and information is available. "Ask the Expert," is a popular interactive question-and-answer site, hosted by Psychiatric Times' columnist Ron Pies, M.D. "Ask the Bipolar Expert" is a similar format with Charles Bowden, M.D., fielding questions.
CME also sponsors live chat events once a month during which participants can pose questions to experts in different specialties, such as depression and anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and general mental health. In keeping with CME's commitment to provide quality information, Mental Health InfoSource now includes nearly 1,000 links to other noteworthy and informative medical sites.
In August, CME LLC ventured into the distance-learning arena with its popular Las Vegas Psychopharmacology Course. Those unable to attend the conference can, by linking with the Internet in their home or office, listen to audio recordings or view syllabi and slides from sessions that interest them.
Recently, the company reached out to primary care physicians with a bimonthly publication, Medicine & Behavior, and is offering continuing education meetings as a result of the purchase of San Diego-based Continuing Medical Education Associates (CMEA) Inc., the largest independent provider of primary care meetings in the United States. The company is now hard at work creating a second major annual meeting, the U.S. Geriatric and Long-Term Care Congress, which will launch in the summer of 1999.