AMWA Blog

    Best Practices for Writing CME Needs Assessments

    By Donald Harting, MA, MS, ELS, CHCP, President, Harting Communications LLC, Downingtown, PA, and Ruwaida Vakil, MSc, Principal, ProMed Write LLC, Somerset NJ

    A needs assessment (NA) is any passage of text that documents the need for instruction on a particular topic among physicians and other health care professionals. This NA may also be called a gap analysis. Normally the NA is just one part of a larger document, often called a CME grant proposal. Typically this larger document will also include sections on budget, audience generation, and outcomes analysis (Figure 1). A proposal for an accredited activity will also contain some indication of how many continuing education credits may be awarded and information about the organization awarding credit. These additional sections are NOT included in this blog.

    September 12, 2022 at 9:00 AM

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    Medical Sales Training and Beyond

    Product training—or medical sales training—is an essential ingredient in bringing new medical devices and pharmaceutical products to market.

    Pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies spend enormous amounts of time and money implementing medical sales training when launching new products or when products are approved for new indications. Creating medical sales training materials is a growing opportunity for medical communicators who can leverage their skills and experience to help bring better products to healthcare providers and patients.

    July 25, 2022 at 9:30 AM

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    How Do You Identify a Practice Gap for CME Activities

    An essential skill for medical communicators involved in creating materials for continuing medical education (CME) activities is learning to identify a practice gap by conducting a gap analysis.

    October 18, 2021 at 9:00 AM

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    Making the Case for Writing Compelling Case Studies

    This blog is based on content presented by Scott Kober, MBA, and Eve Wilson, PhD, ELS, FACEHP, at the AMWA Medical Writing & Communication Conference, as well as a panel discussion co‑hosted by AMWA’s Delaware Valley and Mid‑Atlantic chapters.

    Crafting compelling case studies is a marketable skill for medical writers, especially those working in continuing medical education (CME). Demand is strong among medical education companies for freelance writers who can write brief screenplays for patient case simulations delivered via proprietary computer platforms.

    September 20, 2021 at 9:00 AM

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    Principles of Instructional Design for Medical Writers

    This blog is based on content presented by Deborah Anderson, PhD, MT(ASCP)SH, at the AMWA Medical Writing & Communication Conference.

    The term “instructional design” may not sound familiar to some medical writers, simply because they were never formally taught this concept during their education. However, many writers incorporate the principles of sound instructional design in their medical writing without realizing it. In most instances, they develop these skills while learning on the job. 

    August 16, 2021 at 9:00 AM

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    Tips for Creating an Effective Needs Assessment

     This blog is based on an article written by Donald Harting, MA, ELS, CHCP, and Nathalie Turner, ELS, that was originally published in the AMWA Journal, and on content presented by Harting, Turner, and Katherine Molnar-Kimber, PhD, at the AMWA Medical Writing & Communication Conference.

    Needs assessments are a critical step in the development of continuing education for health care professionals. Medical communicators working in this professional focus area are likely to participate in creating needs assessments.

    July 5, 2021 at 9:00 AM

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