Frequently Asked Questions

Why did we create these educational series?

The practice of medicine has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. We are two of the founding partners of PCCAB, a large pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine practice that served the Baltimore metropolitan area between 1996 and 2022 until its acquisition by MedStar Health and University of Maryland medical systems.  When PCCAB was established, we had only one advanced practitioner (AP) but over time our AP staff has grown to comprise almost half of our clinicians. Over the years, we have heard from our physicians and AP staff about one major challenge – the lack of didactic specialty training advanced practitioners receive during their training. Simply put, our experience is that when our highly qualified AP’s join our practice either straight out of an AP training program or from a prior position outside of pulmonary and sleep medicine, their basic knowledge of our specialties is inadequate to allow them to independently see patients and make day-to-day clinical decisions. AP’s in our practice have traditionally learned the nuances of caring for patients with sleep and pulmonary problems “on the job”. While there is no doubt about the value of on the job training, the learning curve is steep and our AP’s have required months of “pairing” with other AP’s and physicians to get up to speed and then several years to feel fully competent and experienced. Even after several years, our AP’s still yearn for a comprehensive approach to round out their knowledge base and expertise in our fields. PSA addresses these educational needs heads on.

How does PSA fit into your continuing medical education needs?

Our curriculum focuses on broad aspects of training across a wide spectrum of diseases. In school, the advanced practitioner or medical student learns the art of practicing medicine including the patient interview, physical examination, differential diagnosis, diagnostic evaluation, and therapeutic strategies. The specialties of critical care, pulmonary and sleep medicine are reviewed at the most basic level. The importance of lifelong continuing medical education is emphasized while in training. We believe that PSA will serve as a comprehensive resource to quickly expand your knowledge of underlying principles of critical care, pulmonary and sleep medicine and apply these lessons to quality patient care. At the end of these courses, you will understand the fundamentals and have expanded your knowledge base to step up the practice of these specialties to that of a seasoned practitioner.

What makes PSA different?

To our knowledge, PSA is the only comprehensive, online course offered by recognized physician experts in critical care, pulmonary and sleep medicine directed at non-specialists such as advanced practitioners, internists, family practice physicians, respiratory therapists, medical students, and resident physicians.  We start at “the beginning” – that is, we assume our audience has a solid medical background but no special prerequisite knowledge of critical care, pulmonary or sleep medicine. We begin all of our courses by reviewing the principles underpinning these specialties. By the time we discuss specific disease states, diagnostic evaluation, and management, you will have a sound understanding of the fundamentals guiding optimal patient care. We know your time is precious and believe that an online self-paced course is ideal for your busy schedule. Our courses are interactive with ample clinical problems for you to solve with detailed explanations after each problem. Our content has been developed over several years and vetted by our own group of advanced practitioners whose suggestions have been incorporated into our content and format.

Who is PSA’s intended audience?

Our intended audience is advanced practitioners, medical students, physicians, resident physicians, any practitioner desiring a basic review of critical care, pulmonary or sleep medicine. The sleep medicine curriculum is also perfect for sleep educators and polysomnographic technologists who wish to advance their training by increasing their knowledge base from the technical elements of sleep to a broad understanding of sleep disorder management. The pulmonary and critical care curricula is also ideal for respiratory therapists.

How do I access the course content?

This website is the gateway to our course content. We offer introductory sessions at no cost or commitment via links provided on our home page.

Is there a limit to how long I may access courses that I have enrolled in?

There is no time limit to your access to the courses once you are enrolled! Your access will continue even after completing the courses and claiming CME credit.

Do you offer CME?

Yes! Sleep Academy will award up to 15 hours of AAPA Category 1 CME credit (including up to 6 hours towards pharmacology) for physician assistants and nurse practitioners. Pulmonary Academy will award up to 17 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ (including up to 7 hours towards pharmacology) to physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. Critical Care Medicine Academy will award up to 22 hours of AAPA Category 1 CME credit (including up to 4.5 hours towards pharmacology) for physician assistants and nurse practitioners. Pulmonary Academy will award up to 17 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ (including up to 7 hours towards pharmacology) to physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. These credits may apply to your licensing requirements if you are not a physician assistant or nurse practitioner – check with your licensing board. See our CME page for information about credits for respiratory therapists and other medical providers.

How are my progress, test scores, and CME tracked?

After enrolling, you will be directed to your Dashboard where you’ll find quick links to your subscribed course Session Home pages. Each Session Home page has the session objectives, modules, and progress checkboxes. After completing the evaluation and post-test (multiple attempts allowed), you’ll have one-click access to your CME certificate. We also provide you with PDFs of the slide deck and other handouts.

See screenshots of our learning center’s Dashboard and an example of one of the test questions.

Register For Sleep & Pulmonary Online CME Courses

Pulmonary and Sleep Academy offers courses designed for medical professionals caring for patients with pulmonary and sleep-related disorders. Our courses are interactive with ample clinical problems for you to solve with detailed explanations after each problem. For more information about our pulmonary and sleep courses, enjoy free previews from Session 1 of each course, and register for our online academy today!

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