Continuing medical education in mental health and wellness now required for doctors

ALL doctors are now required to pursue an additional two hours of continuing medical education (CME), specifically dedicated to mental health and wellness, in order to renew practising certificates in January 2024, the Medical Council of Jamaica has announced.

According to the Medical Council of Jamaica, the new requirement is part of its commitment to advancing the health-care system and ensuring doctors are well-equipped to meet the mental health demands of the time.

This increase moves the total required CME hours from 20 to 22, enhancing doctors’ ability to address the mental health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

In a press release issued on Thursday, the Medical Council of Jamaica said the decision to introduce these additional CME hours is driven by its commitment to prioritize the well-being of both patients and healthcare professionals, as the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the pressing need for mental health support, with healthcare workers facing unprecedented challenges, experiencing increased stress, and witnessing the emotional toll the pandemic has taken on patients.

“With the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health, it is crucial for our doctors to be well-prepared and equipped to address the complex mental health and wellness needs of their patients,” said Professor Howard Spencer, registrar of the Medical Council of Jamaica.

The release added that the dedicated focus on mental health and wellness in the additional CME hours will empower doctors with the knowledge and skills to provide comprehensive and compassionate care to patients facing mental health challenges.

Professor Spencer further emphasised, “The Medical Council of Jamaica encourages all doctors to proactively engage in these additional CME hours well in advance of the renewal deadline in early 2024 to ensure a seamless continuation of their practice.”

To support doctors in meeting the new CME requirement, the Medical Council of Jamaica will provide access to a range of accredited providers and resources offering relevant mental health and wellness courses.