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How to spend CME money in the time of Covid

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  • How to spend CME money in the time of Covid

    For those of you with set amounts of "CME money", what are you spending it on these days with no travel or in person conferences (no money spent on hotels, flights, etc)? My wife is peds and might have a bunch of money to spend on non-conference related stuff. She's thought about a new stethoscope, but that might be a waste of money. A laptop comes with too many stipulations to make it worthwhile. Any other thoughts? Books? Other tech?
    Last edited by jhwkr542; 08-22-2020, 10:52 AM.

  • #2
    I’ve got 4K coming this year, and I plan on spending every penny of it. A LOT of Books, online CME, and prepaying dues for 2021 (yes, that comes out of my CME money) .

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    • #3
      My CME fund is pretty low (VA gives $1k/year for docs, set by Congress), so I’m looking forward to partaking in my first virtual conference, with my dog by my side, eating my own delicious food rather than going out for every meal, sleeping in my own bed, seeing my husband every evening, and not having to come out of pocket for extra expenses like I usually do to go to a conference. Also have money leftover to pay for MOC requirements. I’m hoping conferences continue with virtual options in the future.

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      • #4
        journals, online cme, i splurged and joined Am Acad of Neurology for first time rather than just mooching off them and buying their CME 1 at a time. i hate that our CME offers hundreds of dollars a night for the four seasons but demands justification for a book.

        we get $3000 per year and can rollover one year. so i have about $4000 to spend now, and will lose $1000 if not spent by June.

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        • #5
          I don't have a CME fund any more, but if I did I would probably go to Arizona for the WCI conference.

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          • #6
            early recert? lifetime membership? prepay for conferences next year?

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            • #7
              In residency my friend bought books, submitted their receipts to get reimbursed, then just returned the books to get cash and bought a computer.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Nysoz View Post
                In residency my friend bought books, submitted their receipts to get reimbursed, then just returned the books to get cash and bought a computer.
                Although ethically dubious, I am intellectually devastated that I didn't think of that.

                Maybe when an EMP destroys the grid, that stack of books that I accumulated will finally be useful. (For toilet paper and kindling.)

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                • #9
                  Our institution froze all CME spending until next academic year

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mianesmd View Post
                    Our institution froze all CME spending until next academic year
                    Yeah great place to try and save some money..

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by G View Post

                      Although ethically dubious, I am intellectually devastated that I didn't think of that.

                      Maybe when an EMP destroys the grid, that stack of books that I accumulated will finally be useful. (For toilet paper and kindling.)
                      Not just ethically dubious, also a form of tax fraud...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by G View Post

                        Although ethically dubious, I am intellectually devastated that I didn't think of that.

                        Maybe when an EMP destroys the grid, that stack of books that I accumulated will finally be useful. (For toilet paper and kindling.)
                        I think most residency programs know of someone who did this. I've also read on message boards of residents who got fired for it.
                        I used to cash out my meal stipend for subway gift cards, which I would sell for 90 cents on the dollar.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mianesmd View Post
                          Our institution froze all CME spending until next academic year
                          Ours is frozen except for dues and essentials. It is somewhat grey on what is essential.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by familydocPA View Post

                            Not just ethically dubious, also a form of tax fraud...
                            Our unused CME money gets paid to us at the end of the year as taxable compensation. If we go over our CME budget, it comes out of our pay check pretax. While this is essentially what all physician owners/partners get, I don't know why every institution just adopt. No need to give the government any more money than we have to.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wcinewbie View Post

                              Our unused CME money gets paid to us at the end of the year as taxable compensation. If we go over our CME budget, it comes out of our pay check pretax. While this is essentially what all physician owners/partners get, I don't know why every institution just adopt. No need to give the government any more money than we have to.
                              I wish that was the case for us! Ours is use it or lose it so people sometimes end up buying a bunch of crap they don't need. They'll carry over one year's worth but that's it.

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