Review of MDCalc’s Anesthesia CME Program

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MDCalc Review

I must admit it felt a little like cheating the first time I used a MDCalc calculator. It was drilled in my head during training to calculate allowable blood loss for every case. It was second nature. 

Then came along a website that had several calculators that applied to anesthesia. Trying it the first time, I thought this was a game changer, but I wanted to make sure their answer was correct. So I wrote out the formula on the side of a box of gloves and came up with my answer. It matched MDCalc’s results!

Now it was a few taps on the phone and I had my allowable blood loss for the case.

I was curious if it was this easy to use their calculators, what would it be like to use MDCalc’s anesthesia CME program? It was very easy, but some things were not adding up.

CME Calculators

Earning 0.5 CME credit is just as easy as using their calculator. It requires five extra clicks. Besides using the calculator as normal, you have to click on the tabs provided above and below the calculator.

  • When to Use
  • Pearls/Pitfalls
  • Why Use
  • Next Steps
  • Evidence

MDCalc Allowable blood loss calculator

Each snippet includes additional information relevant to the calculator. The Evidence tab will also offer additional links to articles and resources for further exploration related to the topic.

Pricing plans start at $99 with a $25 dollar Starbucks gift card for 5 AMA PRA Category 1 credits all the way to the “Unlimited Plan”: $4,999 with a $2,750 gift card and unlimited CME credits.

Calculating Error

I haven’t talked to the team at MDCalc, but I assume the calculators came first and then the idea to turn it into a CME program followed. There are still a few things that need to be tightened up on the CME side.

Signing up was easy. Figuring out the next step was tricky. After you have bought the program and are signed in, you still have to enroll. Confused as to why I couldn’t earn CMEs after signing in, I reached out to MDCalc. Their support staff is awesome and I received a reply promptly with a link to enroll within 4 minutes after sending them an email.

Now I did all this on a computer. When it came time to use it the first time on my Samsung Galaxy 9, there was no place to sign in. Scrolling up and down, tapping on different links – nothing. It wasn’t until I turned my phone sideways that the “Sign in” button appeared in the right-hand corner. The same for the CME Dashboard that keeps track of anesthesia CME’s earned. 

MDCalc calculator
Mobile Vertical View
MDCalc calculators
Mobile Horizontal View

A thing to note: Not all calculators are CME eligible. In the anesthesia CME category there are only 8 calculators that earn you 0.5 credits. It’s not the best way to earn all the credits you need, but if you need a few to get you over the hump, definitely check it out.

Final Results

The calculators are awesome. The snippets associated with them are well done and provide some great insight. They need to do a little work on creating more CME eligible calculators (which it sounds like they are doing) and work on the mobile responsiveness of the site. 

Although MDCalc might not pop into my head as a place to get my CMEs, it’s the first place I go every time when calculating allowable blood loss. You will not find a better compilation of calculators for medical professionals. And they’re free to use!

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