The Alzheimer’s Project

The Doctors Company is pleased to jointly provide for CME credit The Alzheimer’s Project, a six-course series developed by Champions for Health. The goal for the series seeks to educate clinicians on standardized screening, evaluation, and disease management of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The series was developed with support from San Diego State University San Diego/Imperial Geriatric Education Center, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Champions for Health is the non-profit arm of the San Diego County Medical Society. Their vision, Physicians Improving Health, Changing Lives, is reflected in their involvement with The Alzheimer’s Project Clinical Roundtable and this educational series. The six courses are designed to assist primary care physicians and other practitioners to deal more effectively with the rising number of individuals in their practice who are experiencing memory loss and dementia, and the associated monumental number of family members and caregivers affected by this profound category of disease.

The Doctors Company recognizes the importance of training primary care physicians and other healthcare practitioners to diagnose and care for patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Due to the rising number of aging adults and the discrepancy in adequate numbers of neurologists, psychiatrists, and geriatricians to serve an increasing population of seniors with cognitive decline, most dementias will be diagnosed and managed by primary care practitioners. We partnered with Champions for Health to jointly provide these on-demand CME activities that can make a difference in the communities our members serve across the country. It is not required, but you are encouraged to take all six courses and in the sequence presented.

Course 1: Screening for Dementia among Adults with Cognitive Decline (1.25 hours of credit)

The first course introduces The Alzheimer’s Project and highlights the increasingly important role of primary care practitioners in dementia care. It presents The Alzheimer’s Project Cognitive Impairment Screening Algorithm and Screening Instruments, and it addresses reversible conditions that may present similar symptoms to cognitive impairment. The course incorporates four videos, each followed by a series of related questions.


Course 2: Evaluation and Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (1.50 hours of credit)

The second course introduces The Alzheimer's Project Evaluation Algorithm and Evaluation Instruments, and focuses on differential diagnoses. The course includes ideas for how to prepare and engage in a sensitive dementia diagnosis disclosure with patients and caregivers.


Course 3: Addressing and Managing Behavioral and Environmental Symptoms of Dementia (1.25 hours of credit)

The third course focuses on using the DICE (Describe, Investigate, Create Treatment Plan, and Evaluate) method to assess behavioral symptoms of dementia and to create effective treatment plans. The course also covers the careful use of medication during disease management, as well as common behavioral issues experienced by patients with dementia, including tools for management of these behaviors.


Course 4: Addressing Patients and Families with End of Life Planning, Effective Communications, and Resources (1.00 hours of credit)

The fourth course covers important end of life planning topics and concepts, and tips for having these sensitive conversations with patients and family members. The course finishes with a focus on dementia community resources, effective communication strategies, and understanding when it is appropriate to make a referral to a specialist.


Course 5: Use of Pharmacotherapy for Patients with Major Neurocognitive Disorder (1.25 hours of credit)

This activity includes video lectures and is the fifth in a series of courses that seek to educate clinicians on standardized screening, evaluation, and disease management of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. This course focuses on the most frequently used prescription medications for Alzheimer's disease and dementias, the current research regarding its use, and guidelines for prescribing and discontinuing medication.


Course 6: Pharmacological Management of Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (1.25 hours of credit)

This activity includes three video lectures and is the sixth in a series of courses that seek to educate clinicians on standardized screening, evaluation, and disease management of Alzheimer's and related dementias. This course focuses on the selection and appropriate usage of psychotropic prescription medications to manage the behavioral and psychological symptoms most frequently exhibited by patients with Alzheimer's and dementia diagnosis.

This course activity includes three video lectures and covers the current research and guidelines for prescribing and for discontinuing use of these medications.


Pain Management and Appropriate Prescribing of Opioid Medication for Older Adults (1.5 CME Credits)

This activity contains five video segments on effective pain management and appropriate prescribing of opioid medication for older adult patients. Presenters include a family practice physician, orthopedic surgeon, palliative care physician, and a pain management specialist provider. Segments cover the following topics: background on the epidemic, managing expectations, side effects of opioid medication, effective communications, and pain management without the use of opioid medication.


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