How I finish my California fluoroscopy credits every two years

PubMed provides an open-access window to earning credits by reviewing the latest literature on fluoroscopy and radiation safety

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Do you know which component is the x-ray tube and which component is the flat panel detector? “Fluoroscopy” chapter illustration from the radiology board review book Radiology Simplified (Apple Books) by Ram Srinivasan MD PhD and Jonathan Park MD. Illustration by Rachel Demers (Los Angeles).
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Excerpt from my fluoro license renewal application. I’ve designated Orbit Fluoroscopy as my provider of fluoroscopy credits. The Group “b” designation (Medical Board of California) confirms to the RHB that the medical board accepts these credits, which they do because they’re AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

0. Select the right fluoroscopy course — don’t inflict burnout on yourself

I use Orbit Fluoroscopy, certified by Tufts University School of Medicine, and specifically designed for the recurring fluoroscopy requirement here in California. Decide what works best for you, but when you’re choosing your fluoroscopy course, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Can I do this credit from my computer? Save your travel money and vacation time for other stuff.
  2. Will I learn something useful related to my practice? Study so that you can give your patients the most informed care.

1. Sign into Orbit Fluoroscopy

If you don’t already have an account in Orbit Fluoroscopy, get one here now. This is what I use. It takes care of both your California state license CME and your fluoro CME, so you’ll be happy you started using it. Select the Basic plan — your card won’t be charged in the first 7 days. You can upgrade to Pro anytime to get cheaper pricing based on 2 year renewals.

2. Install the Orbit plugin on your browser

Orbit will guide you to install the Orbit plugin, which tracks which peer-reviewed sites you visit. You’ll also install the ad blocking plugin, which is required because you’re not allowed to view ads while engaging in continuing medical education.

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Here’s a screenshot from Chrome where I’m searching PubMed for open-access abstracts and articles related to fluoroscopy. My Chrome plugin tray is in the top right, including ad blocker and Orbit plugins (red rectangle).

3. Set your specialty and fluoroscopy state in the Profile view

Once you’re finished with the initial 20 second tutorial exercise that Orbit takes you through to earn your first credit, you can access your Profile view. Go there and :

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Configure your Profile view by indicating that you hold a fluoroscopy license in California.

4. Navigate to PubMed and read abstracts and full-text articles related to fluoroscopy

Now that you’re logged into Orbit, any peer-reviewed abstracts or articles you visit will count for credit. Beginning your exploration from PubMed is the most efficient way to explore reputable, peer-reviewed, current, and open-access articles.

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Either this PubMed abstract on radiation safety or the full-text version of the article (red circle) counts for 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. An ocean of abstracts and articles are now freely available through PubMed, partly because the NIH and other agencies require it, and all of this counts for fluoro credit through Orbit.

5. Redeem your articles using the Fluoroscopy and Radiation Safety tags

Twenty seconds later, your activity on the page is sent for processing, and every 10 minutes, any new articles you’ve read are batch delivered to your feed on Orbit. You don’t have to check the feed constantly, but once you’re ready to convert all of your article and abstract visits into Fluoroscopy credit, login to the feed and click “Redeem”

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Screenshot of my feed in Orbit. The fluoroscopy abstract I read in PubMed appears about 10 minutes later on the feed. I click “Redeem” to convert the learning I did with this abstract into 0.5 fluoroscopy credits. The “8 articles available” means that there are a total of 8 articles that I haven’t redeemed — the rest of the articles are stacked underneath this one. If I don’t want to redeem an article, I can remove it by hitting the “X” icon.
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6. Print your Fluoroscopy & Radiation Safety Certificate

If you’re just renewing your fluoro license, you don’t actually need to print your certificate — the RHB just requires that you attest to having completed your credits.

Bottom Line

Fluoroscopy is a powerful, life-saving x-ray based modality with the power to also cause serious injury. Use the fluoroscopy CME requirement as an opportunity to browse PubMed for the latest articles on radiation safety and fluoroscopy in your scope of practice, while simultaneously earning the required fluoroscopy credit through Orbit Fluoroscopy.

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Orbit is the easiest way for doctors and PAs to finish their fluoroscopy and California Medical Board credits.

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Orbit’s mission is to invest in the wellness of medical professionals.

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