For Immediate Release    

Kristin Tutino, WXXI, 585-258-0253
Teri D’Agostino, University of Rochester Medical Center, 585-275-3676
Lisa Johnson, BlueCross BlueShield Association, 312-297-6358


(Rochester, New York) May 28, 2009 — PBS’s healthcare series, Second Opinion: Taking Charge of Your Healthcare is offering free Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits that address patient advocacy and doctor/patient communications. A requirement for medical professionals to maintain their licenses, CME credits are designed to help physicians and healthcare providers maintain competence in several subject areas, while exposing them to the latest advances in diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Second Opinion, produced in conjunction with WXXI Public Broadcasting and the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and supported by the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is seen on more than 250 PBS stations across the country. This award-winning programpresents an actual medical case to a panel of experts that includes three specialists, a primary care physician, a patient diagnosed with the condition, and an expert in doctor-patient communication and provides viewers a unique opportunity to behind-the-scenes into health team interactions.

“Offering continuing education credits to the medical community is in the best tradition of public television -- and helping foster patient-doctor communication is in the best tradition of Second Opinion," said WXXI President Norm Silverstein. "It is clear that health education is going to be a top priority for the new Administration and Congress and we're proud that WXXI is in the forefront with a series that makes a difference in the health of thousands of people every week throughout the nation.”

Beginning May 29, 2009, medical professionals who watch Second Opinion can earn free CME credit. Three episodes from season five are part of this CME program. They are: Coronary Microvascular Disease, Hospital Acquired Infection and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. These episodes will be available for viewing online at the new CME Corner Second Opinion Web Portal, found at <>. Registrants who watch the episodes and participate in a post activity evaluation will earn 0.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM (per episode).

“This online CME center provides medical professionals with the most convenient methods in which to earn their CME credits,” said Second Opinion’s chief medical officer, Dr. Roger Oskvig, who oversees this CME program partnership. “Second Opinion and this CME also addresses a unique niche of the core competencies of medicine, that of communication and health literacy.  The case-based discussion reveals how the interaction between a person and their health team affects the entire diagnostic and therapeutic process, from common and mundane conditions to the complex, urgent, and/or life threatening.  Panelists discuss miscommunication, disparities in access and care, public health policy, and other factors that influence each topic, the objective being that physicians and viewers will have more effective and efficient information exchange.” 

Created by Second Opinion and the URMC Office of Continuing Professional Education, the site is administered through CME Corner. The BlueCross BlueShield Association is the national underwriter for Second Opinion. “The BlueCross BlueShield Association's commitment over the last five years has been instrumental in growing the reach and impact of the series. Their ongoing support makes this latest announcement possible,” Silverstein said.
The URMC is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to sponsor continuing medical education for physicians. Activities are designed to enhance professional performance, impart new knowledge, teach new skills, and develop appropriate physician-patient relations thereby serving the needs of the patient and improving the quality of health care.

Second Opinion is endorsed by both the American Hospital Association and the Association of Academic Health Centers.

About The BlueCross BlueShield Association 

The BlueCross BlueShield Association is a national federation of 39 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for nearly 102 million individuals – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the BlueCross BlueShield Association and its member companies, please visit

About University of Rochester Medical Center Office of Continuing Professional Education 

The University of Rochester Medical Center is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to sponsor continuing medical education for physicians. URMC’s Office of Continuing Professional Education is committed to developing, organizing, and implementing quality educational activities through a collaborative process with physicians, nurses, and other allied healthcare professionals. In assessing the continuing medical education needs of the community, the Office of Continuing Professional Education offers diverse, multi-faceted educational activities, reinforcing awareness and the importance of lifelong learning, self-motivation, self-assessment and the development of self-learning skills. For more information on URMC and education offerings, please visit:

About WXXI

WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester, New York area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Since 1958, WXXI has provided the Greater Rochester area with the finest radio and television programming available. In the last several years, WXXI has bloomed from broadcasting one television channel and two radio stations to six television channels and four radio stations. WXXI has added interactive services such as live streaming of radio and podcasts of many programs. For more information on WXXI visit,

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