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Course Report

Stanford Medicine Offers Courses with Free Certificate & CME Credit

Not just courses — podcasts & webinars too, with free certificates & continuing medical education credit.

Manoel’s certificate of completion for Stanford’s Intro to Food and Health. Please note, this free certificate is not currently available.

Stanford Medicine offers a large number of medical online learning resources, including podcasts, webinars, and courses with free certificates of completion.

Learners have access to a formal transcript from Stanford, listing all the training they’ve completed. And if you work in healthcare, you can earn continuing medical education credit (CME credit).

In this Class Central article, we discuss the free online learning opportunities offered by Stanford in the medical field.

Platform & Audience

Stanford Medicine platform homepage

Stanford Medicine is the umbrella organization that encompasses, among others, the Stanford School of Medicine and Medical Center.

Besides overseeing the university’s on-campus education and in-hospital training, Stanford Medicine has an online platform for continuing medical education (CME).

The platform is geared toward both:

  • Healthcare professionals, such as physicians and nurses, since it offers accredited learning resources that can carry continuing medical education credit (CME credit)
  • The public at large, since it doesn’t actually require a medical affiliation to access the learning content. Lifelong learners are welcome.

Offerings: Podcasts to Courses

Interestingly, the platform isn’t just a catalog of online courses. It includes other resources, such on-demand webinars and podcasts. (It also lists paid offerings, such as symposiums, but we won’t focus on those here.)

For example, here are some of the free resources available on the platform:

Free Certificates & Credit

My (Manoel’s) transcript, listing all the offerings I’ve completed. As you can see, I took part as a non-physician.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect (at least for those that have kept up with developments in online education), is that all the offerings listed above include a free certificate of completion. Ten years ago, this was common in online education. Now, certificates are typically paywalled.

Things may be a bit different in medicine. Indeed, lifelong learning is essential in healthcare, since the field moves fast and lives are on the line. As a result, in many countries, the need for lifelong learning has been codified into the bylaws of healthcare professions.

For instance, in the US, almost all states ask physicians to take part in continuing medical education (CME) activities yearly and accrue a certain number of CME credits. This constant need for recredentialing may explain the perennity of free certificates in healthcare.

Luckily, on the Stanford Medicine platform, when certificates are free, they’re free for everybody, whether you’re in healthcare or not. The only difference is that if you work in healthcare, your certificates will carry CME credit. If you don’t work in healthcare, you’ll still get a certificate, but no credit.

In addition, what’s even less common, you’ll have access to a transcript from Stanford, showing all the courses you’ve taken and the CME credit you’ve earned. You can see my (Manoel’s) transcript above.

How to Earn Free Certificate & Credit

Example of how to claim your certificate and credit

If you’d like to learn via the Stanford Medicine platform, earn free certificates, and potentially earn continuing medical education credit (CME credit), here’s what you should do:

  1. Sign up on Stanford Medicine. At this step, you’ll specify your profession, which will determine whether your certificates will entail CME credit or not
  2. Browse the catalog. Unfortunately, you can’t filter by “Free”. But if you select “On-Demand” in the Activity Type filter, you’ll find plenty of open resources with free certificates and CME credit. Check that the course dates have not expired if you want a certificate and credit. You may still be able to watch the course videos on YouTube, but will not receive CME credit or a certificate if the dates have passed
  3. Enroll, claim your certificate & credit. Once you finish an offering, claim your certificate and credit via the offering’s catalog page itself, as you can see above. In some cases, you’ll need to complete an assessment to unlock the certificate. You’ll then receive the certificate by email, or you can download it via this page while logged in to Stanford Medicine. Make sure you download your certificates before they disappear in 1-3 months.

More Free Certificates

If you don’t find what you need in the course lists above, browse Class Central’s catalog of over 200K courses or visit our thematic collections:

Pat revised the latest version of this article.

Manoel Cortes Mendez Profile Image

Manoel Cortes Mendez

Software engineer and online graduate student in computer science passionate about education, technology, and their intersection.
Pat Bowden Profile Image

Pat Bowden

Online learning specialist, still learning after 200+ online courses completed since 2012. Class Central customer support and help since 2018. I am keen to help others make the most of online learning, so I set up a website:  www.onlinelearningsuccess.org

Comments 14

  1. Nay

    I’m Nay.
    I was completed in the course of Standford’s Introduction to food and helt, but I don’t know how to get my certificate.
    I think if I was finished or completed in this course, I will get certificate! So, can you tell me how to do to get certificate. Thank you so much!

    • Manoel Cortes Mendez

      This particular course is hosted on edX. At the end of the course, right after you’ve completed your posttest and evaluation in the “Course Wrap-up” section, click on the button “Claim Credit Here.” That’s what I did.

    • roy

      1) complete all assignments
      2) complete all videos of recipes –> go to reading instead of videos as recipes are easier to see and press completed .Do same for all recipes

      3) once done it will automatically show you have earned a cert …download to your harddrive or google drive

  2. B

    Stabdford isn’t allowing me to make an account 🙁 I filled all the requirements but still

    • Manoel Cortes Mendez

      Not sure why. I just tried creating a new account with a different email, and it worked like the first time. I suggest trying again by:

      – Going here: https://med.stanford.edu/cme.html
      – Clicking “MyCE”, in the top right.
      – Clicking “Create New Account”.

      Note that a Stanford Continuing Education account is different from a Stanford Online account, even though both involve online courses.

  3. Amarilis Monteiro

    Esse curso é somente para quem já está atuando nas áreas? Ou estando ainda no ensino médio já pode fazer, no caso é pra minha filha de 16 anos que tem interesse na área da saúde, já fez alguns cursos básicos, está em busca de mais capacitação o foco dela é ser médica.

    • Manoel Cortes Mendez

      A maioría dos cursos cobren temas médicos específicos, e son destinados a médicos ou adultos com un interese persoal por eses temas. Non e que non sexan adaptados para xente mais nova, pero quizais non sexan una base suficientemente ampla para alguén que so esta contemplando comezar una carreira en medicina dentro duns anos.

  4. RA

    I have a problem claiming the free certificate. I am all done with the course ‘Introduction to Food & Health’ on edX, then I clicked the link directing me to Stanford CME. I made an account and browsed all buttons under ‘My CE’ but nothing shows. I searched the course on the website Stanford CME and clicked ‘Begin’ and ‘Launch Video’ is the only button and no button for ‘Attestation’. I clicked the ‘Launch Video’ and it directed me to my edX account where I have finished the course and clicked the link again to claim but still no certificate. Kindly help on this one.

    • Manoel Cortes Mendez

      I’m not sure what’s going on. I was just able to claim a new certificate just like I did the first time, by following the instructions on the Course Wrap-up > CME Evaluation and Claim Credit Instructions section of the course on edX.

      Note that to claim the certificate, you have to fill the course evaluation on Stanford CME, after clicking “Claim Credit Here” on edX and logging into Stanford CME platform. Then, you should be able to access the certificate via My CE > Evaluations and Certificates.

  5. aera

    its just a participation certificate not a completion certificate, how will this be helpful?

    and I don’t have a degree as I am a student so I just selected one at random will it be a problem when i show it in the future

    • Manoel Cortes Mendez

      You can claim partial credit if you want — for instance, if you only complete half the activity — which I imagine is why they went with “participation”. But the credit claimed is listed on the certificate. So if you claim full credit and complete the final assessment, it’s akin to a certificate of completion.

      These certificates are typically used by medical professionals to recertify their skills. For other learners, I think they’re mostly a nice motivator.

      • ANN

        I’ve enrolled on AnatomyX couse on edx,this course was from Harvard.
        But the main time for this course was like 3 or 4 weeks(I don’t remember it),it was really interesting so i finished it in 4 days,i’ve done all assigments,watched all videos and so on.In my *progress* there was reminder that i had have to get 60% or more to pass and get my free certificate from Harvard,and there was option which said that my course end on 21th june,so i am truly confused and intrested,when and where i will get my free certificate,because i can’t open this course now,it has done so..
        please helpp…

  6. Yvens Taudeley AUCY

    Je salue le grand travail que Standford met en œuvre dans cette communauté et j’aimerais participer à un cours de médecine et de recevoir un certificat.


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