Remember the study about the potential for bias in commercially supported CME that came out in the May issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine? I (and others) tend to get caught up in the whole actual versus perceived bias argument, but this post on Confessions of a Medical Educator cuts to the chase.
As Derek says, "CME providers don’t talk to commercial supporters about content. We don’t talk to them about speakers. We write our own needs assessments. We write our own learning objectives. We develop the content ourselves and pick our own speakers. There could be one commercial supporter or twenty commercial supporters; the content is still going to be the same.
"Why? The ACCME."
Go ahead and read the whole post for his argument, which I think is a great one. I can't help but wonder just how different that survey results would have been if those who participate in CME activities really knew where and how the content was developed, and by whom. Once again, CME providers, we need to do a better job of letting people know just what it is you do, and how hard you work to ensure that healthcare providers are getting what they need to improve patient care. Then those "perceived versus actual" arguments fall away. Or should, anyway.