For Medical Meetings July/August issue, the cover story will be about evidence-based CME. There has been an increasing reliance on the value of evidence-based medicine as the gold standard for physician and other healthcare worker education. But what I d like to explore in the article is: How reliable is evidence-based CME?
Regular Capsules readers probably have noticed the numerous links to articles, reports, and research that suggests the "evidence" we base the gold standard on may itself be tainted, between pharma-paid ghostwriters for journal articles, to the Vioxx studies that were cherry-picked to show only the best results, to the basic question of pharma s funding of clinical trials. And does the trend toward the offshoring of clinical trials affect their relevancy as evidence on which to place recommendations for U.S. populations?
Then there s the Harvard Medical School study that found older docs to be less competent than younger ones because they relied more on experience than on evidence-based guidelines. And, of course, Atul Gawande s amazing New Yorker article that explores what makes the most effective physicians excel and it wasn t that they always follow the evidence-based guidelines.
So, my main question is: How much should we rely on evidence-based CME? And, because regardless of whether or not it s truly the best way to go, we re headed pretty solidly in the EB CME direction. So, my secondary question is: How to you ensure that your CME is evidence-based?
I d love to hear from Capsules readers, on the record or anonymously, what you think about the reliability of EB CME. E-mail me, or give me a call at (978) 448-0377, and let s get this conversation started. Should be interesting, eh?