The National Task Force on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration conference got under way today. My brain is uncomfortably stuffed; if it had a belt, it would have to let it out so all that gray matter could expand to accommodate all the info crammed into it today.
One of my big takeaways was similar to that of the thoughtful CME educator blogger: That perception still trumps reality. He says it better than I could, so I'll let that one lie.
This morning's keynoter, Dr. William Carey from the Cleveland Clinic, centered his talk around the thesis that a well-regulated industry/CME relationship benefits patients, healthcare professionals, and the public good. And yet, because so much of the discussion around CME and industry occurs under the circus tent of a media and political theater that doesn't (and for the most part doesn't care to) understand all the nuances and firewalls, CME providers still have to deal with misperceptions about what it is they do, and why.
It's not all black and white, he pointed out. Docs are painted to be so good and pure and patient-centric, and yet who was it who carried out the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiment? And Big Pharma is thought to be so nasty and self-serving that everything it does is suspect, and yet somehow it manages to produce live-saving drugs, make contributions to charities, and support education that has nothing to do with its product categories.
All this misperception can make moving forward feel like this (my new favorite video!):
Then he went into the latest AMA Council of Ethical and Judicial Affairs 1-A-11 report, which in its fifth iteration the House of Delegates finally passed this summer.
Dr. Carey wound up by polling the audience about the possible impact the CEJA report could have on CME, the results of which Dr. Joseph Kim kindly compiled here.
Other than the video, my favorite part of this session actually came afterward, when we were directed to write down (on a form provided) our key takeaways, and what we planned to do with them, then discuss them with others at our table. There was only one other person at my table (that's what I get for sitting up front), but we had a great discussion, and who knows, I may actually do some of what I said.