The National Task Force on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration conference kicked off with a keynote by Capt. David Rutstein, MD, Office of Public Health and Science, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. His main takeaway, for me, was this:
- Physicians must commit to patients, science, and integrity, and the underlying commitment to serving humanity. These same principles are important to CME...It's not just about passing exams: CME shapes the future of medicine
He also said that collaboration maximizes the strengths of each partner, and minimizes the risk to each partner. He introduced the mantra of the Office of Surgeon General: "Content must be based on the best science and evidence. It must underpin every CME course as well. Otherwise, what's being delivered isn't CME." He added that straying from this mantra results in a gradual decline in the quality of medical education, and eventually a decline in patient health. He wrapped up with this:
- A commitment to formal CME is a commitment to quality, and therefore to the health and well-being of the diverse population that lives in this country. On behalf of the Office of the Surgeon General of the United States, I thank you for what you do
Doesn't that make you just feel good? The next panel wasn't quite as warm and fuzzy, though.