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This Week’s Medical Education Roundup

Here are a few of the stories and blog posts related to continuing medical education that caught our eye over the past week.

• The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education's president and chief executive Murray Kopelow, MD, fires back against the claim in a recent JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association article "that accredited medical education companies are performing marketing services for industry." This, he says, "maligns an entire segment of accredited CME providers." In his letter, he reiterates many of the points he made in this earlier Q&A with MeetingsNet: ACCME Responds to JAMA Articles Slamming "Medical Education Companies."

Kopelow’s letter to the editor: Financial Relationships Between Medical Communication Companies and Industry

Here’s the article he’s referring to: Medical Communication Companies and Industry Grants

(You must be a subscriber or pay a fee to read the entire letter and/or article in JAMA.)

• In addition to supporting Kopelow’s sentiments, Stephen Lewis, president of the medical education company Global Education Group, provides an analysis of the ACCME’s recent decision to ban commercial support logos in educational materials. In his video post, Lewis says:

First, this decision might confuse or anger the learners. The purpose of disclosure itself, and providing corporate logos with respect to accredited CME is to improve transparency. Transparency is meant to let the learners know ahead of time that this activity is funded with grant support from a commercial supporter, and to let the learner decide whether or not he or she wants to attend the CME activity. By taking away that logo, we now may confuse or anger those learners, as they may not know that they are attending a CME activity supported with commercial grant support.


• Tom Sullivan, founder of medical education company Rockpointe and editor of the Policy and Medicine blog, also tackles recent ACCME actions, including its recent efforts to promote the equivalency of the ACCME and Recognized Accreditor systems and its process for verifying that other accreditors adhere to the ACCME’s Standard for Commercial Support. Sullivan concludes:

Though there is little actual information from reading this, it is our interpretation that ACCME is setting up a system to certify other accreditation systems to offer ACCME credit to equivalent accreditation systems that adopt the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support. For instance, a provider offering pharmacy and nursing credit may be able to offer ACCME credit to their activities as well, and thus the programs would qualify for the CME exemption under the Open Payments reporting. This would eliminate the requirement to report payments to physician faculty at those activities.

What do you think about the issues of the week? Please leave a comment below or e-mail Sue Pelletier.

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