Pharma Influence in Continuing Medical Education: One Welcome Contribution

May 14, 2009 at 8:53 pm Leave a comment

“Pharma influence in CME? What!! Are you out of your mind?”

“Well, no not really. And here is why I don’t think so.”

In the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to talk to several professionals in pharma who have the major responsibility for managing their company’s Independent Grants Program. To the person they are indicating that the substance and quality of the grant applications they are receiving are overwhelmingly poor. They are not talking about a poorly written grant. They are talking about grant requests that don’t demonstrate an understanding of the basic requirements CME providers must meet to maintain their accreditation.

I thought about that. How sad and embarrassing for CME professionals. We have accredited CME providers who don’t know how to identify professional practice gaps. We have accredited CME providers who don’t know how to derive educational needs from the identified professional practice gaps. We have accredited CME providers who don’t know how to measure outcomes related to the educational needs or professional practice gaps. There is no way pharma should be funding any request for support with these glaring deficiencies.

Thus, in this instance, some pharma companies leading the charge within their own industry to fund truly independent medical education are influencing CME in a very positive way. They are holding us accountable for understanding and executing our own requirements. Listen up. These companies are getting their staff certified as CME professionals. They have developed a very substantive understanding of our requirements. They are expecting that the CME professional be just that – a professional. Just like they are in their industry.

Keep it up pharma independent grants offices. Fund only those requests demonstrating a functional knowledge of what is required of us by our accrediting body’s and regulators. Fund only those requests that provide an opportunity for physician participants to gain and demonstrate competence or performance And, when opportunities come along to fund CME initiatives that show promise of demonstrating an impact on patient heath status, please – write the big checks to help us out. You are doing the CME field a valuable service. You are doing the physicians a valuable service. And most important, you are doing the patients a valuable service.

“Pharma influence in CME? What!! Are you out of your mind?”

“Well, no not really. Not in this instance. And I just told you why.”

What do you think?


Entry filed under: CME, CME Issues, Continuing Medical Education, Continung Professional Development, Pharma Funding, Physician Continuing Education, Physician Education.

Where (How) Can We Make a Difference in the Current CME Environment? Are MECCs On the Way Out of Continuing Medical Education?

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