Continuing Medical Education News

Continuing medical education carried out under strict rules

Tuesday Aug 11, 2015

REQUIRING ACCREDITED continuing medical education institutions to report fees paid to speakers would reinforce the assumptions that our medical teachers are agents of industry and that our learning activities are akin to marketing. Neither assumption is true.

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education sets and monitors the standards that ensure that educational programs for doctors are independent and free of commercial bias. Accredited education offers physicians a protected space to learn and teach without commercial influence.

Far from being hidden, all industry funding, as well as any financial relationships between speakers and industry outside of education, must be disclosed to participants; furthermore, only 11 percent of accredited continuing education activities for doctors receive any industry funding.

There are no accredited continuing education payments to report through Open Payments, since regulations exclude industry from any role in directing the selection of speakers or the content; thus, there is no relationship between the speaker and any commercial supporter to report.

Doctors are expected to provide safe, effective, cost-effective, compassionate care based on best practice and evidence, not on promotion. Accredited continuing medical education helps make that happen.