Monday, February 4, 2008

New Survey: 81% of Doctors See Commercial Bias in CME

In a unique survey of 1200 randomly selected American physicians, Medical Meetings Magazine reports that 81% of respondents perceive at least least some commercial bias in CME programs. You can read the entire article here.

When asked what factors most contributed to commercial bias, the most frequently cited reason was industry funding of the activity, followed closely by the presence of faculty financial relationships with industry.

While these survey results are about as surprising as finding sand at the beach, let's hope that the ACCME and AMA take note, both of which still strongly support industry-funded CME.


Anonymous said...

There is a current case study of this issue on the Health Care Renewal site. See

Unknown said...

I'm shocked by commercial bias in CME--say it ain't so, Joe.

Free CME is worth what you pay for it. I have found I get all the CME I need from UpToDate, and I pay plenty for that. There is some commercial bias, but they say they are concerned about rooting that out.

My whole problem is that I'm too dense to detect the "sell" in the presentation. Some of these lecturers are so subtle, it might take a week to figure out their angle.

Maybe if someone put an asterisk next to any potentially biased information, I would be better off. Then there's always the sins of omission.

Not to sound the same note over and over, but I still think docs ought to be educating each other, for free. Maybe I'm a little naive, but I want us to retain control of our information, not have it spoon fed to us by industry.

You can go on my website,, and see what I mean. I'm posting daily updates about the top news in hematology and oncology, and you will find no advertising or other industry influence on the site.

I'm looking for newshounds to join the fray.

Goat said...

All this chest pounding great. I can't wait to see the plug pulled on Industry sponsored CME. This billion dollar industry will totally dry up. All the more bottom line profit for the Industry. This will lead to physicians having to pay, out of their own pocket, for CME. Knowing how cheap physicians are this will be very interesting to see the overall outcome.

Anonymous said...

Just watch for the complainers who claim that "we need the pharmaceutical input as they know more than unbiased sources". When you feed at the "free" trough too long, you're too fat to move, much less know better.

I'm not saying this to push your newsletter, but that's why I pay for it; unbiased is trustworthy.

Anonymous said...

Unbiased and clean CME is great and I'm all for it. But as States and Associations require more and more CME let's how long it takes Doc's to bitch and moan about the increased costs for programming.

Anonymous said...

While it is true that 82% of survey respondents observed some degree of commercial bias in certified CME activities—meaning something more than “never”—more than half (56%) of respondents indicated that they rarely or never observed commercial bias. Slicing the MeetingsNet survey data somewhat differently could actually be used to support the contention that perceived bias in industry-funded CME is infrequent: see

Daniel Carlat said...

I recommend that readers take a look at bmartinmd's pathophilia blog, where you can get her more nuanced take on the Medical Meetings CME survey. Of course, I see things slightly differently, but she does a great job analyzing aspects of the data. Better yet, go to the Medical Meetings Mag website and read the entire article yourself!

Anonymous said...

My whole problem is that I'm too dense to detect the "sell" in the presentation. Some of these lecturers are so subtle, it might take a week to figure out their angle.