According to the article: “Medical education faculty who complete the 45 minute online activity will have their names added to the National Faculty Education Initiative verification database.” That’s a sentence-full. Basically, take the course and you get to advertise yourself to MECCs looking to hire speakers to promote their clients’ drugs. Did I say "promote"? I meant educate about their sponsors' drugs. Wait—what I really meant was educate about a topic area in which the sponsor has a commercial interest. Oh darn, I’m still confusing CME with promotion. Obviously, I need that course.
Interestingly, it was only two months ago that another CME trade group—the North American Association of Medical Education and Communication Companies (NAAMECC)—ripped into Business Week, complaining that the magazine was “propagating falsehoods and false accusations.” At issue was this article on the CME industry, in which Business Week defined MECCs as a “little known breed of marketing specialists.”
The outraged trade group wrote that “The article’s assertion that continuing medical education (CME) has become “one of the most profitable businesses” for “marketing firms” falsely equates independent, certified CME with pharmaceutical marketing and promotion.”
But given this most recent educational initiative, I think that NAAMECC owes Arlene Weintraub, the article’s writer, an apology. If the faculty who specialize in teaching CME need a custom-designed course to divine how industry CME is not promotion, it’s hardly fair to rake a journalist over the coals for having "confused" the two.