Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"Medical Education Forum"? Or a Dying Industry's Last Gasp?

I just received the email below because I'm a member of a CME industry group, most of whose members depend on industry funding for their existence.  It's an invitation  to a meeting in Philadelphia where stakeholders in commercial CME will try to figure out how to stem the hemorrhage of money out of their ethically sketchy industry.

You've got to love the carefully scrubbed title of the conference: "Medical Education Forum: Improve Outcomes Through Collaboration to Maximize the Quality of Patient Care." Sounds like it should be a meeting of doctors and other health care professionals. But at a two day conference price tag of $2095.00 (not including travel or hotel), you can get a sense of who the attendees are likely to be and what their real incentives are.

January 5, 2011
Dear Colleague,

The state of medical education is ever changing and evolving. The pharmaceutical industry is continuously scrutinized for supporting CME. Recent reports on the Sunshine Act regarding payments to physicians, as well as other negative attention and public confusion about the purpose of medical education, are leading to a decrease in perceived value. With limited budgets and declining internal support, it is critical for industry grantors and CME providers to do everything, within regulations, to ensure the most appropriate and effective educational designs and outcomes. 

For providers, the expectations of industry grantors can be overwhelming without the appropriate staff and financial support. Providers struggle to execute and fulfill outcome assessments that demonstrate, at a minimum, a knowledge or competence change for learners that will positively affect patient care. 

For industry grantors and CME providers, the need for a common understanding of best practices in educational design is essential to ensure CME programs demonstrate positive outcomes that improve the quality of patient care. That is why CBI's Medical Education Forum is indispensable to medical education professionals. Hear about regulatory updates, innovative information channels, strategies to measure change in HCP behavior and methods for improved reporting and communication of meaningful outcomes. This forum provides a platform for the exchange of information and open dialogue surrounding the challenges and opportunities in medical education. 

Please join us March 21-22, 2011 in Philadelphia to learn from and interact with thought leaders in medical education. The seasoned speaking faculty includes perspectives from Abbott, Acorda Therapeutics, Celgene, CE Outcomes, Cephalon, Covidien, DIME, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Genentech, John Hopkins School of Medicine, Med-IQ, MedscapeCME, Medtronic, Merck & Co, National Foundation for Infectious Disease, New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians, Omnia Education, Pfizer, Prova Education, Rockpointe and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. 

I look forward to seeing you there.

Beth Brillinger CCMEP
Vice President, Educational Strategy and Development,
Discovery Institute of Medical Education
P.S. Don't miss concurrent breakout sessions addressing challenges specific to industry and providers!


shocked, shocked I say said...

Who is giving the keynote address? Um, anyone we know from the Grassley chronicles? LOL.

1boringoldman said...

Thanks for publishing this. I guess I hadn't realized how much of an "industry" CME had become. The full conference brochure makes the PHARMA/CME/University trinity very clear...

SteveBMD said...

Let's see here: industry-funded CME is on the way out, leaving an enormous unmet need for medical education services. Judging by the program, it seems like the stakeholders and businesses that are looking to remain "in the game" are working together to figure out how to do so.

(Note, the speakers are from all over-- pharma, medical education companies, professional societies, and a few academics.)

And who can blame them? They're businesses, and this is a huge opportunity to be creative and to fill a new niche.

"... It should be a meeting of doctors and other health care professionals." I couldn't agree more. So why aren't we doctors stepping up and doing so?

Joel Hassman, MD said...

article today at the http//, about newer antipsychotics being over prescribed, although not said that way in the headline.

Premature damage control by these conference heads?