Ads, training aim to lift sagging CME

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A new training effort aims to help med ed faculty distinguish between certified and promotional CME, while separately, an ad campaign running in journals promotes the value of commercially supported CME. 

The training effort, dubbed The National Faculty Education Initiative, is a project of the Alliance for CME (ACME) and the Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education (SACME) in collaboration with the Association of American Medical Colleges, consisting of online educational activity. Those completing the course will be registered in a database.

 The online educational component aims to educate med ed faculty on federal regulations, accreditation, professional standards and the roles and responsibilities when presenting in either venue. Available at acme-assn.org, it is available to physician, nursing and pharmacy faculty. 

“Professional relationships between physicians and industry have existed for decades, but with the impact of these relationships under scrutiny like never before, it is imperative that we both stress and make every attempt to guarantee the separation of certified CME and promotional activities,” said SACME president Melinda Steele in a statement.

It's the latest effort by CME industry groups to highlight the differences between certified and promotional CME. Conflation of the two, advocates of commercial support say, has fueled concerns about industry influence on CME. Last year, the Coalition for Healthcare Communication and the North American Association of Medical Education and Communication Companies launched their “Certified CME is Different” campaign. 

Meanwhile, the Association of Medical Media and the Coalition for Healthcare Communication are running ads in journals about the topic. The ads argue that: “Using censorship as a policy tool to control healthcare costs is a bad idea.” 

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