Effort seeks to educate faculty on promotional vs. certified CME

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A new training effort aims to help medical education faculty distinguish between certified and promotional CME.

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 (AAMC), consisting of online educational activity. Those completing the course will be registered in a verification database.
The online educational component aims to educate med ed faculty on federal regulations, accreditation, professional standards and their 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. “The National Faculty Education Initiative represents the type of voluntary self-regulation and training that will encourage support among federal officials and other regulatory bodies, as well as the general public.”

It's the latest effort by CME industry groups to highlight the ill-understood 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 (NAAMECC) launched their “Certified CME is Different” campaign, which aimed to educate legislators, regulators and physicians on the difference. More recently, the AMA's National Task Force on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration has issued "Get the Facts" fliers explaining the difference between independent and industry-directed education.
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