University of Wisconsin defends its CME program

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From Policy and Medicine: University of Wisconsin CME: Dean Directs Sunshine on Journal Sentinel Attacks. It sounds like the university's CME activities were called into question in recent editorials and articles in the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel (see UW linked to ghostwriting, which begins, "As fears were growing about the link between hormone therapy and breast cancer, a drug company paid the University of Wisconsin to sponsor ghostwritten medical education articles that downplayed the risks, records obtained by the Journal Sentinel show," and this editorial lauding the journalists efforts to uncover alleged wrongdoing).

Robert N. Golden, dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health and vice chancellor for medical affairs, fires back in this editorial: Academic integrity in UW's CME program, where he explains,

An objective, unbiased assessment confirms that the academic integrity of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health's Office of Continuing Professional Development is not in question. The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, the nonpartisan organization that sets and monitors the standards for CME programs across the country, recently completed an independent inquiry, which was triggered by the Journal Sentinel's first article about our CME activities.

The ACCME wrote that we had "implemented a careful and deliberate process to ensure that large amounts of commercial support do not in any way compromise the integrity of the university or the integrity of the continuing medical education program."

We all need to do a better job of helping the media understand the safeguards we have in place exactly to keep what the Journal alleges from happening. They just don't get it, all too often.

Thanks to the CME LinkedIn group for the pointer!

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