The debate has been simmering for years: Should for-profit medical education organizations be eligible for accreditation as long as they comply with the ACCME Essentials & Standards? That's been the rule, but now, academic CME directors have challenged it, declaring that accreditation should be restricted to academic medical institutions, specialty societies, and state medical societies. As reported in the July/August issue, Medical Meetings has obtained a copy of the White Paper submitted by the Society of Medical College Directors of CME (recently renamed the Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education). It's been posted to our Web site.

We reproduce the entire text here with its introductory letter for those who haven't seen it or don't have Web access. It is followed by a formal response from Robert F. Orsetti, president of the National Center for Advanced Medical Education, a unit of CME Information Services Inc., a for-profit CME provider.

Society of Medical College Directors of Continuing Medical Education 2450 N Street, N.W. Suite 477 Washington, D.C. 20037

25 February 1998

Dr. Murray Kopelow Executive Director Accreditation Council for CME 515 State St., Suite 7340 Chicago, IL 60610

Dear Dr. Kopelow:

At its last meeting of 1997, the Board of Directors of the Society of Medical College Directors of CME passed a resolution endorsing the enclosed white paper on the accreditation of non-academic providers of continuing medical education. While the document was developed by independent members of the Society, a majority of its Board members believed that this paper should be brought to your attention for reflection and possible action. Any signatory of the white paper, or I as a representative of the Board, would be happy to talk with you at any time.


Dave Davis, MD President