Thanks for your comments regarding the need for a CME public relations effort [“One Voice,” March/April 2009]. The need has been obvious for years, but the leadership of the various CME organizations has had difficulty getting a program in motion. Frankly, I think it's the Alliance for CME that has dropped the ball. The initiative you mentioned is a start, and your publication's support will surely help.
The struggle to promote understanding of CME continues to meet more barriers. In the article “Professional Medical Associations and Their Relationships With Industry: A Proposal for Controlling Conflict of Interest” (Journal of the American Medical Association, April 1, 2009), the physician authors address concerns about satellite symposia at medical association annual meetings: “Some of these symposia may provide CME credit. The information disseminated at these satellite events is not necessarily incorrect, but the satellite programs often appear to be designed to serve a marketing agenda.”
If these physicians can't seem to distinguish between promotional symposia and certified CME, is it any wonder members of Congress and other critics outside of the CME enterprise can't either? Our industry has a tough battle ahead.