Why we need a CME Hall of Fame.
After watching my son play in a baseballin Cooperstown, N.Y., recently, I walked the hallowed halls of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. I am sure that I was the only person reading the thread on the LinkedIn CME Group page about the latest Accreditation Council for CME decision regarding the use of employees of commercial interests.
It suddenly struck me that the objective of the building's designers should also be our objective: to build a story about our achievements and accomplishments in CME. In other words, to allow those who can objectively evaluate the contributions of those in a profession to select those few who have clearly demonstrated measurable achievements and who could be shown to have made an overall positive impact. Baseball Hall of Famers were good at what they did because they loved the game.
Aren't we in it for the love of what we do? Aren't we often frustrated by the lack of advocacy around what we do and misperceptions about the intent of many CME activities and stakeholders? Now I'm not suggesting that we build a shrine to honor everyone who has FACME and/or CCMEP after their names (or both), but we do need a place for people to go (at least virtually) to find the accomplishments that have been achieved in CME. For instance:
How many learners have participated in CME each year or in a specific year?
How many lives may have been affected by learners who participated in CME?
What changes have we seen in CME through the years?
What scandals were there in CME and what did we learn from them?
What prejudices and biases contributed to the history of CME?
What are the true costs of CME?
What is the impact of CME on an individual program and aggregated basis?
What best practices exist?
Clearly there is a lot of information to which the public should have access. And perhaps the press would appreciate access to this information as well so they don't have to rely on anecdotal recollections and opinions and the small amount of data currently available.
The biggest beneficiaries would be the various CME stakeholders. CME providers would be able to research data specific to their organizational and program needs. When preparing year-end reports and reaccreditation self-studies, it would be incredibly valuable to consult the archives to compare their own data with professional standard and averages. CME supporters, be they pharmaceutical manufacturers or others, could use this information to objectively evaluate grant request proposals. Learners could consult a resource to find educational best practices. And finally, CME scholars would have a rationale for being CME scholars.
Lawrence Sherman, FACME, CCMEP, is senior vice president, educational strategy, with Prova Education, an affiliate of Omnia Education, Fort Washington, Pa. He is a frequent lecturer on topics related to the strategic development, dissemination, and evaluation of CME activities. Reach him at LS@provaeducation.com.
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