The North American Association of Medical Education and Communication Companies released a revised version of its Code of Ethics in August. Asserting that MECCs are an integral part of the healthcare education system, the code covers issues from activity design to collaboration.

CME stakeholders should develop education based on patient need and scientific evidence, rather than economic gain, the code states, and design activities employing adult-learning principles.

Regarding conflict of interest and commercial support, the code says that CME professionals should monitor activities for the existence of bias; educate faculty and colleagues about effective means of identifying, disclosing, and resolving conflicts of interest; and cooperate with regulatory and government bodies to ensure the elimination of commercial influence. Providers should seek support from multiple grantors and alternative funding sources.

The code also counters those in the CME community who have suggested that accreditation be restricted to certain groups of providers, commenting that bias should be opposed when it comes from “those who would silence the free expression of ideas within the CME enterprise, and who would make certified education the realm of their own institutional interest without regard to the demonstrated performance of other sources and provider types.”

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Related article: An Ethics Code for MECCs