CME providers need to do more to increase the quality of their education and credibility with the government and the public, says a white paper issued by the Medical Education Collaborative in Golden, Colo. Drawing from interviews and discussions with pharma executives, CME providers, and regulatory officials, as well as articles and published industry analysis and surveys, white paper authors Stephen Lewis, MEC president and CEO, and Kelly Enders, vice president, urge providers to implement processes to “eliminate even the perception that CME could be affected by commercial influences.” They suggest that providers diversify their funding sources, rein in faculty honoraria, implement independent review of their activities, and measure the effect of CME on patient care, rather than just on physician behavior.

In addition to offering recommendations for the future, the white paper, entitled The Future of Continuing Medical Education Amid Scrutiny: How the CME Enterprise Can Become More Effective as a Result, analyzes strategies that are not effective in overcoming perception problems, such as medical education companies' internal firewalls. The paper also provides an overview of CME regulations and looks at lessons learned from the scandals in the dietary supplements and accounting industries.

For a free copy of the white paper, visit www.meccme.org.