After nearly 13 years working for, 10 of those as editor, I am moving on. My new position, as the first director of communications for the Accreditation Council for CME, will afford me the opportunity to devote myself to something I've been passionate about for a long time — advancing CME's visibility and credibility on a national level.
My passion is inspired by yours. Your dedication to quality education for healthcare professionals and your commitment to tackling complicated issues regarding ethics and conflict of interest have motivated and energized me since I joined MM. Through my relationships with you, I've been challenged to think deeply about problems that have no simple solutions and to take risks by expressing unpopular views in this column. Your on-the-record interviews and off-the-record conversations, your articles, columns, and letters to the editor, and your insightful feedback — both positive and negative — have helped shape MM's vision.
When theannounced my new position, an MM reader offered her congratulations and told me that MM is her lifeline to current events in the complex world of CME. I am delighted to pass that lifeline on to MM's new editor, Sue Pelletier, whom many of you know. As executive editor of MM from 2001 to 2006, she was more than my second-in-command — she was my copilot. Her articles won numerous awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors, and she was a finalist for a Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award, the most prestigious honor in business journalism. More important to me, she gained your respect. Readers told me that they appreciated her distinctive writing style. She has an unusual ability to add a dose of humor to serious subjects, and to translate dense information into practical strategies. An expert in — she started face2face, the first meetings industry blog, six years ago — Sue has exciting ideas for extending MM's community online. What I appreciate most about Sue is her compassion and her integrity. You can trust her to keep your confidences and count on her to doggedly seek answers to your concerns.
As I look back and think about what comes next, it seems to me that CME's future depends on our willingness to imagine and explore completely new directions, even though such a process is painful, risky, and frightening. In 1999, when the Institute of Medicine issued its report about medical errors, To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, one of the CME leaders I interviewed said that safety was not a CME issue, but rather a systems issue. Fortunately, others disagreed and CME is now positioned to contribute to healthcare system initiatives aimed at improving the safety, cost-effectiveness, and quality of patient care. The new IOM report, Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice, issued in April, challenges the CME community to develop new funding models in order to safeguard CME's independence from drug and device industry influence. As we embark on these next major transformations, I know I will continue to learn with you and from you. My thanks to all of you in the CME and medical meetings communities who have taught me so much.
You can reach me at the address above, and you can contact Sue at firstname.lastname@example.org.