U-M Medical School plans changes to Continuing Medical Education funding

U-M Medical School plans changes to Continuing Medical Education funding

The University of Michigan Medical School is among a select few that are planning changes to the funding of continuing medical education programs (CME) in order to dispel the risk or appearance of conflict of interest.

The U-M Medical School guideline to no longer accept industry funding of our CME programs was recommended by the Conflict of Interest Group (chaired by Paul Lichter, M.D., director of the Kellogg Eye Center) and was based on a review of literature about the influence on clinical faculty of industry-funded CME.

Last year, the recommendation was extensively discussed by our Department Chairs who then voted to cease industry support for CME. The guideline is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2011.

CME is part of the changes sweeping through the health care industry. Questions have been raised about the most effective educational interventions and the need for more just-in-time delivery of information. Suggestions have been made about the potential value provided by new IT solutions to better meet changing needs. There is increasing focus on how to link CME to improvements in the quality and safety of our nation’s health care system.

The methods, vehicles, venues and funding models may change, but as an academic medical center, it is our responsibility to hold ourselves accountable and fulfill our educational mission to our physician colleagues’ continuing professional development.

In the last year, we have been gratified by the engagement of the faculty in town hall meetings, committees and discussions about this important change.

While the specific details of our plans are still being finalized, we take pride in our position as a national leader on this issue.

Raymond J. Hutchinson, M.D.,
Associate Dean for Regulatory Affairs
Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases

James O. Woolliscroft, M.D.,
Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine

A story in the New York Times about U-M and the CME issue.