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Editor's Correspondence |

Does Industry Have a Role in Medical Education?

Harry Pellman, MD
Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(15):1401-1404. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.348.
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The Commentary on industry funding of Continuing Medical Education (CME) published in the February 14, 2011, issue of the Archives1 summarizes much of the current debate but leaves unanswered questions:

  1. Is there evidence that involvement of industry in medical education interferes with health care provider education or the quality of care patients receive? Marketing of products may influence health care provider product use, but does use of newer, frequently better products result in better or worse patient outcomes?

  2. Does restricting direct healthcare provider–industry interaction, questioning, probing, and exposure worsen or improve patient care delivery?

  3. If we are to sever CME ties with industry, will peer-reviewed journals sever advertising?

  4. Has the recent reduction in industry funding of CME programs resulted in improved patient outcomes?

  5. Have critics of CME-industry relationships attended speaker training programs or CME-sponsored events? Why do they not seek the input of those that have intimate knowledge of these programs?

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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