One of the most corrupt sectors of the nation's economy

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That's what Dr. Daniel Carlat calls industry-sponsored continuing medical education (CME) in his blog today. He advises:

Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wis) has just issued this press release announcing a hearing entitled "Medical Research and Education: Higher Learning or Higher Earning?" It will take place Wednesday, July 29, at 2 p.m., at 562 Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington DC. You can view it live on the web by going to the Special Committee on Aging's website (

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The blurring of lines between education and marketing that occurred in the past couple of decades did a disservice to patients, physicians and industry. But, the ACCGME rules enacted in the past few years provide a good structure for keeping industry out of educational activities. Organizations that conduct CME programs -- or any medical education activities -- must keep industry and its representatives completely separate from their programs. Personally, I find it disturbing that any otherwise credible organization does anything else.

Unfortunately, the problem is not entirely on the industry side. There remain some physicians who fail to see the problem of accepting speaking fees or gifts and then teaching on a related subject. We have made enormous progress, but there is more to do.

(I am speaking personally, not on behalf of the University of California, San Francisco.)

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This page contains a single entry by Gary Schwitzer published on July 28, 2009 1:31 PM.

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