C’mon, Man!: Casting A Critical Eye On The ACCME’s Complaint Summaries

I couldn’t resist one last post before the holidays kick into full gear. I’ll make this a quick one (and no singing this time, I promise!)

After reading the ACCME’s newly released compendium of complaint summaries, it seemed like a good time to steal the “C’mon, man!” bit used by ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown crew. Every Monday they review the previous Sunday’s NFL games and pick-out the most boneheaded plays of the day. They show the play, explain why it’s so ridiculous, and end with an exasperated “C’mon, man!”

Reading through these complaint summaries, I noted at least three instances when the accredited CME provider failed to disclose the relevant financial relationships of their faculty, including one case where the faculty member was the employee of an ACCME-defined commercial interest. To this I say, “C’mon, man!”

I mean, really, this is about as basic as it gets when it comes to CME regulations. I have visions of the provider in question receiving the complaint and saying, “You mean we have to disclose this stuff? To our participants?? Since when???”

This kind of thing makes all of us in the CME community look bad, because the public lumps us all together. Seriously, if part of your Corrective Action plan involves the need to modify your forms so they collect information about whether a faculty member works for a commercial interest, you may have some major issues when reaccreditation time comes around.

I know mistakes will happen, but…c’mon, man!

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4 responses to “C’mon, Man!: Casting A Critical Eye On The ACCME’s Complaint Summaries

  1. Andrea Gaymon, CCMEP

    Personally, what jumped out at me was all these incidences of bias, but they were easily resolved with provider sending out to two other experts who weren’t on the program to review. I think what would be better transparency/resolution is if the ACCME sends it out to two experts to review that aren’t in anyway associated with a provider and an subject matter expert in the field.

    • Fair point, though it’s possible that the reviewers the provider chose had no association with them other than being asked to review the material. I’m trying not to read too much into this report as we are only being given cursory info and likely not getting the full story. Still, some of these complaints left me shaking my head…

  2. Here’s another problem–in the past, if you complained about an activity that was in noncompliance, you were, as the complainant, informed of the ACCME’s eventual decision. Under its new policy, the complainant is no longer informed of the outcome. At a personal level, this means that you put in a lot of time documenting a complaint and the whole matter simply disappears into the ether. I imagine there is a reason for this policy shift, but it certainly diminishes one’s incentive to be a citizen monitor of biased CME.

    • Hmm…interesting. I admit that I was not aware of this; thanks for sharing! I’ve never been directly involved in the complaint process – from either side – but I would imagine as the complainant I would have an interest in knowing the outcome. Perhaps they believe this complaint compendium substitutes for directly being informed of the complaint resolution?

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