The AMA Is Confusing

Shoot. I promised myself I would take a break from writing about the AMA CEJA issue. Well… I’ll make this one short and sweet.

First we have this from the CEJA report 1-A-11:

Industry support helps to meet the costs of CME activities in the face of uncertain funding from other sources[24] and may help make CME more accessible, especially for physicians in resource-poor communities.[25] Industry engagement and support can be especially helpful in ensuring affordable CME when educational activities need high cost, sophisticated, rapidly evolving technology or devices. Along with lower costs, industry support may encourage greater participation than would otherwise be the case by providing amenities. As yet there is no peer-reviewed evidence to support or to refute the effect of industry funding on accessibility of or participation in CME activities.[26]

Well said.

Then I read this today:

AMA will work with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education about the rising costs of CME, as funds once provided by institutions have decreased due to budget cuts across the country.

Fine. Good for them.

Then I remembered this recommendation from CEJA report 1-A-11:

When possible, CME should be provided without such [industry]  support or the participation of individuals who have financial interests in the educational subject matter.

To summarize: the AMA is concerned about the cost of CME for their physicians, admits that industry funding is helpful in offsetting the cost of CME for their physicians, yet recommends that CME providers not use available industry funding that would reduce costs for their physicians.

Now excuse me while I go bang my head on my desk…


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