Four Hopes For The CME Community in 2012

I started this post thinking I would do something along the lines of 5 Predictions For The CME Community in 2012, but then I remembered I stink at making predictions (“Don’t be silly!” I once boldly predicted, “No funder will ever block a specific provider type from applying for their grant support!” And I don’t specifically remember this, but I’m guessing I then put my hands over my belly, leaned my head back, and gave a hearty, “Ha ha ha haaaaaa!”)

So instead, here are four hopes I haves for the CME community in 2012. Why four? Because when I was trying to think of a fifth one, my mind started to wander and I started thinking about how good a beer would taste right about now and so I went downstairs to the fridge and one thing lead to another and…I decided to just stay with four.

These hopes are entirely biased to my own situation and they are specifically my hopes. They may not be your hopes, and that’s OK. They are not listed in any specific order; they just are what they are.

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Continued progress in the crusade to convince public perception that medical education companies are not, in fact, the devil. Full disclosure: I work for a MEC, so of course this is an issue of great importance to me. I will add that I have also worked in the CME departments for an academic medical center and a nonprofit cancer society, so I feel as though I have a fairly good understanding of how various CME provider types operate. Knowing what I do about various providers and comparing them together, it is my firm belief that accredited MEC’s have been, and still are, unfairly maligned. This really should be an entirely separate blog post…but it is one I will likely never write. There is no way I can do it without getting myself in trouble. Let’s just say that I believe there is some middle ground between the public belief that our academic CME providers are a beacon of integrity and scientific process and our MEC’s are a group of money-grubbing charlatans suckling at the teat of the pharmaceutical industry (Editor’s note: Gross.) On that note, let’s move on…

ACCME dipping its toe in the social media waters. I’ve written about this before, so I’m not going to go into much detail here, but I would love to see even a little hint of interest from the ACCME in engaging with the CME community via social media. I know they’re reading this blog at least occasionally (Editors note: Hi!) and I know they were aware of the Twitter conversation happening during the MEC Town Hall meeting with the ACCME, so why not take the next step and do something on a more official capacity in 2012? It only takes about 30 seconds to sign-up for a Twitter account…

More in the CME community embrace social media. The shining light of social media use in the CME community is undoubtedly the CME LinkedIn group  that Lawrence Sherman started and its hundreds of members, which blows me away. The key though, is engagement. Many have signed up; too few engage. My specific hope for 2012 is that more in the community will take to Twitter. Twitter has been a revelatory, life-changing experience since I fully engaged with it almost one year ago (you think I kid when I say life-changing; I do not.) I wish others in the CME community could/would have that same type of experience. It frustrates me no end that there are so few for me to communicate with. Maybe this will be the year that changes.

A viable alternative source of funding. You think I rely too much on commercial support? You think pharma dollars bias my programs? You think I should look for other means of financial support? Fine. Tell me how. In 2012, stop telling me what I should or shouldn’t be doing, and start telling me how I can do it. And I mean specific, concrete examples of how I can produce and maintain quality CME activities without relying on commercial support. Because I’ve tried and I’m here to tell you, it’s friggin’ hard! So I’m all ears. There’s a comment section below; go nuts.

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One response to “Four Hopes For The CME Community in 2012

  1. I think, after now working for same-said nonprofit and a different MEC, that your hopes are pretty universal, even though you qualify them as specific to your situation. Especially hope 4.

    As for hope 1, unfortunately I think it’s a “walk a mile in their shoes” situation; until you’ve done it, you (the royal “you”) speak more from perception than reality. And why is no one willing to walk in our MEC shoes, hmmmm? Having said that, I admit to being wary of trying them on for size myself, so perhaps that speaks to perception as well.

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