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Nexus Communications, Inc.

Into the Storm: Navigating the Turbulent Waters of CME



ommercial support, nontraditional regulators, maintenance of competence, repositioning continuing medical education (CME) — one can’t open a trade publication these days without being bombarded with doom and gloom about medical education. Many aspects of CME are being debated, and — whether or not one agrees that CME needs to be fixed — there will inevitably be changes in the way medical education is planned, funded, and evaluated in the future.

Cooperation + collaboration + consensus is the formula for eliminating confusion — and calming the CME storm.

Situational Analysis

Karen M. Overstreet, Ed.D., R.Ph., FACME President Dr. Overstreet is on the

The current turbulence is confusing for many CME providers, faculty, and supporters, partly because new stakeholders are becoming actively involved and making CME more politicized and public. Nontraditional regulators and a plethora of new guidelines and competencies for clinicians are creating cognitive dissonance for CME stakeholders and providing “teachable moments” for everybody.

board of directors and executive committee of the Alliance for CME, is a founder and president of the North American Association of Medical Education and Communication Companies (NAAMECC), and is a site surveyor for

Recommendations Just as healthcare professionals need continuing professional development (CPD) to perform and grow in their careers, so do the stakeholders involved in CME. Everyone needs to understand the myriad guidelines — their spirit and their intricate details — as well as the evolving political framework, and the needs and interests of all involved.We are all in this together. All stakeholders will play an important role in creating a CME environment conducive to promoting credible, valid science and educational innovation. To accomplish this goal,

stakeholders need to collaborate with knowledgeable partners who are savvy to the evolving world of CME.To facilitate quality CME and CPD, all stakeholders should: • Read — Understand the relevant literature on CME, adult learning, training and development, and healthcare. • Network — Providers and supporters who isolate themselves will remain uninformed. • Publish — Promote best practices. • Participate — Attend conferences to hear what others are saying and ask questions to prompt discussion. • Collaborate — The impact of collective creative thinking and educational efforts is greater than that of individual endeavors. The current and emerging stakeholders in CME only will exacerbate the confusion regarding effective medical education by working in isolation and developing more guidelines. There are many important and diverse interests to protect in CME, but they should not stand in the way of stakeholders’ primary purpose — providing relevant, valid, high-quality education to physicians to ultimately improve patient outcomes. ■

the Accreditation Council for CME.

Alphabet Soup of CME Regulation: Meet the Stakeholders Abbreviation





American Academy of Family Physicians Association of American Medical Colleges American Board of Medical Specialties Accreditation Council for CME Alliance for CME Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Association for Hospital Medical Education American Medical Association American Osteopathic Association Council of Medical Specialty Societies


Department of Justice Food & Drug Administration Federation of State Medical Boards Institute of Medicine North American Association of Medical Education and Communication Companies National Board of Medical Examiners Office of the Inspector General Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America Society for Academic CME



CME Regulations Got You Wrecked? The regulatory storm has hit, leaving you to navigate a churning sea of: guidelines ...changing guidelines ...even guidelines to the guidelines.

Why go it alone? With the help of Nexus, your CME will plow through choppy watersconflict of interest, commercial support, complianceand glide into a Safe Harbor.

Let Nexus maximize your return on education

Note:This table includes only some of the groups with an interest in CME; others include accreditation bodies for allied health professionals, state legislatures, the media, patients, care givers, consumers, etc.

NEXUS COMMUNICATIONS, INC., North Wales, Pa., provides creative solutions to medical education challenges including thought leader development, publication planning, and strategic education planning and design. For more information, call 267-655-5970, or e-mail Karen Overstreet at

October 2003

VIEW on Medical Education

Michael Caso, CEO (267) 655-5970

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