In November 2007 the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation convened a conference to address complex issues concerning continuing education in the health professions. Participants developed the set of conclusions and recommendations found at the end of this Executive Summary:
Chairman’s Summary of the Conference on Continuing Education in the Health Professions: Improving Healthcare through Lifelong Learning
Proceedings of the Conference Chaired by Suzanne W. Fletcher, M.D., M.Sc.
Published by the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, 2008.
The final report is available as of May 16, 2008:
Continuing Education in the Health Professions: Improving Healthcare Through Lifelong Learning. A Conference Sponsored by the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation. Chaired by Suzanne W. Fletcher, M.D., M.Sc. Bermuda, November 2007. Edited by Mary Hager, Sue Russell, and Suzanne W. Fletcher, M.D., M.Sc. New York: Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, 2008.
What people are saying about the Chairman’s Summary [updated June 18, 2008]:
- Letter from Dr. Murray Kopelow, MD, the Chief Executive of ACCME, Jeanne M. Floyd, PhD the Executive Director of the American Nurses Credentialing Center and Peter Vlasses, PharmD, Executive Director, Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education to George E. Thibault, MD, President of the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation [June 10]
- Macy Report — Filled in the Blanks from Policy and Medicine [May 20]
- Spurgeon D. Continuing education should no longer be funded by drug industry, says CMAJ [news]. BMJ (April 5)
- Yan J. How Much Influence Does Drug Industry Have on CME? from Psychiatric News (April 4)
- CME Reality Check from mededblog.ca (March 28)
- Hebert PC. The need for an Institute of Continuing Health Education [editorial]. CMAJ March 25 2008;178(7):805-806. (March 25)
e-Letters in response to this editorial
- Macy Foundation Chairman’s Report MECC from Conversations in CME (March 14)
- Macy Foundation Report: Industry Reflection? from Conversations in CME (March 24)
- Hampton T. Experts debate need to improve quality and oversight of continuing education [Medical News & Perspectives]. JAMA 2008; 299(9):1003-1004. (March 5)
Excerpt: Although continuing education of physicians and other health professionals is essential to ensure that patients receive current and correct medical care, experts are questioning the nature and funding of many programs. “Continuing education in the health professions is in disarray” and the accreditation mechanisms for it are “unnecessarily complex yet insufficiently rigorous,” concluded a summary of a conference last fall on continuing education in the health professions.
- Lockyer J. From the [SACME] President: Hand-washing and the Macy Report. INTERCOM February 2008; 21(1):2-3.
- NAAMECC and Coalition for Healthcare Communication Response [to] Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation Continuing Education in the Health Professions (undated)
See also Industry Funding of CME under Attack: Enhancing Compliance and Mitigating Risk. North American Association of Medical Education and Communication Companies, Inc., 2007.
- Stakeholder Reflections on Macy Foundation Summary, a podcast from Conversations in CME (Feb. 1)
- CME thought police alert! from Medical News Week (Jan. 25)
- Macy Foundation Chairman’s Executive Summary from Conversations in CME (Jan. 24)
- BLOGSCAN – Conflicts of Interest, CME, and MECCs from Health Care Renewal (Jan. 23)
- How the world works-should be part of med school curriculum from retired doc’s thoughts (Jan. 23)
Foundation Calls for Elimination of Commercial Support from Medical Meetings (Jan. 16)
Medical education needs a new policeman: report from Medical Marketing & Media (Jan. 15)
If Industry-Funded CME Goes, What Exactly Goes With It? from Pathophilia (Barbara Martin) (Jan. 14)
James M. La Rossa Jr. comment on the above (Jan. 14)
Should Industry Fund Medical Education? from Forbes.com
Participants developed the set of conclusions and recommendations found at the end of the executive summary, released January 10, 2008. A more detailed account of the proceedings, along with the background papers, will be included in a monograph to be published by the Macy Foundation late in 2008.
Excerpt: Continuing education (CE) of health professionals is essential to the health of all Americans.With accelerating advances in health information and technology, physicians, nurses and other health professionals must maintain and improve their knowledge and skills throughout their careers in order to provide safe,effective and high quality health care for their patients.
Yet continuing education in the health professions is in disarray. Over the past decade, both professional and lay reports have identified multiple problems. CE, as currently practiced,does not focus adequately on improving clinician performance and patient health. There is too much emphasis on lectures and too little emphasis on helping health professionals enhance their competence and performance in their daily practice. With Internet technology, health professionals can find answers to clinical questions even as they care for patients, but CE does not encourage its use or emphasize its importance. And, while studies show that inter-professional collaboration,teamwork and improved systems are key to high quality care, accrediting organizations have not found ways to promote teamwork or align CE with efforts to improve the quality of health systems.