We believe that continuing medical education (CME) is the responsibility of all physcians - both as providers and as learners. However, it is imperative that physicians provide and particiapte in CME within a framerwork of strict compliance standards. In December of 2017, the Chair of Medicine at the University of Toronto, wrote an important post on the expectations of physicains where industry-associated CME is concerned. While the entire post is required reading for us all, this exceprt will be most impactful to those participating in CME as providers or as learners:

Faculty members should not participate in Speaker’s Bureaus. By definition, a speaker’s bureau is any relationship where the faculty member is paid by a company to give a talk and the company selects or has influence over any of the topic, any part of the content of a talk, or any members of the audience.

Over the years, the concept of a "Speaker's Bureau" has evolved. What was once a formal undertaking of multiple speakers providing set content repetitively to different groups of physicians, the latest definition as it appears in this latest document, narrows the focus to any talk where a physician is paid directly by a pharmaceutical company and gives a presentation - even with their own materials - where the pharmaceutical company had involvement in selecting the audience for the presentation. We believe this definition is important to understand as many physicians participate in these events as providers or as learners and these sessions make up a vital part of CME and maintenance of competency. We do not believe that Universities would be positioned to replace this type of education because the vast majority of it is provided over a large geographic distance and involves thousands of small group sessions in a given year in Canada. While Universities have become more involved in accredited CME, these events - while excellent - are a very large undertaking and deliver a very different experience to the small group learning format that is so popular and effective.

The CPD Network provides organizational services for CME events and ensures that physicians participating do so within the important compliance framework outlined in Chair's post. We can assist with the following:

  1. Working with physician organizers, moderators and speakers to invite individuals to CME events. In this way, pharmaceutical companies remain at a distance from the invitation and physician recruitment process
  2. Recruiting physician speakers for a CME or CPD project after one has been requested by a physician moderator or physician group 
  3. Compensating physicians for their time and expertise using funds requested from industry but which are held in trust by the CPD Network

For more information or to use the CPD Network for your next project, please contact us here.

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