Bozeman Medical Education programs
2009;75:395-400 titled “Industry Support of Graduate Medical Education in Surgery, ” asserted that
“The American College of Surgeons recognizes two goals that are complementary: maximizing industry participation in continuing medical education programs and maintaining the autonomy and impartiality of surgeons and surgical organizations.”
This article, written by Don K. Nakayama, M.D., M.B.A. and Andrew P. Bozeman, M.D., from the Department of Surgery at Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, Georgia, took survey results from directors in general surgery and surgical specialties to determine industry activities in surgical Graduate Medical Education (GME). Of particular importance from the study are the following results:
- One fourth believed their programs to be dependent on industry for their educational missions.
- 55% of the respondents noted that industry support of GME did not pose a problem for medical education in general, and 71% said it was not a problem regarding their specific programs. In fact, only 12% of the respondents surveyed believed that industry support of their medical education programs was a problem.
- Most respondents disagreed with the view that industry support of GME compromised such core values of medical education. 56% said that there was no compromise regarding evidence-based medicine; 63% said no compromise concerning cost effective care; 56% said no compromise of values in reference to professionalism; and 59% said their was no compromise to objectivity.
Interestingly, while these results came about, industry was already responding and adopting more stringent guidelines for their representatives including a prohibition on even small gifts like pens and notepads. Moreover, graduate programs also similarly acknowledged that industry-sponsorships of GME can be managed by the program director, who then can deny funding of any inappropriate activities. Yet the critics continue to play the broken record of “conflict of interest.”
In response, surgeons defend industry support overwhelmingly because it serves an essential purpose in the dissemination of approved drugs and devices into practice, and because advances in medicine often require industry to develop fundamental scientific discoveries into products that has value at the patient's bedside.
Surgeons further argue that “Profits are not antithetical to good medicine and patient care, and the prospect of making money is a powerful motive force toward science and product development.” In fact, as noted throughout the article
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All of the programs currently cost $15,064 which has steadily been rising over the past couple years. Ross offers certificate programs in 7-10 months.