Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CME professionals are moving out of CME

Well, maybe the actual jobs aren't shifting. People are definitely moving around. Over the past year, I've seen many CME (continuing medical education) companies shut down. Some people may refer to these companies as medical education and communication companies or MECCs. However, the word "communication" can be misleading because promotional educational companies may also be considered MECCs. Promotional education is very different from certified continuing medical education.

This year, I've seen many CME professionals move out of CME and transition into other industries. Times are difficult for those working in the CME industry. To be quite candid: it's difficult not to feel some level of discouragement about the overall CME industry.

Now, when I'm referring to the CME industry, I'm specifically speaking about industry-supported CME. Hospitals and other professional organizations will always provide CME to their physicians. However, if you're looking for free CME on the web, as print, as a teleconference, symposium, webinar, etc. - then you may see less industry-supported CME in the future.

Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are making significant changes in the way they fund CME activities. The increased scrutiny has changed the landscape. However, I feel that many of these changes are good changes and they will eventually improve the overall CME industry.

2009 was a difficult year for many CME companies. Those who weathered the storm may see some increasing opportunities in 2010 if they position themselves strategically. Others may continue to struggle in 2010 as industry supporters commit fewer dollars to certified continuing medical education.

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