The one-sided and inaccurate criticisms of the American Medical Associations new online continuing medical education initiative are very unfortunate (AMA sales of doc info leads to collaboration questions, July 2).
The AMAs Therapeutic Insights represents a groundbreaking collaboration between the AMA and recognized disease experts, national data providers and medical specialty groups to incorporate unique pharmaco-therapeutic information, disease demographics and practice guidelines into a readily accessible educational newsletter.
For the newsletters first issue, the AMA chose diagnosis and management of migraines in adults, and consulted an advisory board made up of some of the most widely recognized migraine headache experts. One member of the advisory board, Stephen Silberstein, chaired the American Academy of Neurology committee that prepared the evidence-based guidelines for migraine headaches.
Despite speculation to the contrary, Therapeutic Insights is consistent with the neurology academys practice guidelines and therefore does reflect best practices for this condition. The AMA uses top experts in a particular medical field for editorial review, and requires them to disclose any relevant pharmaceutical industry relationships.
This disclosure is in accord with the strict continuing medical education program development rules required by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education and the AMAs own requirements for certifying an educational activity. By meeting these requirements, physicians can be assured that Therapeutic Insights meets the highest ethical and educational standards for continued professional improvement. AMA CME programs are considered to be a standard of excellence among CME providers and physicians because of their fair-balanced, quality and evidence-based content, which is free of any commercial bias. To imply otherwise is simply wrong and a disservice to physicians, the program advisory board and the AMA.
Edward Langston, M.D.ChairmanAmerican Medical AssociationChicago