SRS Newsletter
June 2011
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Continuing Medical Education Committee Update

Glenn Rechtine, MD
CME Committee Chair

The CME committee has been focused on applying to be an accredited CME provider in addition to the usual responsibilities of making sure the meetings and other offerings provided by SRS are the best educational opportunities available. The process of application for ACCME certification involves a great deal of effort to document the work done everyday to educate our members and all others who depend on the SRS. This intense scrutiny allows those who avail themselves of our productions the assurance that the highest quality evidence is being used to make the treatment recommendations. The entire staff has done an incredible job of providing the quality, and they are also documenting this as well.

One of the major concepts of professional education is to positively effect change in practices based on evidence-based recommendations. Our leadership has continually focused on improved patient care. President Lawrence Lenke, MD has singled out complication avoidance as a theme. This was reflected in the evaluation of the meeting in Japan. The vast majority of those responding felt that the emphasis on safety came through, and they were in the process of changing various aspects of practice because of these findings.

The M&M registry is a tool that very few organizations have at their disposal. This allows a review of potential problem areas. This can be used to target real or potential problems. This gap analysis is critical to ensure the presentations at all of our events are related to topics that can change physician practices.

As more and more press coverage focuses on conflicts of interest in medical studies, it is incumbent on all CME providers to ensure that presentations are as bias-free as possible. Acknowledgment of a conflict does not necessarily resolve the problem. Just because I tell you I am a paid spokesperson, it is not proper to present an infomercial. The requirements are that the presentation has to be based on the best information available. Unless a trade name is critical to the meaning of the presentation, it should not be used. A fair and balanced approach must be used at all times. Cherry-picking low quality papers to reference while ignoring stronger conflicting opinions is not allowed. Personal opinion can be used when there is no stronger source of information. As a presenter, it is critical to keep our individual feelings in check, especially if there is a financial arrangement involved. As a listener, it is just as important to keep an open mind to new ideas. They should be evaluated and compared to our current practices using the same evidence weighted evaluations.

In all situations, it is imperative that we act in the best interest of our patients. Sometimes we have trouble with this because of our own biases.

In summary, the SRS staff is to be congratulated on the phenomenal work that they have done in addition to the regular aspects of their jobs. We anticipate a completed application for ACCME certification this summer. Thanks to Tressa and all the staff. I would also like to thank all the CME Committee members and especially Frank Schwab, MD in these efforts.

Chair: Glenn Rechtine II Members: B. Stephens Richards, MD, George H. Thompson, MD, Steven D. Glassman, MD, Joseph W. Perra, MD, Laurel Blakemore, MD, John F. Sarwark, MD, Todd J. Albert, MD, Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, MD, Mark Dekutoski, MD, Daniel J. Sucato, MD, Ricard E. McCarthy, MD, Michael S. Roh, MD. Frank J. Schwab, MD, Lawrence G. Lenke, MD, Kamal M. Ibrahim, MD, Ahmet Alanay, MD.