To the Editor.
—We read with interest "The Past, Present, and Future of Continuing Medical Education [CME]" by Drs Manning and Petit1 and the accompanying editorial by Wilbur.2 However, they do not mention the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on CME. Involvement includes monetary support for educational programs, travel expenses for selected speakers, and free trips to conferences held in vacation spots for "educationally influential physicians."3 The pharmaceutical industry's effect on CME is uncertain and unstudied. Formal studies might compare the content of CME programs that accept or reject the pharmaceutical industry's support. One might compare the quantity of CME concerning specific diagnoses before and after the availability of pharmaceuticals that are used to treat these diagnoses. We suspect that significant differences could be found, but the effect on the knowledge base of physicians and subsequent patient care would be more difficult to determine. We suspect that
Scarpinato L, Govaker D. The Golden Age of CME Is Yet to Come. JAMA. 1988;259(17):2545. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720170020020