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Steps to greater accountability in medical education

New York Times, October 21, 2009

To remain certified, most of the nation's 700,000 doctors are required periodically to take continuing medical education courses. But critics have said that too many of those courses are little more than drug company marketing in the guise of education. Sponsorship by the pharmaceutical industry pays an estimated half of the cost of such programs in the United States, and critics have argued that the national nonprofit group that accredits the course providers has not done enough to fight drug industry influence in the classroom. But now Murray Kopelow, MD, chief executive of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, said he would make public a previously confidential listing of classes and companies that violated rules against commercial bias, the New York Times reports.