CME (Continuing Medical Education) Credit No Longer Available through Keystone Symposia
SILVERTHORNE, CO September 28, 2009 For several years we made it possible for physician participants to obtain CME credit from the University of Colorado, an accredited institution, for attending certain Keystone Symposia meetings with appropriate content. Over the past few years, however, the accrediting organization, ACCME (Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education), has added policies directed at eliminating the influence of commercial interests on CME programs. Although their objective was to target abuses of the CME system, some of the policies put in place have had consequences, perhaps unintended ones, for Keystone Symposia.
Keystone Symposia has a tradition of including the highest-quality science presentations in its programs, irrespective of whether the presenters work in academic, government or industry research laboratories. Also, our Scientific Advisory Board includes about 70 leading scientists from all types of research institutions, and about 30% of the SAB members are from commercial institutions, something which is no longer allowed by ACCME policies. This year, ACCME has stated that neither the scientific planners nor speakers at a CME event can come from a commercial interest if they have control of the content of their presentations and the content relates to the business interests of their company. This rule would, essentially, preclude Keystone Symposia from including industry scientific organizers and speakers at any meeting offering CME credit.
That condition is incompatible with the high quality of Keystone Symposia programming, and it is unacceptable for our organization. We will continue to include the best science, and diversity of scientific ideas, in our programs regardless of where the work is carried out. Scientists from industry must always know that they are welcome to present their cutting-edge results at Keystone Symposia conferences. Hence, we will no longer be offering CME credit at our conferences. Hopefully, the unfavorable current situation will revert back to a more reasonable position in the future, at which time we might once again be able to offer CME credit at appropriate conferences.
Those who require CME credit may be disappointed by our decision, but we feel it is in the best interest of meeting quality. We regret any inconvenience caused and will be issuing refunds to those who have already paid the CME fee with their registration for a 2010 conference.