The original version of this Post incorrectly stated that IFM’s CME status was revoked by the ACCME. THAT WAS INCORRECT! Sorry about that.
However, the highly respected Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) has had some issues with its CME course accreditation, via the Family Practice physicians’ group. It’s complicated, so see my post at:
Previously, the ACCME had initiated revocation proceedings against other organizations.
The ACCME has taken on the other big dog in the IM (Integrative Medicine) community: A4M, or more specifically, its subgroup, the Metabolic Medical Institute (“MMI”).
A4M isn’t itself ACCME accredited; it partners with an independent ACCME accredited entity. Recently its accrediting partner, Global Education Group sent a warning letter to practitioners who attended a learning activity entitled Module IV: A Metabolic and Functional Approach to Gastroenterology, that took place September 14-16, 2017 in Chicago, IL.
Here is the warning with the “corrected” information and recommendations:
“As an accredited ACCME Provider, Global Education Group strives to provide cutting-edge, innovative, quality accredited CME content to our learners. This activity you attended did not meet with our high standards of excellence. Of particular note, some of the information presented at Module IV: A Metabolic and Functional Approach to Gastroenterology did not meet the ACCME’s Clinical Content Validation requirements, which requires content include recommendations involving clinical medicine to be based on evidence that is accepted within the profession of medicine with adequate scientific justification. As such, we advise you to proceed with caution regarding the implementation or treatment approaches that were discussed and/or recommended during this activity.
Patient safety is critical. As such, we are providing you with FDA/Government guideline sources regarding treatment and testing concerning gastrointestinal dysfunction and disease. For information regarding appropriate and safe approaches for the problems or symptoms presented during this symposium, please consult the list of scientifically validated sources below:
Appropriate Stool Testing to Establish Effective Intervention:
DPDx – Laboratory Identification of Parasites of Public Health Concern. (2016, May 03). Retrieved April 6, 2018, from https://www.cdc.gov/dpdx/diagnosticprocedures/stool/index.html
Humphries, R. M., & Linscott, A. J. (2015). Laboratory Diagnosis of Bacterial Gastroenteritis. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 28(1), 3-31. doi:10.1128/cmr.00073-14
Barr, W. & Smith, A. (2014). Acute Diarrhea in Adults. Am Fam Physician, 180-189.
What Is a Stool Culture? (2017). Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-is-a-stool-culture#2
Use of Vitamins & Health Supplements:
American College of Medical Toxicology and The American Academy of Clinical Toxicology. (2015). Retrieved April 16, 2018, from http://www.choosingwisely.org/societies/american-college-of-medical-toxicology-and-the-american-academy-of-clinical-toxicology/
Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines:
AHRQ’s National Guideline Clearinghouse is a public resource for summaries of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Retrieved April 8, 2018, from https://guidelines.gov/
Additionally, please utilize this link which includes recommendations from the Choosing Wisely campaign, organized by discipline/body system. This resource provides key clinical recommendations for physicians that promote best practices and help avoid unnecessary medical interventions. The campaign is sponsored by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, including several medical specialty societies.
If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact Global Education Group at 303-395-1782 or firstname.lastname@example.org “
More to Come
A4M and the IFM are the two biggest and institutionally most successful IM organizations on Planet Earth. By going after them, it’s pretty obvious that all IM groups are going to be hit with the same DE legitimization tactics, namely CME revocation process for those groups who are direct ACCME accredited, pressure on the accrediting partners like here, plus forcing the seminar providers to publish retractions of IM clinical guidelines based on lack of evidence based support. So if you’re an IM group and haven’t been contacted by the ACCME or your accrediting partner, my guess is that you will be.
What to do about it?
I’ve previously advocated for group consultation and joint action by all the IM groups, but now I’m not so sure. I think there’s going to be some survival-of-the-fittest action that will come into play in the intermediate term. The smarter, more agile groups will figure out how to make their content more resistant to these ACCME challenges.
Having gone to IM conferences for several decades, frankly, I think that some content providers don’t go a good enough job in conveying the importance or context and meaning of the information/studies being talked about. As much as it pains me to say it, there might possibly be some small element of truth supporting the ACCME’s position in some cases. But, I think those kinds of problems are resolvable by creative solutions and more and smarter internal oversight and clearer standards.
So what’s the big takeaway from the all these ACCME’s actions?
The days of any health care professional saying anything they want in a CME accredited seminar are over or coming to an end. Like it or not, those that don’t realize it won’t be providing CME accredited courses. Those who do and can adapt to the new oversight environment will survive and even prosper.
Richard Jaffe, Esq.