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VOLUME 18 , ISSUE 8 ( August, 2014 ) > List of Articles


Funding sources for continuing medical education: An observational study

Arun S. Ponnish

Keywords : Accreditation, continuing medical education, continuing medical education credit, funding, sponsorship

Citation Information : Ponnish AS. Funding sources for continuing medical education: An observational study. Indian J Crit Care Med 2014; 18 (8):513-517.

DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.138152

License: CC BY-ND 3.0

Published Online: 01-04-2007

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2014; The Author(s).


Aims: Medical accreditation bodies and licensing authorities are increasingly mandating continuing medical education (CME) credits for maintenance of licensure of healthcare providers. However, the costs involved in participating in these CME activities are often substantial and may be a major deterrent in obtaining these mandatory credits. It is assumed that healthcare providers often obtain sponsorship from their institutions or third party payers (i.e. pharmaceutical-industry) to attend these educational activities. Data currently does not exist exploring the funding sources for CME activities in India. In this study, we examine the relative proportion of CME activities sponsored by self, institution and the pharmaceutical-industry. We also wanted to explore the characteristics of courses that have a high proportion of self-sponsorship. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective audit of the data during the year 2009 conducted at an autonomous clinical training academy. The details of the sponsor of each CME activity were collected from an existing database. Participants were subsequently categorized as sponsored by self, sponsored by institution or sponsored by pharmaceutical-industry. Results: In the year 2009, a total of 2235 participants attended 40 different CME activities at the training academy. Of the total participants, 881 (39.4%) were sponsored by self, 898 (40.2%) were sponsored by institution and 456 (20.3%) by pharmaceutical-industry. About 47.8% participants attended courses that carried an international accreditation. For the courses that offer international accreditation, 63.3% were sponsored by self, 34.9% were sponsored by institution and 1.6% were sponsored by pharmaceutical-industry. There were 126 participants (5.6%) who returned to the academy for another CME activity during the study period. Self-sponsored (SS) candidates were more likely to sponsor themselves again for subsequent CME activity compared with the other two groups (P < 0.001). Conclusions: In our study, majority of healthcare professionals attending CME activities were either self or institution sponsored. There was a greater inclination for self-sponsoring for activities with international accreditation. SS candidates were more likely to sponsor themselves again for subsequent CME activities.

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