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Will European CME bypass national accrediting bodies?
The European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME) is warning the national accrediting agencies in Europe that unless they quickly recognize EACCME credits they risk having competition from a new European-wide system of CME.

In a letter just now being sent to each national professional authority on CME, Dr. C. C. Leibrandt, secretary-general of EACCME's parent body, the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS), notes that to date, after 2 1/2 years, only Austria, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia and the Royal College of physicians in Ireland have provided written confirmation of recognition of EACCME credits -- meaning that doctors in most other European countries cannot be assured of receiving CME credit for attending courses in countries other than their own.

Dr. Leibbrandt further notes:

"In Europe there is already since 1975 a system of automatic mutual recognition of medical diplomas, based upon European law. It is logical that the profession in Europe ... succeeds in establishing the same automatic mutual recognition of CME credits.

"...The pressure is on. European Professional Socieites are closely wathcing the actions of the National CME regulatory bodies and they are pressing for direct accreditation by the EACCME, thus bypassing the national CME authorities. ... When the national bodies fail to support the EACCME, which is their own institution and which is in their own interest, national CME regulating bodies are in danger of losing control. ...

"The immediate effect will be that European Societies will hesitate to organise their congresses in countries which do not participate in the EACCME system. ... This has been voiced already.

"The long-term effect will be that European CME will disengage from national bodies. The European Societies, probably with the European Boards in their way, and probably with commercial support, will set up an alternative system bypassing national bodies completely. The result will be chaos, loss of general accepted quality requirements and quality assurance, and a lot of unnecessary difficulties both for individual doctors and for organisers of CME activities.

The national authorities are being urged to act at once to provide a written confirmation of recognition of EACCME credits, and Dr. Leibbrandt has offered to travel wherever necessary to assist the process.