Hej! My name is Sneha, and I am taking over the MedUniverse blog this week. I am a student at Karolinska Institutet (a medical university in Stockholm) where I am pursuing a Master’s in Bioentrepreneurship. I have chosen to do my thesis project at MedUniverse, to investigate how healthcare professionals (HCPs) and the pharmaceutical industry interact. One of the focal points of my research will be medical education.
Pharma and physician are “partners” in curing the patient. Sometimes these partners have different interests, but ultimately they have a common goal: improving patient outcomes. An important part of a clinician’s training is maintaining and developing their medical competences. To that end, HCPs are required to take part in Continuing Medical Education (CME). A wide range of organizations and health care stakeholders can develop CME. The pharmaceutical industry can make important contributions to a clinician’s education as the leading actor in the development in new treatments.
However, Pharma’s involvement raises important questions. Where does education stop, and marketing begin? How does specific drug information add value? And what about the patient perspective? The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education has explicitly stated that increasing the patient centricity of CME would make it more valuable.
Last but not least, what about the HCPs themselves? How do they perceive their educational needs, and what is their opinion about the CME options that are available? Is Pharma catering to those needs? What works well and what could be done better?
The aim of my thesis is to investigate the issues above. To come to meaningful conclusions, I would like to invite all readers that are HCPs or have a background in Pharma to participate in my research by contributing their thoughts in an interview. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.