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GP CPD: there is no such thing as a free lunch

12 March 2018 - A/Prof Stephen Barnett

Ownership of GP CPD is important. There is a lot at stake — billions of health dollars are spent by us as we decide on treatments every day.

Alongside this, billions of dollars are spent by pharmaceutical companies annually, seeking new ways to access the prescribing base in Australia. Pharma-sponsored education, particularly regular meetings with ‘Key Opinion Leaders’ whose views align with the view favoured by the pharma company, is a standard approach. I’m not suggesting our specialist colleagues or the associated meetings are in breach of CPD guidelines of independence, but if someone is prepared to pay for our education, and fund additional benefits, it adds a layer of complexity to the equation. Ever heard that saying, ‘There’s no such a thing as a free lunch’?

This is why pharma-free education is so important. We are well-respected professionals. We have already spent a fortune on our undergraduate education. We pay for our medical equipment and registration. Surely it’s worth paying a small amount of our own money for continuing education to ensure that it’s independent, high quality and thorough — all the things that our patients expect of us. Hot Topics GP Update is pharma-free education, covering independent reviews of the last year’s primary care evidence. It’s entertaining and prepared and presented by expert GPs, for GPs. Please join us for #pharmafreeCPD.

A/Prof Stephen Barnett
A/Prof Stephen Barnett

Stephen is a GP Supervisor, Medical Educator, GP academic and Medical Director of Medcast. He has completed a PhD on Virtual Communities of Practice in GP Training.

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