Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Another Key Opinion Leader Contradicts Himself

It appears that Lindsay DeVane, who called his own continuing medical education article (appearing in CNS Spectrums) a "commercial piece of crap" has retracted his story (via the excellent Carlat Psychiatry Blog). Apparently, his take on the former "crap" piece has now changed to "there should be no question about the integrity of the CNS Spectrums publication as a CME activity" The article went from, in his own words, a "ridiculous text" to an article that reflects "the inherent limitations in providing practicing clinicians with fundamental descriptions of complicated issues." Is he implying that practicing clinicians lack the intellectual fortitude to understand "complicated issues," so he had to dumb it down to meet their limited capacity? Perhaps there is another interpretation.

He also changed his tune to "all three co-authors were heavily involved in multiple edits before agreement was reached on a final manuscript" from stating originally that he had
not actually read
the manuscript. That is quite a change indeed. One can only wonder which individuals pressed DeVane to change his story. Here's what I don't understand. DeVane has been in the game for a long time. Does he really have that much to lose by pointing out the joke that it today's continuing medical education system? I want to know who spoke with him and how he was persuaded to change his mind. This is such a ridiculous turnaround in stories that it makes Larry Craig look like a straight shooter. I am 99.9% doubtful that DeVane would have changed his story without significant influence from others. Drs. Charles Nemeroff and Sheldon Preskorn were the coauthors. I can't help but wonder if one or both of them took exception to DeVane's labeling of the piece as "crap" and read him the riot act. Does DeVane not realize that this turnaround in story is farcical?

Read the full story
. Two further glittering examples of continuing medical education in psychiatry gone awry can be read here and here. To see another key opinion leader contradict himself, go here.

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