#doctorbridge So... is this my country? Un paese cosi?
[ twitter: @salvo_fedele] [g+: plus.google.com/+salvofedele] [M: medium.com/@salvo_fedele]
So… is this my country?
Un paese così? #doctorbridge by salvo fedele
April 4, 2014
This is the webpage of the Medical Association of Palermo that announces the start of a CME course:
a Bridge Card Play Course for doctors.The official link is no longer active since April 18, 2014.
✤ On this webpage (short link: http://bit.ly/1tsPZtM) you will ﬁnd, however, the
entire reconstruction of the story #doctorbridge and the playback of all
ofﬁcial documentation, the reactions on social networks and media until the
statement of the President of the Medical Association of Palermo that
announces the interruption of the course and the withdrawal of CME
credits to participants.
✤ #doctorbridge is a story that looks like a prank but it isn’t.
Indeed the #doctorbridge course assigns 35.8 CME credits to the
✤ Every italian MD must obtain 50 credits every year to continue to practice.
✤ How is it that the italian CME system of national accreditation would allow
an organization to give 35 of the 50 annual credits only looking doctors who
play with Bridge Cards?
✤ Unlike in other countries, the Italian CME system does not accredit
individual training projects, but accredits CME providers in exchange for a
large annual fee. !
✤ The Italian NHS does not invest in the training of doctors, but has found a
way to make money from CME. It sounds like the italian CME system is not
interested in the quality of the projects, but only to collect taxes from this
✤ The CME providers apply an evaluation grid that assigns a different score
depending on whether the training activities are carried out. If the course is
carried out with traditional lessons the score will be low. If the course
involves many interactive activities the score will be high. !
✤ In this case the provider has evidently given the high number of hours
dedicated to play Card Bridge as interactive activities like i.e role-playing or
✤ The creator of this CME system that gives all this freedom of choice to the
local organization (CME providers) is one of the leading ministers of the
past Monti government: Mr. Balduzzi. !
✤ Before being Minister of Health, Mr Balduzzi was president of Agenas, the
agency that controls the CME commission, and he has a profound
knowledge of the Italian system that sees the proliferation of CME
providers who have little desire to experiment innovative forms of CME.
However these organizations know well how to use the CME system to
increase their power.
✤ The Balduzzi system makes happy all the principal actors of the process.
Not only the national CME commission and the Agenas which collects a
good part of CME revenues but also the CME providers that increase their
✤ Why do doctors accept this typical Italian affair? Why agree to pay extra
fees in order to enrich CME providers and members of the CME national
commission in exchange for educational events of very low quality?
✤ In stark contrast to the European legislation, for example, no doctor can ask
directly to the Italian CME national committee to have a CME score for
training activities conducted abroad. !
✤ To maintain the power of CME provider no doctor can ask CME credits for
a training activity directly to the national commission. Everything has to go
through local providers.
✤ There is nothing that remotely resembles the portfolio of activities of the UK
NHS. Credits online can be recorded only if the CME provider is italian.
Our national system does not accredit UpToDate, the BMJ or the NEJM, but
a Bridge Card Play “course” can earn 35.8 CME credits. !
✤ Can you please help to describe this situation with only a word or a
hashtag? #doctorbridge? Do you agree?
the “scientific” background of #doctorbridge
✤ “The importance of the Bridge Card Play in the process of personal growth is
scientiﬁcally recognized so much so that in the 80s the President of the Republic of
China, Deng Xiaoping, introduced the study of Bridge Card Play in Chinese
✤ “Mr Ninni De Santis one of the leading authorities in the ﬁeld of education in
Sicily had helped the organization to adapt the course to the CME system”
✤ Indeed the course of Palermo was not the ﬁrst course of Bridge Card Play in
the Italian CME system. Other courses were held already in Bergamo in
May 2013 and in January 2014, when the news was reported by the press.
short link: http://bit.ly/1ePFsFk
✤ April 16, 2014
In the meantime, despite reactions on Twitter and Facebook in the city of
Palermo, Medical Doctors continue to play every friday their “Bridge Card
Play Course” until a National TV broadcaster and a reporter from the TV
show “ le Iene” records what is going on…
✤ Mr Calabresi, the reporter of the TV Show “le iene” asks Medical Doctors
what they are doing. !
✤ Mr Calabresi, the next day, asks the president of the organization a good
reason for what is happened. !
✤ I’m sorry, but I have no time to translate their words, but you are very lucky
to not understand what they say.
✤ What you can see, the shooting and the facial expressions of the
participants, the hands of the president on the TV camera are a useful
example of the embarrassing situation in which it is the italian CME system.
Here the link to the video
On April 18, 2014 it is
published this statement.
✤ What can I say more? A belated admission
of error can be felt in the words of the
president, but who is really the responsible
of damage of the image to the doctors of
the city of Palermo for this “accident”?!
✤ Blame the ambush of Journalists of “Le
✤ Greater sensitivity of the leader of the CME provider, and a more careful
use of the words from who allowed himself to interviews during exercise of
“mind training” would make a service a little more digniﬁed to our
April 22, 2014
What about #doctorbridge?
Sorry for this ﬁnal statement but perhaps this is the prevalent opinion of italian MD about our CME system
I've got a
Thanks for your
Thanks to every italian MD that posted something about
#doctorbridge. Thanks to my friends of WEBM.org. Thanks
to Nino Cartabellotta and to the Facebook Group “Salviamo
il nostro SSN”. And… Thanks to Mr Calabresi “la iena”.