MSMS is nationally accredited, allocating CME to health care providers across the United States. It's the first time nonprofit entities and patient groups outside the government have offered nationwide CME credits to increase clinicians' knowledge on how to diagnose and care for ME/CFS patients.
Bateman stated, "Free continuing medical education online is an effective and affordable way to get information about scientific advances and clinical guidance about ME/CFS to medical providers. I hope this is the first of many such CME programs and that each year will provide an opportunity to add rich new content."
ME/CFS is a disease causing severe neurological, immunological and energy production impairments. There are 1 million to 2.5 million Americans living with the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and over 41,500 in Michigan, according to a 1999 prevalence estimate by Leonard Jason, Ph.D., and colleagues. About 75 percent of patients are women.
The CDC calls ME/CFS "America's hidden health crisis." ME/CFS is not taught in medical schools, leaving most doctors misinformed about how to diagnose and treat the illness. This void in knowledge leaves as many as 90 percent of ME/CFS patients undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Oftentimes, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and graded exercise therapy (GET) are prescribed, harming the patient by increasing symptoms and reducing function. This can lead to bed and home confinement. CBT and GET were removed from the CDC's list of treatment recommendations last year due to these concerns.
Lori Kroger, R.N., from PANDORA Org, an advocacy organization in Traverse City, MI, said, "Michigan is leading the way to educate our nation's doctors about this horrific disease. Instead of primary care providers feeling perplexed, and patients feeling abandoned with unmet medical needs, these ME courses will provide immense physician knowledge. The overall goal is to improve patient care by giving providers proper tools."
The Institute of Medicine (now the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies) said in its milestone 2015 report:
- "ME/CFS is a serious, chronic, complex, systemic disease…"
- "Fewer than one third of medical school curricula and less than half of medical textbooks include information about ME/CFS."
- "Many people with ME/CFS report being subject to hostile attitudes from their health care providers, as well as to treatment strategies that exacerbate their symptoms."
- "Remarkably little research funding has been made available… There is an urgent need for more research…"
Bateman Horne Center: A 501(c)3 organization since 2014 with an international footprint. Envisioning a world where patients with ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia are readily diagnosed, effectively treated and widely met with empathy and understanding. BHC is led by Dr. Lucinda Bateman and Suzanne D. Vernon, Ph.D., who bring more than 40 years of combined experience and leadership to treating patients and advancing research. BHC empowers patients, advances research and improves clinical care for all those impacted with ME/CFS and fibromyalgia. Learn more at, Batemanhornecenter.org
PANDORA Org: Michigan's Patient Alliance for Neuro-endocrine-immune Disease Organization for Research & Advocacy, Inc. (PANDORA Org), founded in 1988, exists to interrupt the suffering while meeting the needs of people with ME/CFS and their families and loved ones. PANDORA Org partners with organizations to educate health care providers and the general public regarding this severely disabling illness. Learn more at PandoraOrg.net.
Lori Kroger, RN
President & CEO
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