A Medical Education Working Group has been created by the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee (CFSAC) to provide recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of Health on educating healthcare providers on ME/CFS.
The working group plans to disseminate resources and clinical guidance to healthcare providers, as well as provide trainings and continuing education events. The working group also aims to identify mechanisms in order to expand the base of healthcare providers who can diagnose and care for persons with ME/CFS.
“There is a significant shortage of healthcare professionals who have the expertise in diagnosing and managing ME/CFS,” states the report provided by the Medical Education Work Group at the CFSAC meeting that took place last week. “The IOM report (2015) stated that fewer than one-third of medical school curricula and less than half of medical textbooks include information about ME/CFS.
“The IOM also noted that patients reported “being subject to hostile attitudes from their healthcare providers” and concluded that the biggest barrier to dissemination is not lack of knowledge but negative attitudes, which must be addressed for successful dissemination. As a consequence of the lack of knowledge and the medical stigma, the ME/CFS community is severely underserved by the medical community.”
Read the full report of recommendations by the Medical Education Work Group here.
CFSAC met this past week for a two-day meeting on Dec. 13-14. CFSAC is an advisory board that meets twice yearly, and provides recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) on issues related to ME/CFS.