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October 13, 2009

Memorial: Frederic S. Wilson 1944 – 2009 CME Supporter and Activist

Frederic Wilson

This week the CME community lost a close friend in Frederic Wilson.  At the age of 65 Fred passed away from complications resulting from a bone marrow transplant.   Fred was the Director of Medical Education for Procter and Gamble Pharmaceuticals from 1990 – 2009, he retired this past January.


Announcing his retirement he sent this note:  “After 39 years in the pharmaceutical industry, I’ve decided to pursue other interests for a while.  Although I’ll be happy to continue contributing to the defense of the industry’s vital role in continuing medical education, my efforts will no longer be under the auspices of Procter & Gamble after January 1, 2009.  My only regret will be the lesser opportunity to interact with you -- a privilege that has made all the difference.”


Fred was a leader in CME, he saw the value of collaboration as a way to enhance patient care.  In a 2003 Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research article titled: Ethical Collaboration in Continuing Medical Education Fred wrote:


“Collaboration between the pharmaceutical industry and CME providers can be expected to continue to produce educational activities and materials that enhance physicians to care for patients, without undue influence; that is, to not influence prescribers in any way less than the best interest of the patient.”


“When evaluating the collaboration between CME providers and the pharmaceutical industry, it is evident that the professional ethics of the research based companies and those of organized medicine are congruent.”

 Fred Wilson Cover

In addition to his duties at Procter and Gamble, Fred was also on the board of directors for the American Osteopathic Family Physicians Foundation and The Global Alliance for CME plus others.  For several years he chaired the American Medical Associations Taskforce on Provider Industry Collaboration.


I first became friends with Fred in 1998 where he supported CME programs we produced on Women’s Sexual Dysfunction, Atrial Fibrillation and Osteoporosis.


Thoughout the years, Fred was someone that I could go and ask questions about the history of our industry and throw out crazy ideas for programs.  He was also very good at correcting grammar which he did with every email, and document I sent him.


Fred wanted to do voiceovers and sometime around the year 2000, I used his talents to do a voice over from a program I was working on for someone else.   He read the script and his dark radio voice was excellent, but it was just funny how here was this totally strategic guy and his true ambition in life was to be a radio announcer.

He fought multiple sclerosis courageously.  To rid himself of that disease, five years ago he subjected himself to a stem cell transplant as part of a clinical trial.  When you would ask him about his health he would deflect the question stating it was not important, or you really don’t want to hear about it.


Last year at the announcement of his retirement, and during the time of the Taskforce several of us got together for one last good bye party.  Little did any of us know that would be the last time we would see Fred this side of heaven.  


Reading emails from Fred since his retirement, it reminded that I owe him a bottle of Bormore for offering us some advice and reviewing some of our programs, I have no idea what that is, but I will try to sneak in a bottle with me when I join him in heaven.


He was forever the optimist, with a rational belief that CME was not all there was, and in the end what really matters is your family and the legacy you leave behind.  When I was discouraged, he always offered sound advice.


He was always calm, always rational, a realist and always encouraging.


He leaves behind his wife Judith, six children, and nine grandchildren.


He will be sorely missed.


Memorial service is

Saturday October 24th

Armstrong Methodist Church

Indian Hill, Ohio


Frederic S. Wilson


Journal Publications

Continuing medical education: ethical collaboration between sponsor and industry.

Clin Orthopaedics Related Research. 2003;412:33–37



Medical Meetings December 1, 2004:  Code Blue

Medical Meetings July 2003: No Turning Back

Medical Meetings July 1, 2002: Cracking the Code

Medical Meetings August 2000: More Than a Money Store

CME Briefing Spring 1998 FDA Issues New Guidance for Industry Supported CME


In encourage you to leave comments about Fred and his life as a living testiment to his kindness, and freindship.


Fred Wilson old

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