, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 357-359

Brief report: Resident and faculty perceptions of conflict of interest in medical education

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


OBJECTIVE: To determine resident and faculty perceptions of the pharmaceutical industry’s influence on medical education.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Anonymous survey of categorical residents and faculty in the department of medicine at a large, Midwestern, urban, independent academic medical center.

MAIN RESULTS: Eighty-one residents (69.2%) and 196 faculty (75.7%) responded to the survey. Residents believed that a significantly higher percentage of primary care and subspecialist faculty receives industry income or gifts compared to faculty respondents. Many faculty, and to a significantly greater degree residents, indicated that income or gifts influence the teaching of both internal attending physicians and visiting faculty in a variety of educational settings. The majority of residents (61.7%) and faculty (62.2%) believed that annual income or gifts less than $10,000 could influence an attending physician’s teaching. Most residents (65.4%) and faculty (74%) preferred that lecturers report all financial relationships with industry regardless of which relationships the lecturer believes are relevant.

CONCLUSIONS: Most internal medicine residents and their faculty perceive that industry influences teaching in different educational settings, and want teachers to disclose all of their financial relationships with industry. This information may guide further development of policies and curricula addressing industry relationships within graduate medical education.

In the past year, none of the authors has received income from the pharmaceutical industry or manufacturers of medical devices. JDB, JLM, and PYW acknowledge difts/meals totaling less than $10, and AKK acknowledges accepting meals at daily in-hospital educational conferences. All authors have financial ties to these industry sources as part of retirement saving and investiment plans. An earlier version of this work was presented in part at the 2003 annual Society of General Internal Medicine meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia.