Forum Session

Conflicts of Interest in Medicine II: Issues Surrounding Industry Funding of Physician Education
December 11, 2009


Michele J. Orza, ScD


The steady drumbeat of concern about conflicts of interest in all aspects of medicine continues. Legislation to require reporting in a public database of certain gifts and payments from drug and device manufacturers to physicians was introduced in both the Senate and House this year, and provisions from both bills have been incorporated into the health reform legislation currently under consideration by Congress.

This session was the second in a series intended to examine the vast and complex landscape of conflicts of interest in medicine, and it focused on the role of industry funding in physician education. Panelists reviewed and discussed studies of how people are influenced, transparency as a mechanism for managing the involvement of industry in physician education, deliberations and actions taken to reduce conflicts by organizations involved in educating physicians, and the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice. The speakers for this session are highly knowledgeable about and experienced with various aspects of the issue and brought different perspectives to the discussion.


Kevin P. Weinfurt, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke Clinical Research Institute; David J. Rothman, PhD, President, Institute on Medicine as a Profession, and Bernard Schoenberg Professor of Social Medicine, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons; Barbara E. Barnes, MD, Associate Vice Chancellor, Continuing Education and Industry Relationships and Associate Dean, Continuing Education, University of Pittsburgh, and Vice President, Sponsored Programs, Research Support, and CME, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Norman B. Kahn, Jr., MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, Council of Medical Specialty Societies

Slides from the presentations by Dr. Weinfurt, Dr. Rothman, Dr. Barnes, and Dr. Kahn are available for download. Speakers' biographies are also available.

Related Materials

The Forum's first session exploring the issues with conflicts of interest in medicine was held May 15, 2009.

The following materials were distributed at the session:

Additional resources about industry funding and medical education:

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