Background: Altruism is a central underpinning of professional behavior; however physicians may face instances in which their secondary (financial) interest is in competition with their primary (patient health, research integrity, professional education) interests. Most medical institutions have developed policies to manage conflicts of interest, but chiropractic institutions, organizations and providersmay not be well-acquainted with such policies.
Purpose: To compare the policies of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the North American Spine Society (NASS) regardingmanagement of conflicts of interest in continuing medical education (CME).
Methods: A qualitative review of published policies of the VA and NASS was performed. The policies of each organization were retrieved and reviewed, and data were entered into a spreadsheet for comparison. Content experts at each organization were contacted to provide additional information.
Results: The VA and NASS provide explicit, similar policies to manage conflicts of interest in CME. Proposed speakers are required to disclose the nature and value of financial relationships relevant to content of their planned talk/presentation. Procedures for committee review, mitigation of conflict, or prohibiting the participation of a given speaker have been described. Disclosure must be made to the attendees of an educational activity in printed materials and at the time of presentation.
Conclusion: The VA and NASS appear similar in their policies to manage conflicts of interest in CME. The policies of the VA and NASS may provide examples for the chiropractic profession to consider in relation to chiropractic continuing education.
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