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Brainstorming conflicts of interest management in academic medicine

B. Lynn Musselman ( is Regulatory Compliance Specialist for the College of Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL.

Many posts on the HCCAnet and SCCEnet message boards are related to conflict of interest programs—questions about best practices, policies, procedures, and guidelines. The responses to those questions are necessarily limited, and that stands to reason. Every institution has unique circumstances, which make the guidelines for their programs somewhat exclusive.

This article does not detail what constitutes a conflict of interest (COI) nor does it provide a framework for a COI program. My intent is to get you thinking about those things that may (or should) come up along the way in developing the data collection part of your program or in designing a system for reporting and reviewing such disclosures of information. In the context of compliance program elements, this falls into auditing and monitoring.

Although the context of this exercise in brainstorming is from the perspective of an academic medical center (AMC), even for other AMCs, this article will not provide the answers. This article is about the questions.

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