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Rethinking conflict of interest training

Stacy Pritt ( is Assistant Vice President, Conflict of Interest & Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Export Control Officer, Faculty Associate in Psychiatry (Ethics Division), University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.

As part of a robust corporate compliance program, many organizations will require periodic disclosures of financial interests and relationships, including some familial relationships and certain outside activities, from board members, senior leaders, and other designated employees. For healthcare-centric organizations, such as large multidisciplinary healthcare providers and academic medical centers, researchers, faculty, physicians, advanced practice providers, and other key personnel must also periodically disclose their financial interests to the organization.

Usually organizations require these disclosures on an annual basis. Disclosures are also expected to be updated promptly—with an exact time frame that is defined by institutional policy—when an employee’s financial interests, relationships, outside activities, and familiar interests and/or relationships change. Depending on an organization’s size, this can amount to hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals providing disclosures on an annual basis.

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