Ethics and Conflict of Interest

HSS Journal

C. Ronald MacKenzie, MD
C. Ronald MacKenzie, MD

Attending Physician, Hospital for Special Surgery
Professor of Clinical Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
Professor of Clinical Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College
Co-Medical Director, Center for Brachial Plexus and Traumatic Nerve Injury
Non-Operative Director, HSS Spine

Bruce N. Cronstein, MD
Division of Clinical Pharmacology
Department of Medicine
New York University School of Medicine

Conflict of interest refers to "a set of conditions in which professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as a patient's welfare or the validity of research) is unduly influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain)." Although most of the literature and commentary on this subject have focused on financial considerations, these are not the only interests that may affect physician behavior. Other potent influences include the desire for professional recognition and promotion, the ability to successfully compete for funding in the research environment, a physician's interest in the patient's well-being (in contrast to that of the community or employer), or even simply the quest for knowledge. Over the last two decades, complex relationships between industry, investigators, and academic institutions have evolved inevitably resulting in various ethical challenges. In this paper, we present an overview of the problems arising from such interactions and relationships.

This article appears in HSS Journal: Volume 2, Number 2.
View the full article at

About the HSS Journal
HSS Journal, an academic peer-reviewed journal, is published twice a year, February and September, and features articles by internal faculty and HSS alumni that present current research and clinical work in the field of musculoskeletal medicine performed at HSS, including research articles, surgical procedures, and case reports.


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