UD‘s buddy Carl Elliott puts the ongoing, er, difficulties of a University of Wisconsin professor in perspective.

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5 Responses to “‘”Well, you could call it a conflict of interest, but I prefer the term ‘corruption,'” Dr. Carl Elliott, University of Minnesota professor of bioethics, said of Medtronic’s financial relationships with doctors in September 2010. “A lot of doctors used to fool themselves into thinking the money didn’t affect them, but by this point there is a huge body of empirical literature on the topic. To deny that you are influenced by the money takes a kind of studied ignorance.”‘”

  1. MattF Says:

    There’s the famous (and probably too good to be true) line from an old-time politician: “It’s not a conflict of interest– it doesn’t conflict with any of my interests.”

  2. GTWMA Says:

    Or you could go with Scott Adams:


  3. dmf Says:

    this assumes 1) that the docs have read such literature and 2) that such readings would have a direct impact on other behaviors even tho there is much empirical research on cognitive biases that suggest that this is not the case, and yet many academics seem to ignore such studies and round we go…

  4. GTWMA Says:

    Not sure what you mean, dmf. The direct effect of financial incentives on physician behavior is quite clear, and the indirect effect has many pathways. The literature is among the weakest, while the impacts through conferences and speaking engagements, “expert” opinion, peer influences, and panels, medical education and training, etc are much more powerful ways of changing behavior and all involve other doctors serving as the linchpin.

  5. dmf Says:

    not questioning the influence of monied interests on medicine, am questioning the impact of empirical/academic studies on daily professional practices.

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