Office of Conflicts of Interest Administration

Welcome to Tufts University School of Medicine's Office of Industry Conflicts of Interest. Medicine today often requires the dynamic interaction between the clinician/scientist and the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) has adopted a policy intended to identify, clarify and avoid conflicts of interest between industry and TUSM's physicians, physicians-in-training and students while also educating future physicians about the potential effects of physician-industry relationships on patient care.

There is a body of research that suggests that adverse consequences may derive from certain types of close relationships between healthcare providers and industry representatives. Medical schools train future physicians at a particularly formative time in their careers and thus have special responsibilities to communicate and model professional values and expectations while imparting clinical knowledge and skills.

It is important that universities monitor the influence of industry over medical educational content, learning objectives and research methodology especially given the important and appropriate role that University - industry relationships serve in the development of new science and therapeutics. It is equally important for educational institutions, including TUSM, to communicate to students the reasons for avoiding inappropriate influence and to model appropriate ethical behavior including appropriate scientific relationships with Industry.

Faculty at TUSM are welcomed to engage in outside activities with industry, whether remunerative or not, and whether or not related to their fields of academic interest, expertise or specialization. They may not, however, engage in activities that conflict with their responsibilities to TUSM or violate TUSM's Policy on Industry Conflicts of Interest. A conflict of interest exists when a faculty member has one of more financial or other interests that subjects him or her to influence. A conflict may also exist if the magnitude of the obligation created by outside activity is such that it would appear to compromise the faculty member's commitment to the Medical School.

All TUSM faculty, administrators and students are subject to the Medical School's Policy on Industry Conflicts of Interest. In the event that a faculty member is uncertain about whether an outside activity is permitted under the policy, he or she may consult with the Division or Department Chair or Dean or with a member of the TUSM Conflict of Interest Office. A faculty member may also request that an inquiry be directed to the TUSM COI Advisory Committee. For further information please contact the COI Administrators or email med-coi@tufts.edu.