Faculty & Clinical Affairs

Alan P. Marco, M.D., M.M.M., Associate Dean
Albert F. Painter Jr., Psy.D., Assistant Dean

Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine
Sponsored Graduate Medical Education Programs
Resident Manual

Item: 102
Principles of Medical Ethics / Resident Interactions with Vendors

Updated: March 2009

The medical profession has long subscribed to a body of ethical statements developed primarily for the benefit of the patient. As a member of this profession, a physician must recognize responsibility to patients first and foremost, as well as to society, to other health professionals, and to self. The following Principles adopted by the American Medical Association are not laws, but standards of conduct which define the essentials of honorable behavior for the physician.

Principles of Medical Ethics

  1. A physician shall be dedicated to providing competent medical care, with compassion and respect for human dignity and rights.
  2. A physician shall uphold the standards of professionalism, be honest in all professional interactions, and strive to report physicians deficient in character or competence, or engaging in fraud or deception, to appropriate entities.
  3. A physician shall respect the law and also recognize a responsibility to seek changes in those requirements which are contrary to the best interests of the patient.
  4. A physician shall respect the rights of patients, colleagues, and other health professionals, and shall safeguard patient confidences and privacy within the constraints of the law.
  5. A physician shall continue to study, apply, and advance scientific knowledge, maintain a commitment to medical education, make relevant information available to patients, colleagues, and the public, obtain consultation, and use the talents of other health professionals when indicated.
  6. A physician shall, in the provision of appropriate patient care, except in emergencies, be free to choose whom to serve, with whom to associate, and the environment in which to provide medical care.
  7. A physician shall recognize a responsibility to participate in activities contributing to the improvement of the community and the betterment of public health.
  8. A physician shall, while caring for a patient, regard responsibility to the patient as paramount.
  9. A physician shall support access to medical care for all people.

Adopted by the AMA's House of Delegates June 17, 2001.

Used by permission from the American Medical Association. The above information is from the AMA's Code of Medical Ethics website.

Resident Interactions with Vendors and Industry

Physicians' first obligation is to the patient over all other considerations. Physicians must identify and minimize conflicts of interest that may be at odds with the best interest of patients. Interactions with vendors are fraught with such potential conflicts of interest.

The Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine policy defines the ethical standards that will be expected of the Boonshoft School of Medicine and its administrators, faculty, and staff when interacting with pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers. Resident physicians are also expected to follow these standards. See Policy 20: Pharmaceutical/Medical Device Industry Conflict of Interest Policy (http://www.med.wright.edu/fca/policy/policy20)

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