Cardiologists, who are among the brainiest of medical specialists, appear to have put their neurons on “pause” when it comes to conflict of interest. Roy Poses over at Health Care Renewal reviews Dr. Anthony Demaria's editorial defending industry funding of CME. Dr. Poses bats down the usual arguments in favor of commercial funding (doctors are too smart to be fooled, full disclosure solves everything etc...) and then reveals that Dr. Demaria, who believes that disclosure is a panacea, forgot to make his own disclosures. He's on the advisory board of a couple of companies, and is on the board of directors of Biosite.
But it gets even worse for the reputation of cardiologists. In another recent issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the president of the ACC, W. Douglas Weaver, wrote a clone of Dr. Demaria's editorial called "Disclosures, Transparency, and Firewalls Protect Integrity." But guess who forgot to disclose his own conflicts of interest? Poor form, Mr. President.
By the way, cardiologists pull in an average of $270,000/year. But according to Dr. Demaria, they are still too poor to pay for their own education: "In addition, it is not clear how or if the financial support for CME provided by industry could be replaced. Without these funds, important opportunities to increase knowledge might be unavailable to busy clinicians, thereby denying their patients the benefits of this learning."
A bake sale for cardiologists, anyone?