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Balancing conflicts of interest during cardiology training: why does industry buy your lunch?
  1. Jonathan Hinton,
  2. Benoy Nalin Shah
  1. Cardiology Department, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jonathan Hinton, Cardiology Department, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton SO166YD, UK; j.hinton1{at}

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Pharmaceutical and device manufacturers—often referred to as ‘Industry’—play an important role in bringing new therapies into clinical practice. Once marketed, Industry frequently cultivates relationships with physicians they believe will influence practice nationally and internationally, followed by nurturing relationships at local and regional levels. Doctors often receive financial reward for their time and expertise (eg, giving sponsored talks). There is, however, growing awareness of the impact that such ties to Industry—referred to as conflicts of interest (CoIs)—can have on decision-making and a movement to mitigate such CoIs. Accordingly, what sort of relationships should junior cardiologists have and not have with Industry?

From a trainee perspective, there are advantages to such relationships. Industry frequently provides free education on their products, thus helping junior cardiologists stay abreast of latest developments. In addition, Industry often funds attendance at large meetings. The costs of registration, international travel and accommodation are often prohibitive; sponsored places offer junior cardiologists opportunities to share their research and expand career opportunities through networking. Finally, for many trainees that …

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  • Contributors JH and BNS wrote the article together.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.