UAMS College of Medicine Receives National Recognition for Conflict-of-Interest Standards

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine has been recognized in a nationwide study among the top five medical schools in striving to meet national clinical conflict-of-interest standards.

Institute on Medicine as a Profession of New York surveyed policies at 127 medical schools and found that U.S. medical schools have made progress to improve their management of clinical conflicts of interest, but most schools still lag behind national standards, according to a news release from UAMS.

The study also looked at whether a school's status, hospital affiliation, or source of funding influenced clinical conflict-of-interest policy strength. 

"This recognition is a positive for UAMS and the state of Arkansas," Dr. Charles Smith, executive associate dean for clinical affairs in the UAMS College of Medicine, said in the news release. "Having these policies in place addressing ethical practices and conflicts of interest, along with the strong enforcement of them, is something we all can feel pride in achieving."

The Institute on Medicine published its results in the October issue of Academic Medicine. The other schools that were in the top five were Emory University School of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and Boston University School of Medicine.

"The team at UAMS has put in a lot of hard work in achieving this level of recognition," Smith said. "It's really not very glorious work addressing and sorting out all of the policies that deal with conflict of interest and vendor relations at all levels. … What we need to do now is maintain where we are and maintain this strong sense of accountability for preventing conflicts of interest to enter the system."