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How Financial Conflicts of Interest Endanger our Profession

Seminar Center for Global Humanities Lecture/Seminar Series

Jerome P. Kassirer

Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine

In recent years, physicians have been receiving gifts, food, honoraria, consulting fees, free continuing medical education and research funds from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. In many instances, including clinical practice guideline panels, FDA advisory groups, and research programs, this largesse has been a corrupting influence on medical decision-making and has damaged the trust between patients and the medical profession. Efforts to reverse this trend and restore trust are underway. 


Jerome P. Kassirer served as the Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine (1991-1999). He is currently Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine where he has also served as Vice Chairman of the Department of Medicine. He has served on the American College of Physician’s Board of Governors and Board of Regents, chaired the National Library of Medicine’s Board of Scientific Counselors and is past Chairman of the American Board of Internal Medicine. He is a member of the Association of American Physicians, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Kassirer’s current interests are reliable approaches to the assessment of the quality of health care, professionalism, ethical scientific conduct, and patient involvement in decision making. He has been highly critical of for-profit medicine, abuses of managed care, and political intrusion into medical decision making. His latest book, on financial conflicts of interest in medicine, entitled On the Take: How Medicine’s Complicity With Big Business Can Endanger Your Health was published by Oxford University in 2004. He has also published extensively on nephrology, medical decision making, and the diagnostic process.

Assigned Reading

Jerome P. Kassirer, On the Take: How Medicine's Complicity with Big Business Can Endanger Your Health (Oxford University Press, 2005)


A reception will be held at 5pm at the UNE Art Gallery


Center for Global Humanities


(207) 221-4335

6:00 PM
WCHP Lecture Hall

Portland Campus

Free and open to the public