Partners limits questionable moonlighting for docs

The New York Times reports:

Senior officials at the two hospitals, Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals in Boston, must limit their pay for serving as outside directors to what the policy calls “a level befitting an academic role” — no more than $5,000 a day for actual work for the board. Some had been receiving more than $200,000 a year. Also, they may no longer accept stock.

Criticism has been mounting in recent years as the conflicting roles of some medical leaders have been disclosed through Congressional investigations, lawsuits and reports in the news media. Those disclosures have raised questions about bias and the cost and quality of patient care at the nation’s medical institutions.

enior faculty in leading teaching hospitals are in high demand on medical product boards, but corporate filings show that Partners and Harvard Medical have a disproportionate share.

The story points out that Dr. Samuel O. Thier was president of Partners when he was named to the Merck board in 1994. He is now retired from Partners.

Dr. Joseph B. Martin, dean of the Harvard Medical School from 1997 to 2007, was named to the board for Baxter International in 2002. Dr. Thier and Dr. Martin each receive over $200,000 a year from the corporate boards.

Dr. Martin, a professor of neurobiology, declined to comment. Dr. Thier did not return calls seeking comment.

For more on medical conflict of interest and research integrity, click here.


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