A conflict of interest is a situation in which there is a risk that one’s actions or judgments about a primary responsibility such as patient care, teaching, or research could be compromised by potential personal financial gain or considerations favoring the interests of family, friends, or colleagues to the disadvantage of others. A determination that a conflict of interest exists does not imply that the conflicted individual has acted in an unethical manner; rather, it is a judgment that a situation or set of circumstances creates unacceptable risks. Conflict of interest regulations and policies rely on disclosure and management of financial conflicts to mitigate risks of compromise to the integrity of research, medical care, or education.**The Conflicts of Interest Committee considers that most conflicts can be successfully resolved or managed as to not impede activities.
*Institute of Medicine Committee on Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice. (Bernard Lo & Marilyn J. Field, Eds.). (2009). Conflict of interest in medical research, education, and practice. Washington D. C.: National Academies Press.