Association of Financial Conflicts of Interest With Academic Productivity Among Junior Faculty in Hematology and Oncology

Suneel D. Kamath, Angela J. Fought, Melissa M. Shaw, Andrew A. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Financial conflicts of interest (COIs) represent a common and complex issue in hematology and oncology. However, little is known about the timing of when COIs begin to develop during a career trajectory. We evaluated self-reported COIs for junior faculty members at top cancer centers to determine how these financial relationships correlated with measures of academic career productivity. METHODS: We analyzed data from 230 assistant professors at 10 academic cancer centers. Financial COIs were identified from the CMS Open Payments (Sunshine Act dollars) database. Self-reported COIs were obtained from American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and American Society of Hematology (ASH) disclosures, and from disclosures in recent publications. Number of publications and h-index (defined as the largest number of publications [h] such that h publications each have at least h citations) were used as measures of academic productivity. Scatter plots and Spearman correlation coefficients were used to assess the relationship between COIs or Sunshine Act dollars with number of publications and h-index. Linear regression modeling was used to analyze the relationships between COIs or Sunshine Act dollars with number of publications and h-index, adjusting for years of experience since completing fellowship (YSF). RESULTS: A total of 46% of junior faculty had at least 1 COI. Number of COIs reported to ASCO/ ASH was positively correlated with total Sunshine Act dollars (Spearman correlation, 0.53; P <.01). The number of COIs and the number of Sunshine Act dollars increased with years in practice (Spearman correlation, 0.38 and 0.25, respectively; P <.01 for both). COIs and Sunshine Act dollars correlated with h-index (Spearman correlation, 0.41 and 0.37, respectively; both P <.01). After adjusting for YSF, linear regression demonstrated that log-transformed h-index and number of publications were associated with Sunshine Act dollars (both P <.01) and COIs (ASCO/ASH) (both P = .01). CONCLUSIONS: Financial COIs increased with number of YSF. Measures of academic productivity were positively correlated with COIs (ASCO/ASH) and Sunshine Act dollars. These data suggest that the cultivation of industry relationships is associated with the early academic productivity of junior faculty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-91
Number of pages8
JournalONCOLOGY (United States)
Issue number3602
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

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