Using the literature in developing McGill's guidelines for interactions between residents and the pharmaceutical industry

Acad Med. 2004 Nov;79(11):1033-40. doi: 10.1097/00001888-200411000-00004.


Evidence suggests that the pharmaceutical industry exerts a large influence on residents' education and practice. Yet existing guidelines by professional bodies do not cover the specifics of residents' interactions with the pharmaceutical industry. At the psychiatry residency program of the McGill University Health Center, the authors set out to systematically evaluate areas of concern for residents and to develop guidelines for use by residents during and outside their training. Areas of concern included educational activities, training, fundraising, and other specific resident-industry interactions. In 1998, a committee of residents and faculty systematically evaluated areas of concern and, based on a review of the literature and discussions with experts, in 2000 developed guidelines for use by McGill's psychiatry program residents. The process for guideline development and methods for their implementation in 2001 are described. Education and training of residents on resident-industry interactions were included early in the curriculum. Guidelines were developed to address limitations on fundraising activities; restriction of direct gifts to residents; the appropriateness and awarding of industry fellowships; and the handling of drug samples, meals, and other presentations to residents. While guidelines for residents are useful adjuncts for guiding residents' interactions with the pharmaceutical industry, the authors conclude that they need to be reinforced with education and sensitization by faculty.

MeSH terms

  • Conflict of Interest*
  • Curriculum
  • Drug Industry / ethics*
  • Fellowships and Scholarships
  • Fund Raising
  • Guidelines as Topic*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / ethics*
  • Policy Making
  • Quebec
  • Schools, Medical / economics*