When we see these infomercials, we think of the movie The Outlaw Josey Wales. After getting a hard sell from a snake oil salesman who claimed his elixir could do just about everything, Clint Eastwood’s character spit tobacco on the salesman’s clean white coat and asked, “How’s it work on stains?” Hmmm…our question exactly.
Who Do You Go To for Your Health Care Advice? Your providers. Period. Your best friend, business colleague, or basketball buddy may have a lot to say, but he or she may not have medical expertise or fully understand your situation.
So before you try that homeopathic treatment that your sister swears by, talk to your doctor. That’s why there’s been an attempt to improve levels of trust with conflict of interest statements. A person in a position of trust has a conflict of interest when he or she exercises judgment on behalf of others but also has interests or obligations that might interfere with his or her independent judgment.
Conflicts of interest should be avoided or openly acknowledged. Why is independent research important? We need to be sure that all recommendations that result from the research are free from any type of bias, or if there is some bias, we want to be able to take it into consideration. The articles that report research results are technical in nature and aren’t usually read by no experts; however, the experts you depend on do read and rely on this information.