Intended for healthcare professionals

Editor's Choice

Conflict of interest: forward not backward

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 11 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3176

What are the professions?

The professions are essential and beneficial, but enigmatic and problematic. Despite their exalted status, titles, expertise, and altruism, the professions are also an elite salesforce for wealthy, powerful, secretive industries. Physicians represent the drug, device, and hospital industries; attorneys represent the financial, litigation, and justice industries; military represent the weapons industry; media represent the advertising industry; and politicians represent the lobbying industry. Let's recognize that the professions have undisclosed conflicts of interest, and judge them accordingly. But let's not expect the professions to make any confessions.

Competing interests: No competing interests

14 June 2015
Hugh Mann
New York, USA