The history of health care delivery in Canada has been marked by close collaboration between physicians and the pharmaceutical and health supply industries, this collaboration extending to research as well as to education.Since medicine is a self-governing profession physicians have a responsibility to ensure that their participation in such collaborative efforts is in keeping with their duties toward their patients and society. The following guidelines have been developed by the CMA to assist physicians in determining when a relationship with industry is appropriate. Although directed primarily to individual physicians, including residents and interns as well as medical students, the guidelines also govern the relationships between industry and medical associations. These guidelines focus on the pharmaceutical companies; however, the CMA considers that the same principles apply to the relationship between its members and manufacturers of medical devices, infant formulas and similar products, and health care products and service suppliers in general. These guidelines reflect a national consensus and are meant to serve as an educational resource for physicians throughout Canada.