Faculty Ownership of Medical Facilities: Inappropriate Conflict or an Opportunity that Benefits Physicians and Patients?

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Abstract

As a result of a confluence of issues, including faculty compensation in an academic health center (AHC), increasing awareness of conflict-of-interest issues, growing interest by faculty in entrepreneurial activities, and the creation of numerous new facilities and buildings associated with the AHC, the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) in Indianapolis addressed the question of whether its faculty or even faculty groups could invest in any of these new entities, either as individuals or as groups. The dean of IUSM appointed a subcommittee of the school's standing Conflict of Interest Committee that included distinct groups of stakeholders and those without any fiduciary interests. As a result of meetings of this subcommittee, a new policy was set forth in a Points to Consider document to meet the emerging needs of the school to deal with such issues. The authors present the policy and the deliberations leading up to it as an example of how to address the issue of faculty ownership of medical facilities.

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