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Consulting Red Flag

gainey77

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Jan 4, 2012
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    All,

    I was offered a consulting deal with industry during residency. I'm interested in competitive a fellowship. Some faculty have supported this as a great opportunity to work with industry. Others have said it raises red flags to see a deal this early in training.

    What is your experience? I would love to work with industry, but don't want to hurt my future self.
     
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    Neuronix

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      I did consulting for industry as a resident. It's interesting to many and impressive to some.

      Be ethical and watch out for conflicts of interest. You have to consider as well how your residency program will allow it. That is, is it considered moonlighting or part of your research time and either way are they okay with it?

      Keep in mind as well that it could take away from your ability to do research. Industry isn't interested much in publishing. They can also be fickle in the future--a lot of promises about what you could do together without a lot of commitment or follow through.

      Given the above, there's almost no way this would hurt you. If you're interested, you should definitely explore it.
       
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      gainey77

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        Thanks!

        My residency has definitely signed off of it. It’s one mentor that I really respect that seems very apprehensive about it.

        The work feels ethical but maybe I’m naive. Did anyone ever judge you because it?
         
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        gainey77

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          The mentor felt that some people would see disclosures on a residents research and wonder if they were easily bought or sell out. They felt attending level might be better. They were not steadfast in this, but just concerned.
           

          enalli

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            I haven't heard of anyone becoming a consultant during residency, but I would find it interesting and it would certainly be a good conversation topic.

            Out of curiosity, how did this opportunity come up?
             

            Dr.LeoSpaceman

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              The mentor felt that some people would see disclosures on a residents research and wonder if they were easily bought or sell out. They felt attending level might be better. They were not steadfast in this, but just concerned.

              I'd be concerned as well. Every year you're going to have to disclose it to the hospital, and then on any grant application or publication. If it's unrelated to the research you're pursuing, it's perhaps less of a problem. Ultimately I think it depends where you see your career going. If you are set on a career with independent research funding, the safest move is going to be to wait.
               

              Neuronix

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                I'd be concerned as well. Every year you're going to have to disclose it to the hospital, and then on any grant application or publication. If it's unrelated to the research you're pursuing, it's perhaps less of a problem. Ultimately I think it depends where you see your career going. If you are set on a career with independent research funding, the safest move is going to be to wait.

                I've disclosed my multiple relationships with industry numerous times. It's never been an issue for me.

                That written, it's probably best that you do have some sort of mentor to help you navigate this.
                 

                AdmiralChz

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                  This can range from totally innocuous to very much a conflict of interest and I’ve seen both. Plus your residency contract, particularly if you’re a public employee, may strictly forbid it (mine certainly did). Best to get as much information as possible and even then I’d probably check with the GME office if there are any questions.
                   

                  gainey77

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                    Thanks everybody. Here are a few updates and details:

                    1. GME has signed off on the work. I’m ok from a residency contract standpoint.
                    2. I have no interest in publicly-funded research. My career will be largely clinical.
                    3. The mentor reached out to other faculty and consensus felt it would be good to pursue this work. They asked that I keep them aware of my projects to help me stay ethical and navigate this smartly.
                    4. The work is in a different field than my research. They have peripheral overlap, but only as much as any organ system interacts with another.
                     
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