May 8, 2014

Some COIs Are Not the Same

The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) wants to play with words. Normally I associate COI as meaning conflict of interest which means that what is said or published requires investigation because of monies received by (in this case) Big Pharma. For conflict of interest for AADE just go to Industry Allies Council page from the pop-up window in the About Us.

In the AADE blog for April 22, the writer, Karen Kemmis covers some of name change history. The Specialty Practice Groups (SPGs) have now become Communities of Interest (COIs). Why the AADE chose this when it can be confused with the acronym in the first paragraph is somewhat confusing. There is much discussion about a few of the areas in the COIs, but this is for members only.

I have no problem with this being for members and the discussion is interesting. What is objectionable to me is the COI use. I asked a CDE recently about COIs and had a great discussion about this. I did wait until near the end of the discussion to ask about conflict of interest and did I get told off. How dare I say that she as a CDE have a conflict of interest.

I simply stated the AADE had conflicts of interest and by labeling communities of interest as COIs, that opened quite a can of worms for themselves. Of course the CDE did not see it this way. She continued to lecture me and said that she did not have COIs. I finally agreed that maybe she did not, but her professional group sure did. She asked how I arrive at that conclusion.

Since she had her computer open, I asked her to open the AADE website and then to open the Industry Allies Council page. Then I asked her to scroll down to the list of big pharma companies. She would not, but stated this was for support of the AADE and did not affect CDEs.

I did not go further as it would not have accomplished anything other that create a more hostile atmosphere.

2 comments:

Jane said...

You go Bob! The time you put into this blog are educating me. It's interesting to observe the defensiveness displayed from the educator.

Bob Fenton said...

Yes, Jane! And it varies greatly among CDEs. Some are ashamed that this has been hung on them and will agree quickly to move to other topics. Others are more like this one and become defensive.