Wisconsin Medical Society Bans All Gifts to Physicians

In October 2008, the Wisconsin Medical Society (WMS), which has over 11,000 physician members, became the first physician association to adopt a policy banning all gifts to physicians from those who provide health products prescribed by physicians, including the pharmaceutical and device industries. Gifts, such as personal items, office supplies, food, travel and time costs, or payment for participation in online continuing medical education (CME), are specifically banned under the policy. According to WMS, the goal of the policy is to restore patient trust in physicians’ unbiased decision-making by eliminating any actual or potential conflicts between a physician’s medical judgment and a physician’s interest in continuing to receive gifts.

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