Medical Business Ethics and the Case of Symptomatic Uterine Fibroids

Project: Research project

Project Details


At a healthcare policy level, there is often acknowledgement that physicians are motivated by reimbursement and business relationships in addition to medical knowledge in patient care; yet at a clinical level, these motivations are often characterized as conflicts of interest, discouraging a thorough discussion of factors that influence clinical decision-making. We intend to investigate these factors by focusing on a single clinical scenario, treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids, and developing a framework of medical business ethics that integrates historical medical virtues and other factors affecting clinical decisions Up to fifteen clinicians will be interviewed for 30-60 min. from each of three specialties: interventional radiology, gynecology, and vascular surgery. Interventional radiologists and gynecologists will be asked about the treatment options they offer patients to ascertain how these options differ and what motivations may influence that difference. All specialists will be asked about their practice structure, clinical decision making process to incorporate new procedures from outside their specialty, and how they navigate professional relationships with specialists that treat similar conditions. Interview transcripts will be analyzed according to grounded theory, a well-established qualitative research method. We will also analyze literature on uterine fibroids available to patients and clinicians as well as medical and business ethics for additional insight. We believe that an integrated ethical framework will be useful at multiple levels within interventional radiology including medical education, clinical practice, and policy development.
Effective start/end date5/1/157/1/15


  • SIR Foundation (Agmt Signed 6/10/15)


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