A hallmark of the patient-physician relationship is trust, including trust that patients will be truthful with physicians about what ails them, as well as trust that physicians will make the best decisions for patients, irrespective of any competing interests.
But for physicians and patients who are not content to leave such decisions to faith, finding additional information about physicians has, until recently, been challenging. For instance, when a physician prescribed an expensive new drug, patients and their families could not find out if the physician had financial ties to the manufacturer of the drug, short of asking the physician. Nor was there a place to compare the physician’s prescription drug choices to those of peers to determine whether additional questions should be asked about the recommended course of treatment.
Ornstein C. Public Disclosure of Payments to Physicians From Industry. JAMA. 2017;317(17):1749-1750. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.2613