Judgment and integrity are 2 hallmarks of professionalism. Conflict of interest (COI), bias, and dishonesty represent a spectrum of threats to judgment and integrity.
COI, a conflict between a professional responsibility and a personal interest, is at one end of this threat spectrum. COI creates a risk of bias. Bias, a prejudice for or against something, is in the middle of this spectrum. If a COI results in bias, the bias may affect a professional judgment. Dishonesty is deceit or fraud. Dishonesty is at the opposite end of this spectrum from COI. Each of these threats exists on a continuum. COI may be present or perceived. Bias may be conscious or unconscious. Dishonesty may be intentional or unintentional.
William W. Stead. The Complex and Multifaceted Aspects of Conflicts of Interest. JAMA. 2017;317(17):1765–1767. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.3435