Payments by Industry to Residency Program Directors in the United States: A Cross-Sectional Study

Stein J. Janssen*, David W. G. Langerhuizen, Gino M. M. J. Kerkhoffs, David Ring

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose To assess the proportion, nature, and extent of financial payments from industry to residency program directors in the United States. Method This cross-sectional study used opensource data from Doximity and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) open payments database. Profiles of 4,686 residency program directors from 28 different specialties were identified using Doximity and matched to records in the CMS database. All payments received per residency program director over the years 2014 to 2018 were extracted, including amount in U.S. dollars, payment year, and nature of payment (research versus general payments). Total payments (research plus general payments) received over the 5 years were added up per residency program director. Only personal payments were included. Results Overall, 74% (3,465/4,686) of all residency program directors received 1 or more personal payments, totaling $77,058,139, with a median of $216 (interquartile range, $0-$2,150) and a mean of $16,444 (standard deviation, $183,061) per residency program director over the 5 years. Ninety-five percent of total payment value were general payments, and 5% were personal research payments. About 11% (536/4,686) of residency program directors received more than $10,000, while 3% (133/4,686) received more than $100,000 in the study years. There was a substantial difference in the proportion (P < .001), nature (P < .001), and amount (P < .001) of payments of residency program directors between specialties. Almost all residency program directors of interventional radiology (96% [74/77]), vascular surgery (96% [53/55]), and orthopedic surgery (92% [184/201]) received payments, while only one-third to one-half of those in preventive medicine (29% [18/62]), pediatrics (43% [90/211]), and pathology (51% [73/143]) received payments. Conclusions Industry payments to residency program directors are common, although large variation exists between specialties. The majority of direct payments to residency program directors are for non-researchrelated activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-285
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

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