Conflict of Interest

(Credit: Shutterstock)

(Credit: Shutterstock)

What is an ethical conundrum if you are representing PAEA on the Board of Directors, a council, or a committee? Most answers to organizational ethical conundrums are rarely simple. Ethical issues are always contextual. We all have conflicts of interest (COIs); some manageable, some not. Transparency is the best way to address the issue.

Here are three short scenarios:

  • You are considering running for Treasurer of PAEA. You are presently Treasurer of an organization in your community. Is this a COI?
    • This not a COI, however, it should be noted in your application for the Treasurer position.
  • You are a faculty member of a PA program, and one of your scholarly tasks is to develop test questions for students after they have completed a clinical rotation. You have been asked to join an Assessment Council committee to write questions for a PAEA project. Is this a COI?
    • This is not an unmanageable COI. You should declare it on the annual agreement form, but this is a manageable.
  • You have been asked to become a PAEA Council Chair. You are presently a member of a similar council in your state PA chapter. Is this a COI?
    • No, in most cases this is an asset and not a COI. However, it should be declared on the annual agreement form and in your application.