Sheila M. Rothman is a Professor of Public Health in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at the Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University and Deputy Director of the Center for the Study of Society and Medicine at the Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons.
Trained in social history, she received her Ph.D. from Columbia University. Her research has explored American attitudes and policies past and present toward women, persons with mental disabilities, chronic diseases, and those at risk for genetic disease. Her books include Woman’s Proper Place: a History of Changing Ideals and Practices 1870 to the Present (1978), Living in the Shadow of Death: Tuberculosis and the Experience of Illness in American History (1994). The Willowbrook Wars: Bringing the Mentally Disabled into the Community (co-author) (1984, reissued 2005). Her most recent book, The Pursuit of Perfection: The Promise and Perils of Medical Enhancement (co-author) (2003), examines the development, promotion, and use of hormonal therapies and genetic technologies.
Sheila Rothman has also written on the meaning of new technologies for individual and group identity and health policy. See Rothman SM, Rothman DJ “The Hidden Costs of Organ Sales,” American Journal of Transplantation June 2006 and Rothman SM, Rossario N, Rothman DJ, “The impact of information technology on organ donations: Private Values in a Public World,” in Blumenthal D, Rothman DJ Professionalism in a New Information Age (Rutgers University Press, 2010). Brandt-Rauf SI, Raveis VH. Drummond, N. Conte JA, Rothman, SM. “Ashkenazi Jews and Breast Cancer: The Consequences of Linking Ethnic Identity to Genetic Disease.” American Journal of Public Health November 2006.
Sheila Rothman has a long interest in Human Rights and Medicine. Together with David Rothman, she has published articles in The New York Review of Books on how AIDS came to Romania, medical accountability in Zimbabwe, the impact of organ donation policies in Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines on socially disadvantaged groups. Trust is not Enough: Bringing Human Rights to Medicine (2006) is a collection of these articles.
Sheila Rothman’s current research focuses on the relationships between health care stakeholders and the pharmaceutical industry. See Rothman SM, Rothman DJ “Marketing HPV Vaccine: Implications for Adolescent Health and Medical Professionalism,” Journal of the American Medical Association August 2009. Rothman SM, Raveis VH, Friedman A, Rothman, DJ “Health Advocacy Organizations and the Pharmaceutical Industry: An Analysis of Disclosure Practices.” American Journal of Public Health January 2011, Rothman DJ and Rothman SM, “When Money Talks,” Spine Journal September 2013, and Rothman SM, Brudney K, Adair W, Rothman DJ “Medical Communication Companies and Industry Grants,” Journal of the American Medical Association December 2013.
Susan Chimonas, Ph.D, is a national expert in the field of physician-industry relationships and conflict of interest in clinical care. She has written extensively about the issues in peer-reviewed journals and has played a critical role in the development of stronger conflict of interest policies at healthcare organizations around the country.
After graduating summa cum laude from Dartmouth College, Dr. Chimonas earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan in 2000, and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Rutgers University's Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research.
As lead author in a 2005 article in Health Affairs, she analyzed how drug companies and medical organizations influenced the Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed guidelines for physician-industry relationships. Dr. Chimonas explored the influence of industry relationships on individual physicians in a 2007 piece in the Journal of General Internal Medicine that used focus groups to explore physicians’ attitudes towards drug representatives. Dr. Chimonas has also evaluated state laws mandating disclosure of pharmaceutical company payments. As first author on a 2010 publication in Health Services Research, she devoted particular attention to the Vermont legislation.
A major theme of her work has been gauging the extent to which the medical profession has risen to the challenge of conflict of interest. Her work demonstrates that medicine’s record is very mixed. In a 2011 article in Academic Medicine, Dr. Chimonas reported the results of a survey of medical schools’ policies to manage conflicts of interest in clinical care – revealing that fewer than one quarter of schools had enacted policies that meet recommended standards.
The failure of physicians and medical institutions to effectively manage industry ties is perhaps most dramatically evident in Dr. Chimonas’ research on transparency. As lead author of a 2010 piece in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Dr. Chimonas evaluated the accuracy of conflict of interest disclosures in orthopedic publications – finding that, among authors receiving $1 million or more from orthopedic companies, fewer than half of their publications mentioned the company payments.
Dr. Chimonas has also explored remedies for managing conflict of interest. She served on a task force created by IMAP and the ABIM Foundation in 2004, which developed recommendations aimed at academic medical centers. She also served on a task force charged with developing equally rigorous standards for professional medical associations. She has also developed tool and resources to promote ethical physician-industry relationships, including IMAP’s COI curriculum and best practices toolkits.