Conflict of interest is managed using a variety of strategies, but they all begin with disclosure. I absolutely agree with Dr. Kempen’s insistence that important competing interests must be identified and believe that there could have been more transparency regarding competing interests of the individuals who prepared this editorial which appeared in the January 2014 issue.1
The journal style changed with the January issue in two manners relevant to competing interests. First, we now only publish the individual’s institution, but not their position in that institution (e.g., fellow, resident, student, assistant professor, and so on). In the submission of this editorial, the authors listed their positions at the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) as Director or Chief Assessment Officer, but those were removed in the new style and their institution information printed in the editorial merely states ABA. This statement provides transparency that the authors are associated with the ABA, whether they are paid employees, receive other compensation, or are unpaid. Second, we have consolidated all competing interests into one place, at the end of articles including editorials. Although the authors’ affiliation with the ABA was already declared, Dr. Kempen is correct that the competing interest statement should have reiterated what was present on the title page—that the authors are associated with the ABA. This would also apply to the editorial by Dr. Gambill, Chief Learning Officer at the American Society of Anesthesiologists, who describes American Society of Anesthesiologists’ efforts to meet the educational needs of its members.2
I thank Dr. Kempen for his comments and take responsibility for any confusion there might have been caused between the authors’ affiliations and the competing interest statement.
Dr. Eisenach has received fees for consultation to Aerial Biopharma (Morrisville, North Carolina) and Adynxx (San Francisco, California) on topics unrelated to this letter, and receives salary support from the American Society of Anesthesiologists as Editor-in-Chief of Anesthesiology.