Stanford University's medical school is widely praised for taking a tough stance on conflicts of interest involving the pharmaceutical industry. But a ProPublica investigation found that more than a dozen of its medical faculty were paid by industry groups for speaking engagements -- with two of the doctors earning six figures this way -- in violation of the university's rules. Philip Pizzo, dean of Stanford's medical school, sent an e-mail to medical school officials last week calling the continued acceptance of speaking fees "unacceptable" and calling some of the doctors' excuses "difficult if not impossible to reconcile with our policy." ProPublica inquiries have prompted several other medical schools to launch reviews of their institutions' compliance with their rules on such conflicts of interest.
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