Oncologists' Experiences and Attitudes About Their Role in Philanthropy and Soliciting Donations From Grateful Patients.

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2015 Nov 10

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<p><strong>PURPOSE: </strong>Physician participation in philanthropy is important to marshal resources that allow hospitals to pursue their missions, but little is known about how physicians participate and their attitudes toward participation.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>To characterize philanthropic roles physicians play and their attitudes about participation and its ethical acceptability, medical oncologists affiliated with the 40 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers were randomly sampled and surveyed to evaluate experiences and attitudes regarding participation in philanthropy at their institutions. Responses were tabulated; significant associations by physicians' characteristics were explored.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>A total of 405 (52%) physicians responded; 62% were men, and 72% were white. Most (71%) had been exposed to their institution's fundraising/development staff; 48% of those were taught how to identify patients who would be good donors; 26% received information about ethical guidelines for soliciting donations from their patients; 21% were taught how their institution ensures Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance. A third (32%) of respondents had been asked to directly solicit a donation from their patients for their institution, of whom half declined to do so. Those who had solicited from their patients had been in practice significantly longer (mean, 19 v 13 years; P &lt; .001). A substantial minority (37%) felt comfortable talking to their patients about donation (men more than women, 43% v 26%; P = .008); however, 74% agreed it could interfere with the physician-patient relationship, and 52% believe conflict of interest exists.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>Institutions are asking physicians to directly solicit their patients for donations with variability in physicians' perceptions of the impact on relationships with patients and responses toward those requests.</p>



Alternate Title

J. Clin. Oncol.




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