Background The relationships between industry and medical professionals are controversial. The purpose of our study was to evaluate surgeons' current opinions regarding the industry-surgery partnership, in addition to self-reported industry ties. Methods After institutional review board approval, a survey was sent via RedCap to 3,782 surgeons across the United States. Univariate and multivariable regression analyses were performed to evaluate the responses. Results The response rate was 23%. From the 822 responders, 226 (27%) reported at least one current relationship with industry, while 297 (36.1%) had at least one such relationship within the past 3 years. There was no difference between general surgery versus other surgical specialties (P =.5). Among the general surgery subspecialties, respondents in minimally invasive surgery/foregut had greater ties to industry compared to other subspecialties (P =.001). In addition, midcareer surgeons, male sex, and being on a reviewer/editorial board were associated with having industry ties (P <.05). Most surgeons (71%) believed that the relationships with industry are important for innovation. Conclusion Our study showed that relationships between surgeons and industry are common, because more than a quarter of our responders reported at least one current relationship. Industry relations are perceived as necessary for operative innovation.
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