In general, the activities of the American Board of Dermatology are not likely to place an officer, director, or executive staff member of the Board in real or potential conflict with other responsibilities or interests such individuals may already have. 

The Board has identified the areas of concern that involve the preparation and collection of test questions in the form for the Principles of Confidentiality for Preparation of Examinations, which is executed annually by the directors, test committee members, and executive staff. 

In addition, however, there is the remote possibility that the Board's officers, directors, test committee members, and staff may have membership or hold positions in other organizations or companies, or have financial interests that could pose conflicts of interest in relation to their responsibilities with the Board.  Such conflicts are usually financial in nature but could also be philosophic and inconsistent with the mission of the Board, thus making difficult decision-making and the conscientious performance of the work of the Board. 

It is important to realize that the appearance alone of a conflict of interest may at times represent a problem even though a real conflict does not exist.  Because the existence of such conflicts of interest is so unlikely, the Board does not require completion of Conflict of Interest disclosure forms by the officers, directors, test committee members, or staff.  However, it will circulate annually to these individuals this Conflict of Interest policy statement which includes general guidelines intended to identify areas in which such conflicts could occur and thus heighten the sensitivity of the Board to the possible existence of relevant problems. 

It is emphasized that involvement with other organizations or companies, or the holding of financial interests that are irrelevant, i.e., are not significantly related to the activities of the American Board of Dermatology, are not to be considered consequential in relation to these guidelines. 

For the purposes of personal review, therefore, the officers, directors, test committee members, and staff should consider the possibility of a conflict of interest when there is/are:

1) Direct or indirect involvement with any organization or company that: 
          • deals economically with the ABD.
          • could benefit substantially from activities or programs directed by or carried out by the ABD.
          • has objectives inconsistent with the purposes of the ABD. 

2) Significant financial interest  in, or significant compensation in the form of salary, consultant fees, honoraria, or grants from a company or institution that could benefit from or influence the activities of the ABD.

3) Holdings or rights to a patent, issued, proposed, or pending on any item or equipment related to the activities of the ABD. 

If, after reviewing the above, the individual has any question as to a possible conflict of interest, he or she can review the matter with the Executive Director or the President of the Board.  If no conflict, real or potential is recognized, no action, such as  completion of disclosure form, abstention or divestiture, or withdrawal from  discussion or voting on related issues at Board meetings, is required.  The Board is thus relying on the good character and altruism of its officers, directors and staff to avoid conflicts and if in their opinion such conflicts may exist to disclose them or deal with them properly so that they do not interfere with their Board responsibilities.