Joseph Oesterling, former professor and chief of urology at the University of Michigan Medical Center, was a leading proponent of a surgical procedure for enlarged prostates. He was the main investigator in clinical trials of the procedure. However, he was also a member of the board of directors of the company whose procedure and special surgical equipment he was testing. The company (ViaMed Inc.) gave him options to acquire 13,334 shares of its stock and paid for him to attend conferences around the world. It isn't unusual for influential medical professors to receive honorariums, consulting fees and expense-paid travel from medical companies whose products they write about or even test.
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