Edwin Leap, MD, a long-time reader of this blog, did a great job in his piece in Huffington Post recently. It is called Medicine is Not About Money, Except When It Is. He exposes the hypocrisy that goes on in medicine today as it relates to doctors supposedly being bought out by third parties and how we were taught than money, in general, is bad.
But the prevailing attitude in medicine towards the reps, and pharmaceutical companies, was all a shade of the way we were taught to view money in medicine. Even in medical school interviews, we weren’t supposed to say much about money. ‘I just want to help the sick and helpless. What do you mean, money? You get paid to be a doctor? How about that!’ We were supposed to pretend that money wasn’t part of the process, even though we knew it was. And presumably, our tenured professors had an inkling as well.
I especially like how he points out the massive amount of money being spent by these third parties at conferences. Where does that go?
Maybe, just maybe, money isn’t all bad.
We need to readjust the way we educate physicians. Young doctors need to understand money more clearly from the start (especially the $200,000 in school loans part). But they must also grasp the hypocrisy that tells them that medical businesses, like Pharma, are inherently evil (because money, you see), even as hospitals, doctors, governments (yep) and all the rest continue to try to accrue more of it.
Great job, Ed!