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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Notions of Personal ‘Sacrifice’ Help Docs Take Gifts From Industry

Study suggests drug/device companies can play to physicians’ need for ‘appreciation’

In recent years there has been a movement to impose guidelines and codes on the relationship between doctors and the drug/medical device industry. These standards run the gamut from not accepting free pens from drug companies to paid trips. However, gift giving is still going on according to a study appearing in the Sept. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study focused on a survey to 301 resident US physicians.

If doctors are told that they’ve studied and worked hard to get where they are today, they find it easier to justify taking gifts from drug and medical-device companies, a new study finds…..

In the new study, conducted in 2009, Sah and her colleagues distributed three quality-of-life surveys to about 300 pediatric and family medicine resident physicians. Sah conducted the study while a doctoral candidate in the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

The authors posed a series of questions to gauge opinions on industry gifting. Some questions touched upon the sacrifices doctors had made (sleep lost, hours worked, debt amassed) while pursuing a career. They also asked about the stagnant wages and high debts that can hamper many in the medical field.

The results: Although few physicians indicated that their working conditions were “bad,” doctors who were reminded of the sacrifices they had made to get to where they are now were much more likely to view receiving industry gifts as acceptable.

Specifically, about 48 percent of those who were reminded about the sacrifices they had made as doctors thought accepting gifts from industry was fine, vs. about 22 percent of those who were not reminded.

Most physicians, when asked directly, disagreed with the notion that “stagnant salaries and rising debt levels” would make accepting gifts from industry OK. And yet exposure to this notion during the study boosted the number of doctors who thought gift-taking was acceptable to more than 60 percent, the researchers noted.

September 16, 2010 - Posted by | Health News Items |

1 Comment »

  1. […] [ For a related article, go to Notions of Personal "Sacrifice" Help Docs Take Gifts From Industry ] […]

    Pingback by When pride in achievement leads to a large order of fries (Want fries with that achievement??) « Health and Medical News edited by Janice Flahiff | November 16, 2010 | Reply

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