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No, We Did Not Cause This By Taking Pens

Dana Corriel, MD, responds to allegations that the current state of affairs for doctors in healthcare today is self-inflicted; the result of taking pens ad free lunches from pharma.

December 15, 2023

Apparently, by taking a pen, doctors have “self-inflicted” our wounds.

Below is a response I’m sharing, from inside the comment section of a post by Guy Culpepper, MD. In it, he describes today’s state of medicine, in which many feel trapped.

 

 

I’m dumbfounded to read a response like this and, even more so, to see the support it received (through “likes”); especially in an entrepreneurial platform like LinkedIn.

What other profession is scrutinized to the degree medicine is?

What other field is so heavily regulated that taking a pen from a company, or a meal, equates to having your name publicly listed, alongside the monetary equivalent?

 

What other field is so heavily regulated that taking a pen from a company, or a meal, equates to having your name publicly listed, alongside the monetary equivalent? Click To Tweet

 

How would our hard-working doctors – who are abused regularly inside a system that controls them – be better off if they said no to incentives of the industry? Yes, like a pen. How is that related in any way to what’s being stated here? Does anyone really believe the insinuation that because doctors take a pen from pharma, or a lunch for staff, that they cause the abuse to themselves?

Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand the implications of “sway”. But it just seems odd to me that no one calls out the pharma side. Like, ever. Just the doc. No one seems to want to acknowledge that prices of meds have been driven up; nor that working with pharma could mean being able to provide patients with coupons and samples. And again, how is all of this related to self-infliction? And is anyone else out there scrutinized to the degree that we are?

 

"What other profession is scrutinized to the degree medicine is?"

 

When folks make statements like these, are they at all aware of how healthcare works? Have they worked a day in our shoes? I always wonder. Or is it just assumption made, from the outside looking in?

I do believe part of the solution involves a mirror. But not for the reasons he states.

We may have self-inflicted some of the wounds, but not by taking a pen, no. The state of affairs evolved into this because we have been too kind.

 

We may have self-inflicted some of the wounds, but not by taking a pen, no. The state of affairs evolved into this because we have been too kind. Click To Tweet

 

Because we have given into a system that we thought would provide comfort and happiness, but which has instead exploited us. Because we always have the patient’s back, even when they think the worst of us (as exemplified by this reply).

We have trusted others. Remained kind. Got taken advantage of. That’s the nutshell of what has taken place in healthcare.

We have maintained our empathy for patients & this is part of why we are where we are today. Because we don’t wish to leave them high and dry. It is why you don’t see us massively striking – because we wouldn’t want to see patients suffer.

And yes, blame is to be had. Even if the solution is to pick ourselves up by our white coats, brush off the dirt, and start fighting – learning marketing, entrepreneurship, strategy, IP – all necessary in the world of today to take back our autonomy.

But no, a pen is not at all at the root cause of why we are burned out.

Dana Corriel, MD

Dana Corriel, MD

“I haven’t LEFT medicine, I’m simply taking time to tackle its issues from a different angle. I’m stepping out of the traditional medicine box.”

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email opmed@doximity.com. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Find out what we’re looking for here and submit your writing, or send us a pitch.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Submit your own article now here.

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2 Responses

  1. The “taylorization of medicine”, enabled by physicians is to blame. When big money began building the industrial medical assembly line, we bellied up to the business of transforming our cottage industry to a manufacturing behemoth. Enticed by piece work and being paid for “productivity” we ignored the business history of Henry Ford & Frederick Taylor

  2. Stop eating animal products, oils, white refine flour and sugar. Basically all processed foods. You will not survive as a cancer, cardio or endocrinologist, least say a primary care/internist/family practice if you had great education in nutrition. This is not an oversight. This is intentional and the entire medical school business is to blame. The hard working doctors are completely unable to restore health to their patients without the use of medication vs finding out what the real etiology is.

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