• Editorial

No gifts, please, we’re doctors

Citation

Kamerow, D. (2009). No gifts, please, we’re doctors. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 338(7703), b1835. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.b1835

Abstract

When I began medical school in 1974 I was a fanatic about drug industry gifts to students. The drug companies gave us all manner of tools for doctors—reflex hammers, stethoscopes, the works, nicely branded with their logos—and I was one of the few who rejected them all. In particular I remember a set of beautifully illustrated books on anatomy, or maybe it was histology, that were actually required texts for one of our courses. I couldn’t believe that the school would allow what I considered advertising into the curriculum. Time passed, and I became less and less vigilant. By the time I was a resident I was enjoying pizza parties sponsored by the "detail men." As a young GP I was happy to prowl the exhibits at meetings and pick up the ever more impressive gifts to be had for listening to a pitch for their latest blockbuster: a computer.