Drug company teaching: summary of responses
How did bmj.com users respond to the news that Pfizer is directly teaching UK medical students? Let us know what you think at student.bmj.com
I hope that the students involved are intelligent enough to take the information given by the drug companies with the proverbial pinch of salt. Unfortunately, this may leave them lacking in basic knowledge and unclear about what information is impartial and what has a bias. Such ambiguity can serve only to make their first few months at work even more frightening and confusing than they already are.
Alexandra J Obee, foundation year 1 doctor in colorectal surgery, University of Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham B29 6JD
Competing interests: None declared.
I was lucky enough to be taught therapeutics by Professor Martin Kendall, senior advisor to the British National Formulary, as a medical student and remember him advising us on how to respond when meeting drug reps as qualified doctors. He counselled that we accept the pen, return the smile, and ignore the information.
Charles W Dixon, consultant psychiatrist, Wonford House