Free for all
Do you rush off to attend a free lunch and talk on hospital placements? Or is your white coat weighed down by a pocket full of free pens? Upasana Tayal looks into the cost of these freebies
Holding your Viagra pen, you start your essay on your Suscard Buccal paper, with your Imigran ruler, Pulmicort pencil, Diflucan rubber, and Ziagen highlighters close at hand. All is going well as you type up your masterpiece, then drama strikes. In a bid to answer your ringing Adalat phone, you knock over the Combivir cup containing your caffeine boost. No worries though, you mop up the mess with your Tylex tissues.
Clearly drug company spoils can come in rather useful for the impoverished medical student, but they hide a murkier reality. As innocuous as pens and pencils seem, they are but a precursor to a more ostentatious world of gold plated pens, fancy dinners, and lavish holidays. Although we are uncomfortable with the latter,1 many see little problem with the former. After all, it's just a cheap plastic pen; isn't it?
That old adage, “there's no such thing as a