Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dear Medical Students: You've Been Had

AMSA, or the American Medical Students Association does not represent your interests. Look at this:

Your "medical" organization is promoting naturopathy, that credulous crowd of anti-science, anti-vaccination, anti-pharmaceutical loons. Now what do you think about "PharmaFree"?

From where I sit, PharmaFree looks like a marketing project designed to discredit MDs and "BigPharma." The parties behind this conspiracy-mongering campaign are not disinterested. And, I suspect, they are not your friends (ok, that's conspiracy mongering on my part, but click the link!).

Why do drug manufacturers pay for research? Why do they pay for educational lunches? Because the onus is on the drug or device maker to prove that their product is safe and effective. It's always been thus and will be thus.

If drug company money for post-graduate education dried up, I have no idea who would pay for it. Think about that. And remember: the biases we can't see are the most dangerous.

Take a few pens. Eat a turkey wrap. Then go care for your patients. No one is stupid enough to believe that a ballpoint will corrupt you, for fuck's sake.

Note the politics promoted by AMSA. You're asked to support the expansion of primary care, so all Americans have access to good health care. You're asked to support preventive health care, to help keep costs down.

Just FYI:
1. "Expanding primary care" is sometimes code for: "mandate that health insurers recognize chiropractic and naturopathic physicians as primary care physicians."

2. "Preventive health care" is sometimes code for, "mandate that health insurers cover the cost of dietary supplements."

Read the fine print.

Once upon a time, there was an organization known as the "Cult Awareness Network." It was established by friends and family members of people suckered into cults, and served to provide information about some of the dubious activities of these groups. Then one day, the Church of Scientology bought the organization.

Addendum: As usual, Orac is way ahead of me.

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