Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Bad Old Days

Yesterday we had a presentation from our Associate Dean regarding the changing face of GP medicine in Ireland over the past 40 years.

In 1969 when he started as a GP the world of medicine was a very different place (in some regards).

The competition was fierce for patients, there were almost no group practices or associates in practice, your wife was the secretary, you saw patients out of your home (or in their home), and you were always on call...as in, every day and night. 

He told us about how there was an acupuncturist a few doors down from him who had a hopping business and people would often ring his door asking for the doctor--when he'd reply "Um, I'm a doctor" they'd say, "no no, the guy with the needles!" and he'd have to point them down the street.

In the early years of his practice he said some days he'd only see two patients.

And this is where I suppose some things are the same: he said once the drug reps heard he was in business...

"I'd go out into my waiting room and there would  be 2 patients and 6 drug reps waiting to see me!"

The more things change, the more they stay the same. 


Anonymous said...

Ahhhh the drug reps. People are fairly rabid here at my school about being "Pharm Free." One kid actually confiscated a Lexapro clock and left a nasty note on the white board last week after class in a local hospital.

So it was a bit of shock when I walked back into work last weekend where it is decidedly *not* Pharm Free. More like a Pharm Free For All, where clinic employees fight like jello wrestlers for what ever pens, tape dispensers, free food, etc comes through door on a daily basis. Its kind of disgusting.

I'm not looking forward to straddling that moral crevasse of not being able to live with the drug reps and all their swag, but not being able to live without their samples for my less fortunate patients...

Rogue Medic said...

If you work in the ED, you can probably avoid recapitulating Faust.

Albinoblackbear said...

Ninja--A friend of mine came to visit me during an ophthalmology "conference" when I lived in Whistler.
As we were going out for dinner he made me promise that I wouldn't go on one of my rants about BAD pharma as the guy sitting next to me was BAD pharma and he was paying for my meal that night.

I enjoyed some especially delicious single malt scotch that night and felt all of my reservations about drug reps melt away....heh.

But in all seriousness, I really don't know how I will handle that as well. Mind you I'm probably going to be living in the middle of nowhere BC and no drug rep will be able to find me anyway. :)

Rogue--I only hope so!

K said...

i think my med school has done away with all drug rep swag. now it's kind of seen as "unprofessional" to walk around with a lot of pharma-labeled stuff

Albinoblackbear said...

K--Wow! That is impressive. Major shift in thinking from a few years ago...