i didn’t mean to provoke that much interest, but because i was asked, i will explain. it’s not really a knock on professions or persons, but a state of the industry.
i spent the week interviewing sales reps for a pharmaceutical drug company this week. now these people are in sales. that’s what they do. one person told me that she could “sell matches to a firefighter”. good for her that she’s good at what she does, and from what i could tell, most of them really love what they do.
i have no problems with sales people promoting a product that they believe will help people. i generally don’t love all things medical and rarely take a drug if i can help it, but the profession serves a worthwhile purpose and drug companies have the capacity to do some amazing things.
here’s my problem: i had a rep tell me that she got the doctors in her territory to promise her 2 scripts a week (for the month of december). it’s not that she was promoting the product. it’s not that doctor was prescribing it. it’s the coordination of the two. i can’t hardly believe that ALL these doctors said, “you know, i hadn’t thought about your drug before when it comes to X and Y patient. i bet i can prescribe this drug to them!” maybe one did. or two. but the entire territory?
before doing my job, i had a general faith that if i were ill that my doctor would go to his big reference book and prescribe me the best drug to alleviate symptoms or rid my body of the culprit. now i’m cynical enough to realize that there just might be doctors out there who will prescribe a drug to help a nice sales person meet quota and not necessarily (or primarily) to help me get well. **Erin, you are right, that not all – and i’d argue most – doctors are like this. And it’s also, as i said, a statement of industry, not profession.
so my status was to encourage you to be informed, be active in your health care decisions. don’t let some cute 20-something with free donuts be the decision-maker for what you put into your body. i am optimistic enough to think that most doctors, once you engage them in discussion as to why they are making their recommendations, will gladly appreciate your involvement and work with you to find the best possible solution. maybe it is the over-priced name brand drug that the donut girl brought in. maybe it’s not. but talk to your doctor to find out what is behind his decisions – not to insult him/her, but to participate in becoming well.