Learning the difference between medicine and the medical industry

“Learning the difference between medicine and the medical industry.” By Nathaniel P. Morris, The Boston Globe.

Last month, I was standing in an intensive care unit, wearing my white coat and trying to look like I knew what I was doing. My third year of medical school had just begun. It was my first day on a clinical rotation, my first time actually taking care of patients. While the dialogue bounced among residents, nurses, and attending physicians, I struggled to keep up with the conversation.

In the weeks since, I’ve seen many different aspects of medicine and brand names factor into these experiences every day. I’m constantly expanding my industry vocabulary. These brands were noticeably absent during my previous two years in the classroom. In 2009, Harvard medical students made national headlines after protesting industry influences in the classroom. Can medical schools truly teach the practice of medicine when they present a censored version of health care as it exists today?

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