“Doc, I want to ask you about this.” She pushed the pamphlet toward me apprehensively. “I found this in your waiting room. What do you think about it for me?”

I glanced down at it. It was an advertisement for a bariatric surgery group. You know, one of those stupid things with a questionnaire, “If you answer yes to any of these questions, bariatric surgery may be right for you…”

The first question? 

Are you overweight?

“You found this in my waiting room?” 

I could feel the anger rising up but tried to hide it. I must not have done a very good job because her eyes got wide.

She nodded. “There was a whole stack of them…”

“Excuse me for a moment.”

I jotted a quick instant message to my office manager to remove the stuff, pronto, and reminded her that someone is supposed to be checking for that sort of thing by doing a walk through every single day.

Drug reps are the worst offenders. I find testosterone pamphlets all the time. “Do you feel tired? Testosterone might be right for you. Ask your doctor.” Gah! Makes me so angry when someone invades my turf and sullies it with their direct marketing crap….


97 thoughts on “Sacred

  1. You could replace the pamphlets with Buzzfeed quizzes. 🙂
    “Which Disney animal are you?”
    “How many marriages will you have?”
    “What is your spirit color?”

    Liked by 8 people

  2. I’ve heard about this. I know my husband’s practice banned all but a few pharmaceutical reps and when they built their new clinic, made sure the waiting rooms were down a hall from the check-in so they wouldn’t get the brochure-leavers. I love the fact you are educating people about the many things that go into being an MD!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow! How sneaky. You should sneak into their offices and leave some pamphlets of your own. Something embarrassing to them since it would appear that they endorse it 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think it’s underhanded how drug companies go around medical professionals and market directly to laypeople. All of those drug commercials that come on television: “Are you feeling sad? Here, take this pill and feel better.” Obviously, there are legitimate reasons to take medication, but sometimes it’s okay to feel a little sad. For heaven’s sake, we’re not supposed to be happy ALL the time. If we were, we’d probably need a pill for that, too. Okay, I’m getting off my soapbox now. 😉

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Ugh! So sneaky. There was a drug rep around here today too. I’m always suspicious of them and their unwavering excitement for whatever drug or whatnot they’re talking about….kind of like little invaders. Get off my turf!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Funnily enough when i was being treated for cancer i had a consult with a new doctor. He had my tome of a file with him and after he introduced himself, he said: :” I see that you smoke but don’t drink.” I had to correct him: “Actually I smoke and drink.” He replied:”Oh that’s too bad.” I had to ask:”:Why?” His response:”Well, I was going to tell you to smoke less and drink more.”:I couldn’t resist: “That’s fine, I can still drink more.” Ha! They actually recommended a glass or two of wine a day during cancer treatment.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Ooh, have you watched the documentary Orgasm, Inc? Drug companies make a pill for things that are normal, everyday experiences, like low libido in women, then they label it a disorder or a disease and make people think there’s something horribly wrong with them to sell it. Ugh!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Aaaargh! Do they really think you’re ever going to recommend any kind of product introduced to patients by force (no matter how subtle)? Putting words in your “mouth” without your consent is bad ethically and for actually achieving desired ends. Blech!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh salesmen everywhere are like that Victo. As long as none of your patients takes it as a recommendation it is kind of funny, the image of them sneaking around leaving advertising material. Like thieves , but leaving stuff instead of taking stuff – welcome to consumerism. When i was a Transport Manager, I used to get salesmen drop by to try and sell fleet supplies. I seldom bought anything but one day there was a special on some load restraints that we used, so i ordered some. I told the salesman specifically that he was not to sell or give my name to any other company – they do that to make more money, sell mailing lists. He assured me that his company never did that. I made it clear that if i received any advertising from anyone else (other than his company) that i would never buy anything from him again and I would blacklist him. Normally it would be impossible to tell how others got my name, but…this guy spelled my name wrong and I didn’t correct him. Sure enough, within a month, I started receiving bundles of advertising from other companies with my name spelled wrong. I called him up, told him to never darken my doorway again and that i would spread the word that his company sold mailing lists. I told him that I hoped his company made lots of money selling lists because they sure weren’t going to sell any more merchandise around here. He sold some to other departments and they cut him off too.

    There’s always more than one way to skin a cat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It can be harmful to patients and that is what gets my dander up. Bariatric surgery should always be a last resort, not a first line intervention. And testosterone is being billed as the fountain of youth. “Doc, I saw this in your waiting room. Why didn’t you talk to me about this when I was telling you I was tired?” Other meds that are advertised this way are terribly expensive and not really the best choice for the majority of patients. These things are designed to undermine the physician/patient relationship for someone else’s financial gain. You want to pull crap like that somewhere else? Fine. But not on my turf you don’t! 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      • I have a friend who was/is overweight. She talked to her doctor about bariatric surgery and he told her she had to be at least 100lbs overweight to qualify. She was about 65 lbs overweight. She decided that since she was having such a hard time losing weight she would gain 35lbs. She actually went over that number and then…her health insurance declined to cover the surgery because she hadn’t exhausted all her options for losing weight. Yes, kinds of pamphlets make it seem like a quick-fix when it’s anything but that. It isn’t even a guarantee of losing weight, or more importantly, keeping it off. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  9. The frustrating thing is that drug reps used to be a good thing — a reliable source of new information on their class of drug for the physician, and collecting adverse event info. Now they are used car-e salesmen, pedaling crap.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Call your rep or have your office manager tell them that if they leave anything ever again, you will never buy another product nor will you endorse them. And you are in a clinic with other Docs and you promise they will be told. Bad press cost them more.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. In my city there are a couple free local magazines aimed at boomers and retired folks. One in particular always has some article about wine or beer events, production, recipes for mixed drinks, etc…..Often featured on the cover of the magazine. I don’t have a problem with that until they leave a pile of them in the lobby of our substance abuse program. They don’t get it!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I like your anger. And your ability to open our eyes as patients, so we watch what we’re reading in the waiting room. Your readers are right – most times I assume the doctors approve the literature that’s sitting in the waiting room.
    Same with the magazines. I dislike that the GYN doc only thinks we women want People, House and Garden, and Good Housekeeping (oh, with a Parents thrown in there too)..!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: My Article Read (5-7-2015) | My Daily Musing

  14. Those ads used to baffle me. Why advertise to the general public something that only a physician can prescribe? But now I now that sometimes people really do ask their doctor about them. Leaving the pamphlets in your waiting room makes it look like you’re endorsing the product (which is I’m sure why it angers you).

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is SO not relevant to the point of your post, I realize (frankly, drug reps tend to be such bottom-feeders I prefer not to think about them if I don’t have to!), but I’m terribly curious about the picture: gorgeous place and GORGEOUS framing for the shot. Did you take it?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. How rude! Next time a rep comes, you should discreetly attach a bumper sticker to his/her back with your office’s contact info on it, so he/she can advertise for you the rest of the day, and see how he/she likes it when they get home. GRRRR!

    Liked by 1 person

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