First, Do No Harm - But Only If My Ox Is Being Gored?
It is ironic to have the University of Minnesota using this phrase to support its opposition to the light rail project on campus. They are asking that the Metropolitan Transit Commission keep things as they are now, because to do otherwise would cause harm - according to them.
The depressing thing is that the University of Minnesota does not seem to think that the original application of the Do No Harm meme - the Hippocratic Oath - applies to them. Thus the "don't worry, be happy" attitude that has accompanied the two year and growing period of time spent foot-dragging on a badly needed reform of conflict of interest policies at the U of M medical school.
As Dr. Dan Carlat has recently put it in his excellent blog - The Carlat Psychiatry Blog -Supporting the search for honesty in medical education:
It was only a matter of time before the U.S. Senate decided to shine a national spotlight on one of the more corrupt sectors of the nation's economy: industry-sponsored continuing medical education (CME).
Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wis) has just issued this press release announcing a hearing entitled "Medical Research and Education: Higher Learning or Higher Earning?" It will take place Wednesday, July 29, at 2 p.m., at 562 Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington DC. You can view it live on the web by going to the Special Committee on Aging's website.
I think it is safe to say that there will be some very strong testimony about the plethora of sham "educational" programs that are in reality marketing exercises for the drug companies.
I encourage all of you to take some time out of your schedules tomorrow to watch the webcast (hey, it's summer--just cut out of work early). I anticipate that this will be a historic event in the world of medical education.