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Dr. Polly Does the Right Thing and the Strib Allows no Comments

[The above headline is now only partially correct. At approximately 9:30 am this morning - August 25 - comments were enabled on the Strib article. Thanks. To someone.]


The Strib has an article about our favorite orthopedic surgeon, Dr. David Polly. An annotated version is available at The Periodic Table.

For some strange reason, comments are not being allowed on this article. Comments were allowed on President Bruininks opinion piece on Sunday about, er, transparency. Since Dr. Polly's actions are one of the reasons why the U is finally moving on conflict of interest, it is strange no comments are allowed.

And of course the article exemplifies the U's special pleading and use of the straw-man argument, from Dr. Cerra on down.

For example:

In his letter to AAOS President Dr. Joseph Zuckerman, Polly said he continues to "strongly believe in the need for physician-industry collaboration in order to develop better treatment for patients." But "physicians are entitled to fair market value compensation for their time," he wrote, noting he has disclosed his relationships "whenever asked."

No one is arguing that there should be NO physician-industry collaboration. And no one is arguing that physicians are not entitled to fair market value for their services. The conflict of interest conflict is not what this is about and Dr. Polly knows this full well.

His statement that he has disclosed his relationships "whenever asked" is an illustration of the problems we face. How can the University manage his conflict when they don't know the facts about the magnitude of his compensation, because they did not ask the right question.

Put another way, the Hippocratic oath says: First do no harm. Where exactly is it spelled out what that means? Why is Dr. Polly resigning this position? Because it looks bad for him to be in it, given his past/current Medtronic associations, given the amount of money he is taking.

And why does it look bad, Dr. Polly?

As to the Strib allowing no coments on this-

They have been having comment problems, as has the Daily. In fact the Daily's comments section is becoming almost useless due to spam.

The Strib seems to have some internal decision-making mechanism about what sorts of articles will not be allowed to have comments. Given what has gone on at the U and continuing interest, it is hard to imagine why this story was picked to have no comments allowed.

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