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Published: Saturday, 6/16/2007

Mark missed on 'medical freebies'

The June 4 editorial, "Those medical freebies," failed to cover The Blade with glory. Using innuendo without any discussion that would make your effort fair or balanced, you chose to support existing concerns that medical students and hospital trainees are "hearing the pitch early" from pharmaceutical sales representatives.

However, medical students are generally not only honest but bright. I have only moderate exposure to drug representatives but enough to have noticed that they also have their share of honesty and intelligence.

Certainly ethical problems can occur. The trainees and the drug salesmen can indeed be helped by faculty monitoring. Done properly, this will allow students to monitor drugs, drug representatives, and their own instructors.

Insightful students will learn just as quickly how to detect over-enthusiasm for a drug on the part of a salesman as they do an instructor deriving gratification from impugning the motives of a pharmaceutical representative without justification.

Let us open the minds of the trainees by helping them gain insights. Let them appreciate the difference between education and indoctrination.

We should start by admitting that a ball-point pen and a notepad both emblazoned with the name of a drug are not gifts but cheap gimmicks to help the physician remember the name of the drug.

The Blade could regain its reputation for more sophisticated observation and analysis by undertaking a scholarly study of annual compensation for CEOs of area hospitals.

All of us, including medical students, must become better informed regarding the ethics of multimillion-dollar compensation for CEOs.

Who are the board members? Who stands to benefit from this trend in compensating CEOs? What are the feelings of charitable donors to these hospitals? This would be a better topic for your newspaper than pens and notepads.

Thomas D. Geracioti, M.D.


Congressman John Conyers was on point regarding the Fox News Channel's "mistake." What value did it add by stating it was a 22-year-old production assistant's fault?

Using "fair and balanced" and "Fox News" in the same sentence is truly an oxymoron.

But, hey, if you love Los Angeles car chases, its "News Alerts" and "Breaking News" segments can't be beat!

Molly Stuller


Oh my goodness, have you seen the construction progress on the new McDonald's that is replacing the one that was torn down on South Reynolds Road? After years of hollow rhetoric, we finally have proof of Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's and Councilman Rob Ludeman's commitment to our neighborhood. The salvation of Southwyck has begun!

Dennis P. Beck

Eastwick Drive

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