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I recently discovered, courtesy of one of the doctors I’ve been working with here in India a brilliant way of dealing with pharmaceutical representatives. Let me lay it out for you.

In an outpatient department where one is supposed to see about 25 patients in a little over an hour, as patients crowd into the doctors room surrounding him from all sides the doctor has pharmaceutical reps push their way through. As they approach the table, they place some sort of literature, cards, pamphlets etc. on the already crowded desk and begin to whisper in his ear. As soon as this happens, the doctor closes his eyes. Once, a pharma rep asked why he did that. His response, not bereft of sarcasm was that he was closing his eyes to better focus on what the rep was saying.

He listens usually nodding along, and bids the pharmaceutical rep goodbye. As the rep leaves, he balls up the materials and throws it over his shoulder, or sweeps it to the floor. Now I know what you’re thinking- littering is just terrible. But, I quite like the way he chooses to deal with these reps.

He refuses to be nudged in one direction or another, treating his patients in the way he knows best at minimal cost to them while providing maximal benefits.

How would you like to deal with a pharma rep? Or do you think the way this doctor functions is wrong?

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