Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Food = the gateway to the practitioner's soul

Food is often known to be the gateway to a man's soul. In some cases, like mine, it may also be the gateway to a woman's soul. Maybe my mind is warped, but truthfully, food is the gateway to everyone's soul. Food, whether by obligation or delight, is something we can all count on to bring us to the table.

Today was drug rep luncheon day. This means free food. In the medical world, you get offered free food, you take it and never look back. The boss wanted Chinese. We got Chinese. It was brought by the rep, who is one of two people on almost every occasion: a gorgeous, well dressed, long haired, classy jeweled young woman, or a suited up, good looking 30 something year old man. Today's rep was marketing a fairly new anticoagulant. Ironically, she was from the same company my dad works for. The docs know the drill, but I'm still eager enough for the following exchange: "Hi, I'm Jessica, I'm a PA student" "Oh great, how are you? Would you like to hear about our drug?" "Sure!" I then get to stuff my mouth with delicious fried chicken as she reels me into the fancy spiral bound booklet of graphs and tables. The drug looks good. Its the same or better than the current drug in every category. I'd prescribe it. Win for drug company.

This evening I then report to my dad "Hey, guess what?" My dad, being the skeptic who's always on the look out for the dreaded salesmen, teases me saying "oh, do you now feel obliged to use our drug??" His tone, while joking, also makes me think those sneaky reps. They fed me, essentially bought my time and attention, showed me pretty organized graphs and figuratively sold me their drug.

And its not just in this setting that food is the gateway. Food bribing is classic and timeless. Think about when you were in kindergarten and you brought all the cupcakes in on your birthday to have free party time and for everyone to sing to you. Think of every single family get together - really, how many snacks and hors d'ouevres does a table REALLY need to get a bunch of people to sit down and talk to each other? How about "you can have dessert as soon as you finish your vegetables?"

Medical practitioners are fools for this trickery. It starts during interviews for schools - which school had the better breakfast spread to calm your nerves before all the crazy questions? Luncheons for drugs, luncheons for equipment, coffees and pastries before presentations. We are slaves to our stomachs. Truly, its a brilliant brainwashing technique - that's why it works, and that's why drug reps keep hosting luncheons. All in all, I'm okay with it.

1 comment:

  1. So true. We would always break out the good stuff for events at grad school - especially interview weekends. In addition to our fabulous program, we also have amazing spinach and artichoke dip as well as famous blue cheese. Same thing for orientation - individual stir fry? Absolutely! :)