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Academic Psychiatry

Year: 2009  |  Volume: 33  |  Issue: 6  |  Page No.: 478 - 483

Relationships Between Drug Company Representatives and Medical Students:Medical School Policies and Attitudes of Student Affairs Deans and Third-Year Medical Students

F Sierles, A Brodkey, L Cleary, F. A McCurdy, M Mintz, J Frank, D. J Lynn, J Chao, B Morgenstern, W Shore and J. Woodard


OBJECTIVES: The authors sought to ascertain the details of medical school policies about relationships between drug companies and medical students as well as student affairs deans’ attitudes about these interactions. METHODS: In 2005, the authors surveyed deans and student affairs deans at all U.S. medical schools and asked whether their schools had a policy about relationships between drug companies and medical students. They asked deans at schools with policies to summarize them, queried student affairs deans regarding their attitudes about gifts, and compared their attitudes with those of students who were studied previously. RESULTS: Independently of each other, 114 out of 126 deans (90.5%) and 114 out of 126 student affairs deans (90.5%) responded (identical numbers are not misprints). Ten schools had a policy regarding relationships between medical students and drug company representatives. Student affairs deans were much more likely than students to perceive that gifts were inappropriate. CONCLUSION: These 2005 policies show trends meriting review by current medical schools in considering how to comply with the 2008 Association of American Medical Colleges recommendations about relationships between drug companies and medical students or physicians.

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