Update: The 2008 Scorecard is out, with 7 schools now garnering an A grade: Mount Sinai School of Medicine (New York), the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (Maryland), the University of California Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the University of California Davis School of Medicine, and the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine.
The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) launched a PharmFree initiative to encourage “medical schools and academic medical centers to develop policies that limit the access of pharmaceutical company representatives to their campuses and prohibit medical students and physicians from accepting gifts of any kind from these representatives.” The sort of medical payola that may seem benign – until you consider the subliminal motivation story just noted in Science.
Anyway, these perky medical students came up with a grading system for medical schools, and only 5 received an A: Stanford University School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, University of Pennsylvania Medical School and Yale University School of Medicine.
At the other end of the scale, 40 medical schools received an F, which translates into “No policy, no discussion or school has decided not to form a policy – Students encouraged to interact with industry representatives.” Ouch.
I recently moved from a failing grade academic medical center (& got pretty damn tired of seeing the detail people in the hall & knowing they were catering lunch every week for the division & paying all the faculty speaking fees) to one currently at a B … but where A-level policies have since been implemented and the students sign the Pharm-Free pledge. Check out how you can turn things around at your institution.