– In her latest column, Margaret McCartney looks at the relationship between big pharma and doctors’ postgraduate education. McCartney argues that it is better for doctors to ditch the free sandwiches and the swanky locations and pay for their own education. “Doctors all want to advocate for patients, to be trusted and relied on. But the independence that this requires comes at a price,” McCartney says. “We need to get doctors’ education under our control; there is no other option. We are going to have to start paying our own way.”
– Following on from her recent investigation, Deborah Cohen reports that the General Medical Council has been criticised for a lack of transparency over its prescribing guidance. Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said that the GMC’s position prevented clinicians from “prescribing safe and effective products but for which the drug companies, for profit reasons, have not applied for a marketing authorisation,” Cohen reports.
– Elsewhere in news, Michael McCarthy reports that the Obama administration will support legislation to ban therapy that seeks to change the sexual orientation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender young people. McCarthy reports that the proposed legislation is named after Leelah Alcorn, “a transgender 17 year old who ended her life last December by walking in front of a truck after her parents forced her to attend therapy in an effort to change her gender identity.”
– In BMJ Careers, there is an article on the implementation of seven day services in the NHS, with a focus on the consultant workforce. It looks at whether a change would be required to the consultants contract in order to ensure that patients receive the same level of care seven days a week, and whether it is realistic to promise more than elective care at weekends.