Adriane Fugh-Berman, an Associate Professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine, recounts her experience of speaking at a recent medical conference in New Mexico on the topic of drug industry influence in medical education. "Immediately after my talk, one pharmaceutical company representative announced to a conference organiser that her company would no longer support the annual conference. Another packed up his exhibit and walked out," she writes in the British Medical Journal. "The drug industry is happy to play the generous and genial uncle until physicians want to discuss subjects that are off limits, such as the benefits of diet or exercise, or the relationship between medicine and pharmaceutical companies." Instead of depending on drug companies funding of professional training, she argues it would be better if doctors "could actually pay for our continuing education, as do lawyers, accountants, business people, and aerobics teachers, to mention a few."
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