Staring a Gift Horse in the Mouth
It’s the bottom of the ninth. What a game. I am sitting at Dodger Stadium five rows away from 1st base. I am not used to sitting so close. Usually I get a nosebleed on the way to my seat. Anyway, one of my good friends, Boon, hit me up earlier today. He scored tickets from one of his firm’s clients and decided to take me. This was the Kettle One section. We got unlimited food and drinks. I had no idea that such an oasis existed. This is one of the greatest days of my life.
As I sat there on my glorious sofa after the game, I started reflecting on my life. It was so interesting to see how my friend could receive gifts from his clients and take people like me along for the ride. I remember going to a psychiatric conference in Washington DC with my dad. He always had a very negative opinion of pharmaceutical companies. But his friend, on the other hand, did not. I was 15 at the time and remember going to a bunch of private events, like going to the Smithsonian National Aerospace museum (rocket ships are rad). I even remember eating at President Clinton’s favorite Indian restaurant. This is coming from a family that thinks spending 20 bucks on a steak is too expensive and having a palate that was adjusted to the exotic flavors of Taco Bell.
So after I got into medical school and residency, I was astonished to hear all my mentors and teachers discuss how terrible it is for pharmaceutical companies to try and “buy physicians.” They talked about how inappropriate it was for companies to take physicians to vacations in the Fiji Islands… In my mind I was like, “What? Yo, you mean I am supposed to not take a free trip to the FIJI FUCKIN ISLANDS… ARE YOU F'ING KIDDING ME!?!?!?!?! I’m smart. I can just go enjoy the vacation and not prescribe the medications.” But apparently I can’t control myself, per all the research. And taking a trip like that would brain wash me and alter my prescribing habits.
After all this talk and after never seeing pharmaceutical companies even allowed in the hospital, I guess this is my new reality. No more free stuff. But at least I am lucky enough to have dope friends who take me to some badass events. With all joking aside, I am happy that I am able to practice unbiased medicine where I am able to give my patients the best medical treatment possible without worrying if I’ll get that new Ferrari from the Drug company…. Damn, it would be really nice to have a new Ferrari.
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Photo Credit: A Doctor Examinine Urine By Trophime Bigot