Letter by Crossley Regarding Article, “What I Wish Clinicians Knew About Industry … and Vice Versa”
To the Editor:
Dr Stein wrote an enlightened editorial in Circulation.1 Indeed, intense skepticism exists about industry on the part of the medical community and an enormous amount of skepticism on the part of industry about the motivations of physicians. I agree with your assessment that in a perfect world this would not be the case. Unfortunately, elements of truth are evident in both assessments. Poorly motivated physicians and bad actors in industry both exist.
I have been truly blessed by a close association with 2 companies that behave in a patient-centered manner. Both of these companies have succeeded by partnering with enlightened physicians to develop new ideas and have hired brilliant engineers to develop the resultant plans. Now, I’m not “Pollyanna” enough to think that all of the employees of these corporate giants really feel like they have a mission, but in many cases they do. With both of these companies, the corporate cultures dictate that, to succeed, all must behave that way. The reason for this directive is clear. Physicians think this way, and we actually make the important purchasing decisions. On the physician side, we are highly motivated to protect our patients. When we implant a device into a patient’s body, we marry that patient. Concomitantly, we chose a third party in that marriage: the device company. It is incredibly important that we, as physicians, have corporate partners we can trust long term to keep us informed about important information surrounding the devices we implant into our patients’ bodies.
Perhaps the saddest part of this entire construct is the fact that, in our new politically correct society, all entanglements between industry and physicians are assumed to be nefarious and based on inappropriate motivations. Our national organizations, our local institutions. and our government usually behave this way. The world will certainly be a better place when the destructive cynicism that Dr Stein speaks of can disappear and we can work together for the betterment of medical care.
George H. Crossley, MD
Dr Crossley is a consultant and speaker for Medtronic and Boston Scientific. He also serves as the EP program director and Vanderbilt receives fellowship support from Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Abbott (St. Jude), and Biotronik.
Circulation is available at http://circ.ahajournals.org.
- © 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.