are our most important asset. As a student you have a unique
opportunity to make an impact
on your peers, your teachers,
and the profession. Therefore, If you are a medical
student read on—we want
Here are some things medical students
- Organize a No Free Lunch activity at your school. Whether it’s
through other student organizations interested in this
issue (e.g., AMSA) or as a No Free Lunch chapter, we will
be happy to help out with any activity ideas and provide
resources! (and of course, pens, buttons, and coffee mugs!)
American Medical Student Association’s (AMSA)
PharmFree Campaign aims to educate and train its members
to interact professionally and ethically with the pharmaceutical
industry, and the PharmFree webpages contain information
particularly useful for students. Join this campaign!
speakers (or speak yourself!). We can provide the speakers,
speaker kits, and other presentation materials.
- Hold "Pen
Amnesty Days." Students and physicians can exchange
their drug company pens for No Free
Lunch pens (no questions
asked, of course). Remove those drug company pens from
our message, raise consciousness.
- Run "Pledge
Drives." Encourage students and physicians to take "The
Pledge" and become drug-company free. And of course,
take the pledge yourself!
up a No Free Lunch booth. Anytime there's anything happening
with booths (best of all, drug company booths!) and even
when there’s not. Exchange pens and ideas,
get pledges, have fun. We’ll provide the pens
(and t-shirts for booth workers).
- Talk. Is this issue currently
part of your medical school curriculum? If not, talk to
course directors (Pharmacology, Ethics, “Introduction
to the Patient,” etc.) about introducing it. We have
lots of curricular materials to facilitate this. It
is imperative that this issue is addressed before students
start clinical rotations, where chances are they will experience
first-hand the temptations of pharmaceutical industry fruit.
out if pharmaceutical companies provide financial support
for medical student activities/ organizations at your medical
school. If so, organize a discussion to address the
relationship between pharmaceutical companies and medical
aNo Free Lunch Member , and make our voice louder!
- Help! For students who are interested and have a little bit
of free time, there are opportunities to help out with
No Free Lunch operations. Contact us!
model. Unfortunately, physicians have served as rather
poor role models for students and trainees.
This is an
opportunity for students to turn the tables and role model
for their teachers: Ask (respectfully, gently, naively)
about your attendings’ or preceptors’ acceptance of gifts,
about whether they think it influences their behavior, about
what they think their patients think about it. As a medical
(innocent, idealistic), you have unique power in
this regard, and they might just listen to you—Give
try! To those old fogeys who are still getting
their information from industry reps, tell them about computers,
the World Wide Web, and the many ways physicians (and students)
can obtain unbiased, accessible drug information efficiently
and quickly. Maybe they’ll even thank you for
Some non-industry sources of drug
For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org