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Medical students 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
and need your help! 

Here are some things medical students can do: 

  • 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!) 
  • The 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!  
  • Host 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 circulation, spread
    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! 
  • Set 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. 
  • Find 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 students. 
  • Become 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! 
  • Role 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 student
    (innocent, idealistic), you have unique power in this regard, and they might just listen to you—Give it a
    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 it! 

Some non-industry sources of drug information: 

For further information: contact@nofreelunch.org


 

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