I knew that most drug reps were full of it before I started rotations. Working in an outpatient clinic as my first exposure to real patients during 3rd year was not completely eye-opening to their ploys despite this being an first interaction with them as well. I was shocked to see, though, that the office regularly received anywhere from 3-10 a day with the majority of female reps wearing outfits that were intended to attract the eyes in “sublime” locations (some were guys dressed to the nine's who didn't exude as much sexuality as their female counterparts). Additional interest developed from observing those who would regularly purchase lunches wherein they'd give "lectures" to their captive audience. It seemed like a Hollywood cliche gone awry.
This was, in all actuality, one of the worst I've seen in the last 2 years, but variations are regularly presented - and in all specialities.
Yet, until a few days ago, I was a little murky on their education.
That was until a rotund, bleached-blonde, large-breasted woman who, while wearing an overly-tight blouse to accentuate her natural gifts of adiposity, tried to hock a statin. She began by introducing herself, her aspirations, and educational background. I can tell you that a BS in biology and an MA in liberal arts do not impress me when it comes to pharmacology and her credentials didn't extend beyond. Since I graduated with a BS in bio and could have graduated with that liberal art degree as well – damn near minored in it from a community college before deciding to go pre-med – I thought it mildly amusing that she was here to "educate".
But that’s OK – because rather than muddle her way through a memorized market campaign, she brought a video to deliver the information! A room full of residents, watching some hacky, 3-D video that was clearly marketed for the public. Embarrassing. But at least the food was good.
So now, armed with more than enough information about drug reps, I feel very little sympathy when I purposefully evade their handshakes, avert my eyes from their amply laden bosoms, phony smiles, and well-tailored suits, and eat their free lunches guilt free. All the while completely ignoring the rhetoric they spiel so blithely.