Welcome to my blog, a place to explore and learn about the experience of running a psychiatric practice. I post about things that I find useful to know or think about. So, enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


I've posted a fair amount about Big Pharma, and how they market drugs they know to be ineffective, or even unsafe, how they buy off doctors to be Key Opinion Leaders, or just active prescribers of their drugs.
And I've been smugly patting myself on the back for not using drug pens or post-its, etc. But not quite. When I meet with a new patient, I tend to take notes. And since I don't have a chart yet for that patient, I use a clipboard with plain, looseleaf paper. I don't pay much attention to the clipboard, because I've been using it so long I don't even notice it. How long? Since residency. I know this because it's a Zyprexa clipboard, and I haven't gotten stuff from drug reps since I was a resident.

Sorry for the crappy photo, but it's some pretty glaring advertising, no? I don't understand what the little dude at the bottom is supposed to symbolize.

Is it a big deal that I use a zyprexa clipboard? I don't know. I feel like I should be more cognizant of what it might mean to patients. Does it make them think I'm going to throw an antipsychotic at them? That I get lots of stuff from drug reps?

Regardless of what it means to my patients, I think there's something to the fact that it's insinuated itself so thoroughly into my work life that I don't notice it anymore. It seems broadly emblematic of the situation with drug companies. They're part of our thinking. They're just there, no questioning required. Of course I use a Zyprexa clipboard, who doesn't use all that cool, free stuff the drug reps give away?

I decided to make my own symbolic gesture, and get rid of it. But I do need a clipboard. I can probably dig up some old thing at home, but I thought I'd get a really fun clipboard, to make up for my loss.

And this is it:

the hold-tight

Lime Green Clipboard

From Poppin. Set me back all of $5, a small price to pay for ejecting Big Pharma from my office.

While I was at it, I decided to get some fun office stuff:

the cut-above

White Scissors

This pair will beat rock and paper every time.

the most-writeous

White Letter Size Writing Pads

the write-away

Bikini Medium Spiral Notebook

the always-on-point

White Retractable Gel Luxe Pen

The clipboard is simple and perfectly functional. The scissors work well and have white blades. The paper is dense and has a nice hand. The notebook is cheerful. And the pens are cool-looking but write scratchily.

And not only is Poppin not paying me to write this, but they don't even know I exist. Which is good, because that way they can't target their marketing at me, like the Lilly rep who gave me the Zyprexa clipboard.