Dangerous liaisons: Doctors-in-training and the pharmaceutical industry

A. M.J. Pokorny, C. B. Gittins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interaction between doctors and the pharmaceutical industry is long-standing and ingrained in modern practice. Doctors-in-training are at a vulnerable stage of their careers, both in requiring knowledge and forming lasting relationships. There is evidence that limiting contact between industry and junior doctors has a positive effect on subsequent clinical behaviour. Currently in Australia, there is no limitation on pharmaceutical representatives approaching doctors-in-training, and the majority of education sessions are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. This purposefully creates a sense of reciprocity, which may have adverse long-term consequences on attitudes, behaviours and patient care. Several guidelines exist that may assist junior doctors in navigating these potential interactions, most notably the Royal Australasian College of Physicians' own Guidelines for Ethical Relationships between Physicians and Industry. Despite this, there is no reflection of its importance or necessity within subspecialty curricula. This should be rectified, to the benefit of both the profession and public.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1085-1088
Number of pages4
JournalInternal Medicine Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


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