Two stories about physicians getting snapped up by non-traditional employers caught our attention this week. First is this story about tech companies like Apple, Amazon, and Alphabet attracting doctors to give direction on their respective ventures into healthcare. Apple in particular is looking to improve products like their Apple Watch, which they’ve been loading up with increasingly more precise biometric sensors. But if you’re a doc who wants to get away from traditional healthcare without having to work on fancy gadgets, there’s a second option: open a CrossFit gym. The high-intensity workout program has been hosting networking/training events for physicians as part of its CrossFit Health program, which seems to have a bone to pick with the current healthcare landscape if their site banner is anything to go off of.
Health authorities in the UK are auditing some 3,000 foreign physicians’ credentials after a fraud case brought subpar vetting procedures to light. A practicing—but unqualified—consulting psychiatrist by the name of Zholia Alemi traveled to the UK in the nineties as part of a program that, according to the NYT, “helped physicians from some former British colonies … to secure licenses to practice in Britain with only limited examinations of their credentials.” She provided a fake Primary Medical Qualification with her application, and it seems like the limited examination worked in her favor. Ms. Alemi went on to practice psychiatry like anyone else with the proper credentials until last month when she tried to write herself into a dying patient’s will. Jeez. If you’re gonna fraud that extensively might as well go for broke.
We’ve gotta hand it to GSK for taking the high road on physician payments for as long as they did. In 2013, after paying billions in fines to the Chinese and US governments in payments scandals, GSK figured it would be a good PR move to enforce a blanket ban on any payments to HCPs. But you know how the saying goes, nice guys finish last. Other major drugmakers didn’t follow GSK’s lead, leaving the company at a competitive disadvantage. So they’re getting rid of the blanket ban and making it more like a Snuggie ban—you know, with some holes to let them move around more easily. The company will resume payments in some restricted situations, like global experts speaking about their products, but well-below 2013 payment levels.
You may have skipped class in college to recover from Tequila Tuesday, but the US’ elite medical students are skipping class so they can learn faster. That’s caused medical schools like Harvard’s to start doing away with lectures since students aren’t even attending those taught by Nobel laureates. In these curricula, students are instead taught with the “flipped classroom” model—essentially where students learn the material outside of class and focus on things like group activities in class. But students still must memorize so much content for the first exam in the medical licensing process that they’re turning to sources like YouTube to make sure they’re prepared. We guess we’re happy that med students are over-achievers, but it sucks that they’re spending so much money on school to not go. NYU apparently being the exception.