Dr. John Abramson served as a family physician for 22 years, and was voted “best doctor” numerous times. He is a Harvard Medical School faculty member, where he currently teaches health care policy. He transitioned to litigation as a consultant for the FBI and Department of Justice and served in many trials against big pharmaceutical companies.
Dr. Abramson has appeared on more than 65 national television shows and podcasts, including the Today Show, the Joe Rogan Experience, Dr. Oz Show, Lex Friedman and now Leading the Rounds. His writing has been published in places like the New York Times, LA Times and he is the author of the national best-selling book Overdo$ed America.
Recently he published his second book Sickening and we are so grateful to have him here today to talk about how lack of transparency in pharmaceutical trials is impacting the healthcare system and what you as a future leader need to know about it.
Questions We Asked:
- How did you transition from a family physician to litigation and writing work?
- What inspired you to write your second book, Sickening?
- What are a few examples of pharmaceutical case trials that have impacted patients?
- How can doctors learn about how drugs are marketed and what the data shows?
- Should there be a governmental body that vets clinical trial data?
- How should physicians decide which drugs to support and give their patients?
- How do we incentives caring for the patient?
- What advice would you give your younger self?
- Book Suggestions?
Quotes & Ideas:
- Peer reviewers only get to see the submitted data instead of the raw data. This allows for cherry picking of data to prove effectiveness and maximize profits, not improve health.
- Most medical journals profit from sending reprints to pharmaceutical companies which creates an incentive to make the pharmaceutical drugs look good.
- Milton Freedman’s 3 roles of government, “It should provide for military defense of the nation. It should enforce contracts between individuals. It should protect citizens from crimes against themselves or their property.”
- US healthcare is alone in allowing commercialization permeate the healthcare system from drug advertisements to device sales and more
- The US healthy life expectancy has decreased from 38th in the world to now 68th in the world
- The system is designed to allow commercial interests to maximize drug companies profits instead of maximize the ability of physicians to deliver quality care
- Overdo$ed America and Sickening by Johnathon Abramson
- How Markets Fail by John Cassady
- Phishing for Phools by George Akerlof
- Betrayal of Trust by Laurie Garrett
As physicians, we are immediately thrust into a leadership position from the moment we finish medical school. Despite this, most medical students will obtain little formal leadership training. We seek to improve our leadership abilities as burgeoning physicians. We developed this podcast to challenge ourselves to explore ideas in leadership development and how they apply to medical training. We hope to educate and motivate others to further develop themselves as leaders in health care.