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Invited Critique
June 2010

The Baby With the Bathwater: Comment on “Physician Attitudes Toward Industry”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: American Board of Surgery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Arch Surg. 2010;145(6):577. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2010.76

Not all physician-industry interactions are created equal. Politicians and regulators would have us shun all contact with the pharmaceutical and device industries. In surgery, this would surely hinder progress and patient care. The success of the laparoscopy revolution hinged on collaboration between surgeons and industry in developing the instruments that made basic and then advanced laparoscopy widely accessible. Surgeons collaborated with development teams at device companies to explain what worked, what did not work, and what was needed to improve safety. Laparoscopic techniques have shortened recovery and hospital stays, diminished pain, and in many ways improved the quality of health care. This could not have happened had surgeons and industry been prevented from interacting.

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