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CMAJ. 2010 December 14; 182(18): 2010.
PMCID: PMC3001513

Declaration of conflict of interest

Shane Neilson, MD, Family physician

Declare the fall-flat jokes as you hope for the best
at question period, which follows you like Jerry
Lee Lewis. Beware the killer! Bare your soul,
beat your chest, stop the foot twitch, stop leaning too close
to the microphone. What you? Podium-clutch?

Pray to the pharmaceutical disclosure in the sky
that you’ll get to talk again, that the reps in the audience
will think you fair, and the doctors think you free
from any bias, but you are biased, quoting
numbers needed to treat the unsettled question
of whether more research is needed in your phrasing,
if the empty seats are votes for your irrelevance,
if you can be bought by paltry retainers
and if you stay up late at night, priceless,
laughing at how many boards seem to need advice,
crying that no one heeds it, knowing your fate
is evaluated on a scale of one to five.

The Big Pharma declaration spans two full slides,
titans in blue powerpoint pulse, the implications
of being a world expert evident in how your voice
carries in a dim, seen-it-all hall with a hissing projector
and a restless crowd buzzing on free morning coffee,
the crowd writing about your manic laser pointer
in the comments section of the evaluation form
(too red, too circly, too stabbing) and you are praying
that clear disclosure is salvation, that the polite clapping
that follows your talk will devolve into BigPharmaKumbaya
and the all the names will be like a healing spell,
the names will cure every disease in the room.

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Articles from CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal are provided here courtesy of Canadian Medical Association