Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Flattery will get you everywhere

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 20 September 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6346
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}

We are all vain, we all like the sound of our own voice, and we all believe our own foolish views. Flattery is petrol to the flames of our egos. Our vanity betrays us, making us uncritical, unquestioning, and overconfident. And flattery is big pharma’s instrument of manipulation. Money, praise, and attention are used to produce pharma’s so called independent medical experts. Likewise, honours, titles, gongs, and gifts are mere superficial seductions, leading to that scourge of academia: deference. Regrettably, the more doctors crave these trapping …

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