As a sales rep for a company that makes Type 2 diabetes products and a Type 1 myself, I strive to bring my customers healthy snacks and lunches when we schedule meetings. But I can’t always say the same for everyone else. Yesterday I was in an office break room waiting for the doctor to come by and I sat in the only open chair in the room. Next to this:
And then the doctor came in and I had to discuss our product’s ability to control blood sugar and weight and lower A1cs while the sugary smell of donuts lingered in the air between us.
What boggles my mind is why any rep would bring this in for a group of healthcare providers, why the doctor’s office would allow it, and why the box is almost empty when I was in there at 11:00am. Every single staff member in that office is overweight, and the fact that the doctors are not has more to do with their socioeconomic status than anything else. Why do “treats” have to be part of a discussion about pharmaceutical products? There’s nothing wrong with bringing in food over lunch as a business courtesy to an office – I am, after all asking for their time. In return, I bring food so that we can have a discussion during a time when they aren’t seeing patients so as not to disrupt patient care. I always bring salads, healthy sandwiches and wraps. But a box of donuts, brought as a bribe to get past the front door staff saddens me. What’s worse is that the donuts were next to leftover cookies, bags from a burrito shop accross the street, and soda cans piled in the trash. It was hardly the first treat brought that week.
I could have made a joke about the donuts keeping diabetes drug companies in business. But I just don’t think it’s funny. I’d rather be out of a job because this country finally took our obesity problem seriously and no one needs our medications anymore than to sit there and talk to a doctor in earnest about lowering a patient’s A1c while that box just sits there and stares at us. It’s not just the pharma reps fault, or the doctor’s office, or the patients or McDonalds. It’s everyone’s fault, and it’s everyone’s responsibility to do better.