ProPublica, the "independent non-profit newsroom" that won a Pulitzer this year for investigative reporting, recently released an ongoing investigation (Dollars for Docs) into doctors' compensation from pharmaceutical companies and the effect it has on patient care. The investigative team crunched and organized numbers into a database that makes this information easy to access so that patients can administer a quick and easy checkup on their health-care providers -- turn your head and cough, docs.
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The list includes a big-name cancer specialist with a thick résumé of peer-reviewed research, but also doctors whose qualifications as experts remain a mystery.Self-promoters who boast of their persuasive skills are mixed in with physicians who refuse to discuss the nature of their promotional work...Physicians in the group come from a variety of backgrounds and specialties. Many have thriving clinical practices and squeeze in talks before and after work. Some make hundreds of presentations a year.