Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, October 05, 2015

The Ruling Class

I haven't posted here for a few days because I've been busy with events in Afghanistan, which have been quite outrageous. Anyway, I'm back here now with a different outrage.

You may recall a whiff of corruption affecting my employer, which I recounted a week ago. Well, the ever reliable BMJ is back with the subject for this Monday's post. It seems, according to Anderson et al, that of 442 publicly traded health care industry companies in the U.S. for which information on their Board members was available, 180 had at least one director who was affiliated with academic medicine. That includes 19 of 20 top NIH-funded medical schools. They include 8 medical school deans as well as 121 professors and 15 university presidents or provosts.

Oh yeah -- their average compensation was $193,000 per year. As far as I'm concerned, this is completely unacceptable. As David Rothman says in an accompanying editorial, if the companies want advice from these people they can get it without putting them on the board of directors and matching their academic salaries in exchange for attending a few meetings a year. This is bribery, and it has to stop.

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