A loose definition of the word “expert”

I’ve written before (Physician Heal Thyself (I)) about companies that have signed up physicians as consultants to the investment industry.

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that except that some of these investors are looking for proprietary data on clinical trials that can affect their sponsors’ valuations.

Gerson Lehrman is the largest such firm, and when they tried to sign me up I wrote about that, too. See Wolf at the door?

So I had to laugh when I received an email on Friday from a Gerson Lehrman competitor citing my “expertise” in rheumatoid arthritis along with their appreciation of my blog. I was flattered except I really don’t know much about rheumatoid arthritis. I searched my blog and it looks like I mentioned it once in passing, in a post about Bextra eight months ago.

Investors beware!

Dear Dr. Williams,

Primary Insight is currently recruiting experts like you, with expertise in rheumatoid arthritis, in order to join our Expert Contributor Network, and perform consultations with investment professionals.

Primary Insight is a unit of Bear Stearns, a leading Wall Street investment bank. Primary Insight seeks “thought leaders” in their respective fields who have the ability to communicate complex medical concepts with ease.

Contributors to Primary Insight perform one-on-one phone consultations with clients and are paid on a pro rated hourly basis [Note from your blogger: this means they won’t pay you for a whole hour!] to discuss their medical expertise with clients. Typical consultations offer a client a “50,000 foot” overview followed by a detailed discussion of a particular subject. No preparation is needed.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. We look forward to working with you.

Primary Insight

P.S. Love your blog!

December 3, 2005

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