I don't take drug rep pens. I try to minimize my free items from drug reps, because I don't want my patients to think that I support a drug or therapy because they gave me free stuff.
So I use my own pens, and lately, I've been breaking out my fancy pens. And when I say fancy, I don't mean that they're nice. I mean fancy. I mean Cross and Mont Blanc and Waterman. I mean pens that cost $70, come in a fancy box, and have refills worth 20 lesser pens. In my pocket, at any given time, I'm carrying $100 in writing utinsels.
And as if that wasn't bad enough, I bought a new Waterman pen, ballpoint, retails $50. A little spur of the moment, but I've gotten in trouble only having 2 pens in my pocket. And most people don't notice. I mean, a pen's a pen.
But when you write for a living, and as an internist that's pretty much what I do, it's nice to do it with a little class. I used to think I was nuts to buy and use these fancy pens, but every now and then, I'll meet up with an attending, and the guy drives a beat up 10 year old Honda Civic hatchback, but he's got a Mont Blanc in his pocket. And that's when I know that I'm not the only one.