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The Positive Side of Cognitive Dissonance

AT MY FIRST continuing medical education professionals' meeting, the 1997 American Medical Association CME Provider/Industry Collaboration Conference, I had a breakfast conversation that I've never forgotten. A CME provider told me how his organization worked with pharma companies to develop marketing programs for new drugs. The strategy involved producing CME activities that created cognitive dissonance — in other words, generated dissatisfaction — among physicians about existing

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