Friday, December 01, 2006

TV dramas not good source of medical info

…Writing for the Freedom News Service, Lisa Liddane takes on the subject of the accuracy or even plausibility of the medicine we see depicted on TV.

…ER, House, St Elsewhere, Chicago Hope, and of course, Gray’s Anatomy, are all popular shows that chew over medical conditions.

…But, Liddane says, they are far from documentaries.

…In 2002, the Kaiser Foundation issued a report on the effect of the content in the show ER between March 1997 to April 2000. 3,500 regular viewers were surveyed.

…More than half said they discussed the health issues in the show with family and friends.

…One-third had used info from the show to make their own health decisions,.

…A fifth had done more research, but got the idea from the show.

…Docs say the shows give a warped picture of hospital life.

…Like the bustling ER with people running to and fro? HA asks.

…Yes, the docs said, the hustle would mean the work was not properly paced.

…These shows have medical advisers and they say they are careful not to put in something false, but they do “go for the jugular” in dramatizing everything to the max.

…Another complaint? Everyone just gets treated by teams of highly trained doctors and no one ever talks about insurance.

…If a person is uninsured in a show, it’s probably a street person.

… This belies the real facts about the uninsured—they are working people for the most part and have homes, just not covered health care.

…Even people with insurance, would have to ask, “Yes, I want the best doctor, but is she on my health plan?”

…That’s medicine, reality show-style.

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