Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Doc Hollywood and the Physicians Of The Silver Screen

Doc Ness advised me to take a break in studying and so I'm but dutiful in listening to those infinitely wiser than I. Haha. Thank you doc, it is a welcome break. Though the August Medical Boards are drawing ever so near.

But you know what they say about all work...

So TBR 14 is about the Doctors of Hollywood.

Well, I really was not geared toward medicine in my high school and college years despite the fact I took up Physical Therapy as a premed course. And even though, I was in health care, I took more interest in shows that intrigued me like The Practice, those that made me laugh, like Friends, and of course, ESPN Sportscenter.

But I do watch TV a LOT, to merit an opinion in these matters. Haha, don't we all?

ER is the grandfather of all Doctor shows, I think. It spawned all those that followed like Chicago Hope (which I liked as an alternative to the IMO, too serious ER)among others. The thing that irked me about ER was that it got too heavy sometimes that I found myself dozing in the middle of an episode. Sure. Ming Na Wen could entice one to be more attentive, but it wasn't for me. Awards aplenty, it slowly marched into the backgrounds, and still enjoys quite a good rerun from daytime networks.

Chicago Hope, I liked because it was more layman-friendly to me. I was not in the medicine field then so I appreciated the idiot-guide to medicine.

As the years went by and I went into medicine, I gradually took an understanding to what it takes to be in the medical world.

I came across House MD.

And I loved it.

The humor. The character. The cases. The medicine. The diagnostics. The challenges.

Followed it from Season One to this date.

Here is a doctor that is in turmoil emotionally, but a brilliant diagnostician. And though he is depicted as a sick SOB (pardon my French), and with really crass bedside manner, he shows his heart is in curing his patients. He cares and not cares at the same time.

Forgive me for uhm, seeming like a House Geek but hey you asked for it. Hahaha

One episode that comes to mind is MATERNITY, season one. House gets caught up working pediatrics when almost all the babies born in the hospital get sick. Epidemic comes to mind. The preliminary diagnoses include bacterial causes and load the babies with antibiotics. But, no success. The ethical breach here was House decides to treat the two sickest babies differently, taking one off the two antibiotics they have them on and taking the other off the other one. He decides which gets taken off of which anti-biotic by flipping a coin. Love that stuff. Final DX: Viral infection.

My favorite episode by far would be DNR from season one. A musician is seemingly diagnosed with ALS. Everybody gives up including the patient, but House does not. The patient signs a DNR but House resuscitates him (you gotta love that). In the end, House was right. It was an arteriovenous malformation, intradural compressing his spine. A new lease on life for the musician. Another life saved for House and gets a trumpet in return.

I've gotten to know so many things from House. Hahaha, not the learning source my med school mentors would have recommended but I learned nonetheless. The intricacies of Occam's Razor, Cysticercosis, Hemochromatosis, Sleeping Sickness, AV Malformations, Tumors, Wegener's, the oft-mentioned "Vasculitis," Porphyrias and more. The 4th season isn't done yet, but I've seen a few episodes. House is looking for new minions after Chase, Foreman, and Cameron resigned. The way he turns it into American Idol / Apprentice is priceless.

I've come to like a few other series, Grey's Anatomy to see the surgeons at work. I don't really care much for McDreamy and McSteamy, but Katherine Heigl is probably more pleasing to this observer's eyes. Oh and you have to know who is Meredith going to be with to join in the EMO conversations.

An underrated medical show I secretly like as well is SCRUBS. Medicine has its share of funny funny moments and I love this show for showing them.

The way doctors have been shown on TV is a gut check for all of us. As evidenced by the awards, attention and fans these shows get, us included, people know a bit of how our world works. A double-edged sword if I ever saw one. As much as we are amused, we should be every bit as careful with patients. Doctors are not the "gods" they once were and these shows have contributed to a lot of the publicity doctors get.

I say, let's take all we can from these shows...relaxation, laughs, fantasies (for all the McDreamy fans)... and not lose sight of what's happening off the tube.

Hayy, back to studying.


mona said...

finally, brian gave in and was able to make it to the deadline...yehey!!!!!!nice entry bri...the best...til next TBR.hehehe

i think you should write a book like how doctors think...you know...you write so well..keep it up..

Em Dy said...

Thank for joining and taking a break from scholarly duties. Best of luck to you!

BTW, I just posted the roundup here.

c_huyoa said...

hehehe...liked the House parts...except when you got to the "technical" terms...wla ko kasabot...hahaha...=P

megamomph said...

Good luck on your boards! Hopefully more regular contributions after that, right?

Problem with TV medicine is, when it takes House one hour (length of an episode) to diagnose AND treat a complex case, the public may end up thinking that it's that easy.

I agree - let's take everything with a grain of salt. I surely hope the public takes heed as well.

MerryCherry, MD said...

There was an 'urban' legend when I took the boards that there was this one question in Pathology that a friend of a friend of a friend was able to answer because of HOUSE.

So, after that, we know a several med student who used House as a break from studying. :)

Good luck.