Sunday, January 31, 2010

In Praise of Small Town Docs

A few years ago we moved to a nearby city, and over the course of three years or so had occasion about once yearly to attend the ER of the city hospital there for some emergent reason or other.  (As a health professional myself, and offspring of the same, I am acutely aware of bedside manner, professional decorum, and above all, abuse of the medical system - we do not frequent the ER unless staring death in the face.)  Suffice it to say, it wasn't a pretty picture.  The main difference from our little town hospital was, of course, the level of busyness.  With these increased workloads some increase in wait times, indifference, etc. was to be expected, and in these aspects we were not disappointed.  However, the most shocking aspect of the "big city" ER was the conduct of several of the ER specialists that we encountered.  It appears that instead of the writers of TV medical melodramas taking their cues from real ER's, these real life big city ER docs were taking their cues from TV medical melodramas like ER and Grey's Anatomy.  I'm sure this is not the case with all big city ER specialists, but my point is that the proliferation of these sickening (pun intended) TV medical melodramas may be affecting those medical students who watch them.  Doctor Kildare and Ben Casey, what hast thou wrought?