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Deggans talks with the BBC about how TV medical dramas affect Americans' view of health care



Edie-falco-nurse-jackie When an activist group began airing advertisements quoting British and Canadian doctors criticizing the government-controlled health care programs in their home countries, as a way of raising questions about President Obama's attempt to change health care in the U.S., the British Broadcasting Corp. began wondering:

Exactly what do Americans expect when they walk into an American hospital? And is it influenced at all by the medical dramas they see on television every week?

After checking out my recent story about nurses on TV, BBC Radio asked me to weigh in on this idea. I talked with host Matt Frei about the images presented on most American medical dramas -- where the doctors spend more time with patients and are shown doing a lot of the emotional hand-holding than they do in real life.

I also noted that Americans have had such a tough time sorting through all the claims and counter claims about Canadian and European health care systems, that deciding which aspects of those structures to bring into the U.S. has been nearly impossible.

What we didn't discuss: The guy at the center of the advertisements considered by the BBC, Rick Scott, is a discredited former CEO of Columbia/HCA, which pleaded guilty to overbilling and paid $1.7-billion in fines.

Click here to hear the piece, look below to see clips of the commercials and reports on Scott:


[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:59pm]


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