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Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Mass Media's Treatment of Patient Privacy

Most of the complaints center on how men are portrayed as patients in the health care system, often very disrespectfully. The media clearly play a role in this, though it's hard to be sure how much they cause vs. how much is a response to society's already formed attitudes.

112 comments:

Joel Sherman said...

MER cited this example in the Make New Topic thread:
THE RIGHT STUFF, about the original Mercury 7 astronauts. There's a lengthy scene when they are being examined and test in a hospital. They are paraded around naked in their gowns, through the halls, in front of visitors, in the elevator, etc. The nurses are shown as arrogant and wielding their power and authority. This takes place about 1959.
Now, how much of this is Hollywood and how much is reality? That's the question. The movie is based upon the Tom Wolfe book of the same name. But I've noticed in most movies, male modesty in medical situations is show to be humorous, and men's modesty being violated, according to the movies, is just plain funny.

Joel Sherman said...

Here's a quote of mine from the Male Modesty thread:
Saw a play at a local theater the other night (Midlife Crisis, the Musical), and sure enough they had one brief skit of 2 men sitting in a doctors office talking to each other about how much they dreaded rectal exams. Then they are told that their doctor is gone that day and a young beautiful woman introduces herself as their doctor of the day. They both jump up eagerly and follow her. What sheer demeaning nonsense. Never seen anything similar concerning women patients, but men are frequently portrayed as buffoons.

Joel Sherman said...

In a similar vein, physicians also may fall prey to this tendency to make men's health the subject of humor. Do they get it from the mass media? We have referenced before Dr Sharon Orrange's blog on the 10 reasons men dont't go to the doctor. For the sake of humor she included as reasons 1 and 2 "You are afraid we will put our finger in your butt" and "You are afraid we will examine your balls." She said this was intended for humor but never acknowledged the negative and demeaning aspects of her statements. How damaging they can be is revealed by the last comment on that thread presently, #62, by 'lefteddie.' The last sentence of his comment is: Please dont' mock or make fun of us, we are really the same as you, wanting to be treated with the same respect and dignity you ask for. Dr Orrange never responded.

Anonymous said...

There is a series called Nurse Jackie on HBO, it is a great example of this. While I have only seen a couple of episodes I have seen a young man being treated for a burned scrotum after shooting a rocket out of his rear, of course several people had to take a look and another nurse took a picture with her cell phone..after asking of course so she could show her brother what would happen if he was stupid, another scrotum/penis injury was once again openly viewed by several female nurses with amusement...the last episode Nurse Jackie yanked the urinary cath out of a male patient that was being to loud and demanding...causing him great pain which she found satisfying. To round it out, the one male nurse in the show.....gay of course. Unfortunately as someone stated as per the Dr. Orange blog...it isn't always just the media that takes male health and modesty lightly...then they wonder why men don't take their own health seriously....alan

Joel Sherman said...

Alan, I have only watched the first episode of 'Nurse Jackie.' Although that episode didn't specifically denigrate men, I thought it denigrated the whole medical profession. Nurse Jackie in the first episode was instructing doctors what to do while having lunch breaks in a closet for sexual trysts.
The mass media's treatment of health care I have always found disgusting. It is always more salacious fantasy than real. Even when real, it accentuates the salacious as when for instance the female urologist in the series from Hopkins was shown examining a man who had his pants down. They made it seem that this scenario was revolutionary when in fact women physicians examine men thousands of times everyday in this country.
Maybe your group could routinely send letters of complaints to the appropriate networks about this.

MER said...

Nurse Jackie is a show to keep our eye on. It may represent one of the best examples of Hollywood's misrepresenting reality is health care. As Joel says, it's not just the stereotyping of men. It's the whole picture that's being warped.
There was a episode of NYPD Special Victims Unit. A woman accuses a man of raping her. She says it was consensual. It's a "he says she says" situation. Both agree to an exam with the medical examiner who is a woman. The female is show gowned in a robe as she approaches the medical examiner. The man walks out of a room completely naked after undressing and stands completely naked in front of the medical examiner. He appears to be unphased. Here's a clear example of how our society sees male modesty. I wish I knew the episode number or name. If anyone does, please let us know so we can document it.

MER said...

I want to demonstrate the kind of warped reality, distorted thinking, stereotyping, and pandering we're dealing with in the media when it comes to male modesty.

The video clip I'm placing below, is from the MTV "reality" show, "The Paper." The show producers did an investigative piece following some high school football players through a physical.

Now, if you know the "reality" of "reality" shows, you know that they're about as real as plastic coins. What you're seeing is a set up. The boys probably aren't aware of what's going to happen -- that's where they get the "real" response. But the "doctors" are. I put doctors in quotes because if these are real doctors playing this game, I'm beginning loose more and more respect for the current generation of doctors. If they allow themselves to be played with like this, be used like this, they should find another job.
What's the message this clip wants to get across:
-- Men and boys don't deserve any modesty at all in medical situations.
-- Modesty in men is all a joke.
-- Men need to just get used to being treated like this by female caregivers -- that's just how it is.
- If these boys don't like that's too bad. They need to be trained, resocialized. Get used to it.
-- Young female doctors like the one shown here need much practice on young boys so they (the doctors) get to feel comfortable doing this kind of thing. Patient comfort is not important, especially with men. Doctor comfort and practice is all that counts.
-- It's easy to make these young men feel they must "take it like a man," be "macho." We know they won't protest, especially on camera, because it will make them look like wimps. So -- let's take advantage of them.
-- The male doctor who started the exam could have finished the exam. But what fun is there in that -- for both the audience and the female doctor.
-- Look at the grin on the female doctor's face. The message is that it's perfectly okay for female caregivers to enjoy embarrassing and humiliating naked men. Might as well enjoy it. that's one of the perks of the job.
-- Video's like this send out the wrong message -- that female nurses and doctors are, indeed, perverts who enjoy holding power over and embarrassing naked men. Untrue as that is, that's the message.
-- This is also a good example of what we've called the "ambush." The message is that ambushes like this not only work, but they're fun, for the staff and any viewers you can happen to include.
I would like to hear to other views of this video.

http://jezebel.com/385318/

Joel Sherman said...

I agree with you MER that the MTV clip is about as disgusting as it gets. I don't know what pretense the show makes towards 'reality' but if the kids weren't paid for their trouble, they were certainly coached as to what to expect and how to react. Don't think that there's any chance that those were real doctors involved. Even legally you couldn't spring that on someone without risking being sued in a big way. My guess is that legal contracts were signed before this was done, especially if the kids weren't 18 yet.
But the idea is the same as I described in 'Midlife Crisis, the Musical Above.' Men are shown to be exhibitionists and buffoons. The lady 'doctor' on MTV isn't portrayed in any better light. She's getting the same kick out of it. Men are portrayed as going to doctors for sexual kicks only, not because they care about their health.
MTV is beneath contempt, but any networks that do something similar should receive loud protests. That includes Showtime for 'Nurse Jackie.'

Anonymous said...

MER, the episode you speak of is from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The Sixth Year and the episode is called "Doubt". You can instantly watch it if you have a Netflix account. --anon--

http://www.netflix.com/WiPlayer?movieid=70069949&trkid=439191

MER said...

Joel:

I have to disagree with you. Those were real doctors. These reality shows certainly fudge in many areas, but they showed the clinic where this took place. You're right in that all kinds of legal papers were signed, but in our current culture, it's not a problem find real professionals in any field to do things like that. I could be wrong -- but I'd bet those were real doctors.

By the way, the site the video is on is a women's fashion lifestyle site. Note on the left at the masthead, all the staff is women. So we've also established that seeing naked men embarrassed in medical situations examined by female doctors -- that's a form of entertainment for these women at least. Not in a pornographic sense, but in a sense that it's humorous to put men in these situations and watch them be humiliated. My point is that the market for this kind of "entertainment" isn't a pornographic site, but a women's lifestyle site for young women. That, I think, is an important insight into what's going on in the culture of this country regarding how it views men.

Joel Sherman said...

Well MER, I hope they weren't real physicians. That scene with the young woman physician smirking at the naked boys would be enough to disqualify her from many if not most employment opportunities.
I certainly wouldn't hire any physician who took part in filming what amounts to soft porn. Even worse is that the porn compromises her professionalism.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Sherman
You are right the nurse Jackie is a disquesting example of hollywood promoting their own agenda regardless of who it demeans. Nurse Jackie abuses pain killers while having an affair with one of the doctors with a nasty attitude...I think the thing that bothers me the most is we recognize to some degree how wrong women have been treated and discriminated against...but seem to accept or even justify it against males, this is paticularly true in the media. Trying to address the wrong imposed on females has lead to accepting the same against men. Hollywood, and the media has become entertainment first, is a big part of this....i never thought about how a provider might feel about all the sex, affairs, and lack of morals contained in the media portrayals...i guess we are both victims of hollywoods lack of morality and greed...patients and providers...alan

MER said...

On volume 20 of Dr. Bernstein's blog, some posted this:

"I was shopping for a "get well" card for my male friend yesterday. I saw one that had a photo of a sexy young "nurse" with the caption "time for your sponge bath". Now who, I wonder thought up the idea of that card? A man or a woman? Perhaps this is why men's modesty is not taken as seriously."

A thought -- as we consider "media," let's make sure we use a broad definition so as to include items like this.

MER said...

Another comment from the Bernstein blog that fits this thread.

At Tuesday, August 04, 2009 12:32:00 AM, Erin said...

NP, Have you seen the movie "Patch Adams" - the mock up of a woman with her legs spread and the entrance to the Hall is her vagina - this was to welcome gynecologists to the hospital.
The movie "Knocked Up" where the gyn looks under the sheet and says, "Oh, now I see the similarity with your sister"....
Every woman in the cinema cringed and many of the men thought it was tasteless and definitely not funny.

Joel Sherman said...

I saw Patch Adams which is loosely based on a true story, though I have no idea if that incident was factual. Adams disrespected everything about American medicine in the movie and I suppose that stunt was supposed to embarrass the gynecologists. He pulled many other stunts but they were supposed to have some redeeming social value.
The second movie I have not seen, but that's the kind of humor that debases all of medicine, and is similar to others on this thread no matter what gender it's directed at. It is usually a man who's either the offender or made to look foolish, rarely a woman. Of course 'Nurse Jackie' is just as obnoxious as any of these portrayals of guys. But the series wants you to see her as a sympathetic nurse whereas I just cringe at this portrayal of a nurse and medicine in general. It demeans all professionals.

MER said...

I think what we're seeing in our culture, to some degree, is the deprofessionalization of medicine led by the growth of technology in general and the media in particular. Patients sometimes have more time than their doctors to do research on the internet and can sometimes find new valid information about their condition. There's danger in that, too, since there's so much bad informtion on the web as well.
"Nurse Jackie" may be the culmination of this deprofessionalization process of the media, especially for nurses. It's tragic. When you study the history of nursing, you see the struggle nurses went through the become a profession. I found a 1907 article in a nursing magazine protesting against the phrase "trained" nurses. "Trained" suggested merely rote knowledge and skills. They wanted professional nurses as their title.

With much of hands on nursing now done by cna's, med. tech, patient techs, etc.; with everybody dressed in scrubs so you don't know who has a license and who doesn't; with the bottom line so important and efficiency at times overshadowing respect of patient dignity; with shows like "Scrubs," and "Nurse Jackie" -- we're witnessing this deprofessionalization in our lifetime. It will take longer for doctors, but the nursing profession is in trouble in this regard. Many people may be sympathic with Nurse Jackie as a human being, but they sure as hell don't want her as their nurse.

Anonymous said...

"Might as well enjoy it. that's one of the perks of the job."

I've heard and read many experiences where nurses admit to enjoying the "perks" of the job. On one of the Voy boards a particular NP has mentioned many times how much she enjoys it, as have several others. What upsets me the most is that many men agree with her and think there's no harm in it, let her enjoy.

I guess we have to realize that most people that go to those forums go because it's a big turn on for them. I personally can't stand the idea that people like her may be mentally raping me and enjoying gawking at and fondling my genitals.

GL

Joel Sherman said...

MER, I think it's a general trend in our society. There are no sacred cows anymore. You're free to dis anything including doctors, nurses, ministers, teachers etc. It has some good points. Obviously no one should automatically be beyond criticism. I think our popular culture though goes to extremes, catering to the lowest common denominator to achieve mass appeal.

GL, I'm sure there are nurses such as you describe though they keep their thoughts well hidden from me. I'm not personally aware of any nurses like that. The majority of in hospital medicine is with patients who are too elderly or sick to 'turn on' anyone. Out patient general medicine is different. With our emphasis on annual doctor's visits and preventive care, the majority of patients are quite well and not really worried about their health. To avoid the issues that concern you, make sure your appointments are private without unneeded chaperones or assistants. Clearly some guys get turned on by being examined by a woman and enjoy the attention and touch. Don't know the percentage of guys who react like that, but it's not large. Most guys are embarrassed, at least at first. There are of course women who react similarly and enjoy the exams too, becoming flirtatious. It's human nature. As we age, most of us are more concerned about real health issues and get no secondary enjoyment from medical encounters.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joel Sherman said...

I will copy GL's post to the male modesty thread and comment there.
I will eventually delete it from here.

Joel Sherman said...

As a post on Bernstein reminded me, Hollywood doesn't treat nurses any better than men. The stereotype of a sexy or oversexed nurse is quite common. Even worse, I believe there are many porn videos that feature 'nurses' and 'doctors' as well.
In fact 'Nurse Jackie' is kind of unusual in its portrayal of nurses, portraying her as a hard boiled nurse who has seen better days, at least in the romance game. Too bad they couldn't also show her as a mature nurse who actually cared about professionalism.

Joel Sherman said...

Here's the link that Alan mentioned on Bernstein to the CBS advertisement for men's prostate exams, featuring of course a pretty woman.
I've seen worse, but I agree that it is demeaning. Would they show a hunk suggesting that women get a pap smear. Everyone would agree that it would be demeaning. But men are always treated differently; it's assumed they won't be interested in health unless sex is involved. It is demeaning.

Anonymous said...

I think the CBS ad is indicative of several things, the lack of understanding of male modesty and to a lessor degree the lack of concern or the lack of recognition of the roll modesty plays in the medical experience. We have discussed the possible reasons providers ignore this, personally I think the majority of the reason is it is self serving. It is easier to pretend it doesn't exist, isn;t and issue so you don't have to deal with it or schedule around it.....for hollywood, they have this view of modesty in general that is not in sync with mainstream society, the morality of hollywood...and the media is part of that, same owners....is just not the same as the rest of the country...so its not a big surprise they treat male modesty any different.....to treat a prostate exam as something to make light of, to make a joke about, especially using a young pretty woman shows how our of touch they are...like that is going to encourage a guy to go in for something they will find humiliating and uncomfortable to start with.....then the second part...where is the outrage, if they ran an ad with a male hunk joking...what a woman might say while getting a mammogram....mind if I eat while you do that.....that is the machine isn't it....boy that was fun........women's groups from all over would go nuts.....think the Susan Koleman group would think that was funny.....the media while completely out of sync with mainstream society...reflects to some degree society as a whole....as evidenced by the Dr Orannge post on daily strength.....and if every person who reads this does not go to CBS.com and lodge a complaint...we are part of the problem....alan

Anonymous said...

Dr. Sherman
Sorry, I just got the audio on your link, its the same woman, different ad, that one is a little disturbing as the female commentator seems a little amused but not that bad, the one they are running is much worse....and it strikes a common cord...they appear to be well meaning, but don't even realize how demeaning it is to at least some men to make like of this...its one of the most humiliating things a man does on a regular basis...but its funny to the media and perhaps society in general...its acceptable to do this...contact CBS...alan

MER said...

With an ad like this, we can talk about the "media" in a very broad sense. It may be not so much Hollywood, though, as it is Madison Avenue, the advertising industry. Was this ad generated by CBS itself, or did they contract it out to an ad agency? Same result. But I think it's worth studying what sells and how the advertising industry uses what sells in their campaigns.
What's being used to sell a prostate exam in this ad? Sex? But who is the audience for this ad? Men? Perhaps. On the surface, though, that is the words, it's directed toward a man's spouse, getting him to undergo this exam. But if the audience is a man's wife, why the beautiful woman? Would that appeal to her?
I think the words are for the woman, the man's wife. But beneath the words is the image of a sexy woman. That's designed to get the man's attention.
Don't doubt for a moment Madison Avenues knowledge of cutting edge psychology and brain research. They know how to sell, and they pay the best scientists and researchers millions to help them figure out how men and women see ads like this differently, where they eyes go, and what they're actually hearing.

Joel Sherman said...

Alan, I sent in my comments to CBS a few days ago. Haven't received a reply and doubt that I will even though I signed it M.D.
MER, I doubt great research went into this ad as this is likely a non for profit ad that no one is paying big bucks for. But they are using their preconceived notions of what will interest men. Sex is what they use to interest men and their influence is pervasive in society unfortunately.
I showed the ad to my wife and she too said that's what interests men. I asked her if she knew any men like that and she had to say no. Neither do I. The ad is targeted to young people in any event, men who don't need prostate exams.

Anonymous said...

MER, the media networks own not only the content of prime time, they own the news networks as well. There is a lot of concern that what was once news and information has tilted heavily toward entertainment thus the term infotainment. Some networks cbs, nbc, fox all have rather obvious political leanings in their reporting. So, I really think hollywood and the media, especially TV are a lot closer than we want them to be.

That said, you could be right...but it is still wrong. Go to a major hospital website and see if they have the spirit of women tabs, I went to St Vincents (Indianapolis) and St. Elizaeth (in Lafayette) the text on one was basically we know that women make 80% of the health care decisions in their houses so we give them the tools......now lets suppose that is the focus of the CBS public service ad...lets suppose it was targeted to wives...I as a male sitting there watching got a completely different message. One, my health issues aren't taken serious, its a source of humor..how funny, while someone is sticking their finger in there I can talk on my blackberry...and hope you are wearing a glove...thats funny stuff...then we can read what ever into the your done already...maybe I liked it???? None of these would be acceptable for female intimate proceedures becasue those are serious issues not to be joked about. We wonder why men don't take their health seriously....no one else does. Then there is the other thing, I would guess a large number of men find this exam humiliating..I know I do, bending over, pants at ankles, a guy sticking his finger up by bare backside...I just hate it, I dread it, but I do it because my Dr. treats me with respect so I get through it....when they run crap like this, making light of what men find humiliating...even if they are targeting their wives...do they really think it will make that man feel more comfortable going to the Dr for this, thinking everyone will think his discomfort is a joke and won't take his concerns seriously???
The question becomes, if they feel they have to go to our wives becasue we don't take our health seriously....shouldn't they be asking why and what they can do to address that....isn't the real issue for some reason men don't make the effort to protect their health and why????
I have to agree with Dr. Sherman a little on this issue, I think they are applying the principles of selling beer to health care issues and they are a long way off.
I e-mailed CBS & the American Cancer Association...I don't expect a response from either one...but I will continue to correspond to them...and I will make sure to point out to the American Cancer Association...I will remember any lack of response the next time one of their numerous fund raisers is in the area....Thanks for contacting them Dr. Sherman...I hope others will do the same....alan

MER said...

"I have to agree with Dr. Sherman a little on this issue, I think they are applying the principles of selling beer to health care issues and they are a long way off."

I wish I could agree with you, alan, but I can't. Yes, they are applying the principles of selling beer to health care, but are they a long way off? We like to think so. But I think they know much more about what sells to most men than we do. We've talked about this. Most men are not going to complain about this. Do you really think they'll get thousands of letters from men disgusted with the ad? Will any men's organizations rally to get that ad off the air? Why not? In fact, how many men will even notice the ad, or if they do, care one way or the other?
You think they don't know this? When media ad space sells for millions of dollars a minute, much is at stake. When that much is at stake the research gets done. We may not like what the research shows, but that's life.
Can we change this? I think so. Are men's attitudes changing? I think so. Can a few solid complaints make a difference. You bet, especially ones signed M.D. as Joel's did.
But in that world, money and ratings are all that talks. They need to feel that their bottom line will be hurt.

Joel Sherman said...

I have no respect at all for the Hollywood/TV mass media. They long ago gave up all standards in favor of maximizing appeal and profit. They make use of the lowest common denominator in targeting all their productions.
They treat medical shows the same way not surprisingly. But fictional shows are one thing; supposedly educational health programs and public service ads are another. There is no point in directing prostate cancer health promotions to the beer guzzling frat set. They're not the ones who most need it. Grown men shouldn't be treated as if we're still all frat boys. I'll bet they can't document that their ads are more effective than a serious approach in getting the over 50 set to get prostate exams.
Alan I like your idea of complaining to the American Cancer Society about it. Were they mentioned in the long version of the ad? Please do post it if you can locate it.

Anonymous said...

MER I think where we differ is our view of what the intent is here. They run the ad under "We care", the apparent meaning is they care about men's health. Your impression...we care about our ratings may be more accurate...but that isn't what they appear to be selling. So, if it truely is the intent that they care about men's health, does anyone really think a young attractive female making fun of what most men find humiliating will accomplish that better than say well known respected men talking about their experiences seriously. There are many famous atheletes, politicians, etc. that would be much more effective if they were serious. So, I stand by my contention that if they were seriously interested in mens health they would not run this ad. I do not think they were interested in the health aspect as much as entertaining. I do agree with you though in that they know they can get away with it because there really are no men's organizations like NOW to raise heck. For generations women were beat down and oppressed, men are subject to a different type of beat down now through reverse discrimination and the additional challenge of being labeled a sexist or other things if they protest. If every man and hopefully woman that read this took the few minutes it takes to go to CBS.com and the American Cancer society's web site to complain...eventually it might start to have an effect.

I will try to find the clip...its really not good........alan

I will try to locate the clip,

MER said...

alan:

It's just an opinion. But my research has indicated to me that the cutting edge brain research -- how we see, think, feel, react, learn, etc. -- doesn't go immediately into places like education. It goes to places where much is a stake money-wise, e.g. sports and business. These ventures have the bucks to hire and assemble high-level research teams. Madison Avenue and Hollywood know much more about human behavior than we give them credit for. That's all I'm saying.
I agree that this ad is in bad taste and doesn't appeal to me or, I think, to many men. But ads don't just get made. There's research done, demographic studies examined, subjects tested. These media people are not stupid. They know their stuff.

Hexanchus said...

MER,

I understand your point regarding advertising designed to promote marketing/sales of a product or service, and agree. However, what Alan describes is not a marketing advertisement, but a public service announcement, which is something very different.

Licensed broadcast stations are required to run a certain number of public service announcements as a part of their license from the FCC. Typically these adds are produced by or for an organization such as the American Cancer Society, Humane Society, etc. They are submitted to the broadcast station and put in a pool from which they are run sequentially as allotted slots come up.

I have seen the add Alan mentioned and agree it is in poor taste, and also panders to the concept that men aren't capable of making their own health care decisions.

MER said...

I understand what you're saying, Hexanchus. But the American Cancer Society is a large organization with a huge budget. I doubt very much whether they are producing these ads themselves. They hire professional ad agencies to do the ads, or the agencies are doing it pro bono. But these are not some ads that are being created by some amateurs in the coffee room.

Joel Sherman said...

My point is the same as before MER. The ads may be done professionally but public health ads can not be rated by simple bottom line measures used for advertising in general. The ad agencies aren't going to do the research required for public health ads, especially if they're pro bono.
How do you measure what percentage of men got a prostate exam after listening to a serious health message vs. watching a pretty girl? Can't use profit and loss to figure that out. It would take a large study and I can't imagine who would pay for it. Maybe if there was an active federal men's health program similar to what there is for women. Don't hold your breath waiting.

Anonymous said...

Obviously I agree with Hex and Dr. Sherman. And I will bet if you showed this paticular ad to 10 men the majority would not think gee I better get a prostate exam because that pretty woman was making fun of it....if your point was a professional research group came up with this as a way to get men to get a prostate exam....they stink. I liken it more to Dr. Orrange where they apply a stereo type approach to the issue. Make fun of men's health because...men are simple creatures, its not serious like say...breast cancer. Maybe because as hex pointed out it is a public service spot they cut corners and went cheap...obviously we are not going to come to agreement on this but I feel its more lack of effort and taking the easy (low) road rather than some well thought out approach, and they can get away with it...so Dr. Sherman...anyone reply to your complaint...me either...alan

Hexanchus said...

MER,

I agree that the ACS has a huge budget, and have no doubt they use the services of advertising professionals, whether paid or donated. It's purely speculation on my part and I may be completely off base, but by their underlying premise my gut tells me this series of ads was probably designed by someone (likely female) that thought they were being cute. That's not meant in any way to be a criticism of females - just an observation on my part based on the tone and content.

The big difference between paid advertising and public service announcements is that the latter do not represent a source of income to the broadcast station. The air time for them is provided for free as part of the station's FCC licensing requirements. Their purpose is not to sell a product or service, but to provide beneficial information as a public service. In the case we're discussing, I think we all agree that they failed miserably.

MER said...

I guess I'm not being clear. We've talked about stereotypes about men. I think this ad is based upon those stereotypes. It's easier to go for the stereotype that get the real facts.

But remember, we've talked about this, too. We don't have the research to know how men feel about these kinds of things. I don't know the answer.
But what if we were get that shows that men either don't care about opposite gender care or prefer female care? Would you be willing to accept that if the research was valid? I would. That's the way it may be. I would still fight for the rights of the minority of men to get dignified care, though.

I was just reading some research with teens from the UK. Some of boys seemed homophobic, unwilling to let a male doctor or nurses touch their privates. For the girls, it was more embarrassing for them to think of the boys looking at naked women. They didn't think the boys would be embarrassed with them looking at naked men. Interesting. Attitudes about this are more complicated than we may think. And we may not like the result of the research we're suggesting.
Back to the ad. Fact seems to be that women make most of the family health decisions. Facts seems to be that a significant number of men need to be prodded by their women to get checkups and exams. So this ad goes to those women. Sorry if that bothers some men, but that's what the research seems to shows. Frankly, I don't like it either. But if it's true, it's true.

Maybe this ad was just thrown together. I don't know. But I stand by what I say about the psychosocial research that goes into these ads. These folks may know more about human behavior than we would like to think they do.

Anonymous said...

Ok MER lets go with your thought, a majority of health decisions are made by women...at one time men made all the decisions of importance in the home because it was generally held women weren't capable of making those decisions. There were even a significant number of women who fought womens efforts to change that. And the fact was many women were at that time unprepared because society had relegated them to a role that did not make it conducive for them to carry out those duties...society told them they weren't suppose to make these decisions. The difference is women fought for their rights, not that every woman had to follow them but they had the right to choose. People tend to think research provides answers, but it doesn't when you are factoring in human behavior, it provides generalizations and clues, but unlike say a chemical reaction, people are influenced by many things, we have a tendency to say what we are expected to say. So either the ACS are a bunch of idiots who followed the folly of sexism of the past and ignore the true issue, why don't men look after their health, or they are genius researchers who have figured out the real way to get men to do something is to make light of what the vast majority of men find humiliating and approach with dread. MER I have come to believe you are male, could be wrong...but honestly, from your experience, do you honestly believe anyone thinks making jokes about it would encourage men to get a DRE. Do you honestly believe we men are so simple minded that such an attempt at child psych works. I respect your opinion, you have provided some great insight, but sometimes we get a little to enthralled with our own area of expertise. While I understand we tend to think our opinion is the majority, I have been in enough conversations with men to know we dread the dre, almost as much as they resent being belittled and made light of. Research is just that, it doesn't mean you have the right answer just becasue you spend a great deal of time and money on something. I would be interesting however what research would say if they polled 100 men on the ad, do they think it was funny, I would say a lot would say yes, do they think it would make them more or less likely to get a dre...I'm thinking the answer would be a lot different...no disrespect intended....but research can be influenced by what society tells us we should feel,,,not always the same as what we feel...want to know what guys really think...drink a beer or two with them, spend some time when they are relaxed and open...just my opinion, ......alan

MER said...

Alan: re women making most of the health decisions -- I'm not saying it's right or wrong. I'm just saying that's the way it is. That's why there's so much marketing to women, why we see womens' health centers, why there are women's health sections in books stores, etc. That's the reality. Have you noticed how many health clinics ads say family health, children's health and women's health but no men's health?

Of course men should fight for their right to choose and complain about ads like this. That's the beginning of change.

So, I sound like a women, do I? Is that so bad? I'm a male, Alan. But this is a good gender test. My gender certainly influences the way I see the world. But my ideas stand sound or unsound on their own, regardless of my gender.

Anonymous said...

MER, I didn't mean to insinuate you sounded like a female. My statement there was simply I didn't really place much thought determining your gender becasue it didn't really matter to me, as you said, your opinions stand on their own regardless of gender. I assumed from your writing you were male...but it matters not to me.

My point was, as a male I would assume you like I have been privy to conversations with and around men in ungaurded moments. I have yet to hear a man say they did not hate the DRE. I know I do, is it because it is painful...no, its not that painful...its humiliating, its abnormal and deameaning for many males. So, my point was to you, do you truely believe that an ad where an attractive female making light of males getting a DRE would really get more men to have the check up than say a respected professional ahtelete talking seriously to them about it. I personally think the latter would be much more effective...I could be wrong, but I would love to see 100 men screen that ad, and 100 screen the serious approach...andsee which they would feel would be more effective. And while females may make most of the decisions....I would lay money the vast majority are for them and their children...not their husbands...men are stubborn, we make our own decisions....and if I am right, and that ad was based on research...their research is wrong....alan

Hexanchus said...

"And while females may make most of the decisions....I would lay money the vast majority are for them and their children...not their husbands...men are stubborn, we make our own decisions...."

Alan,

You took the words right out of my mouth, and I think you hit it dead on.

MER said...

"So, my point was to you, do you truely believe that an ad where an attractive female making light of males getting a DRE would really get more men to have the check up than say a respected professional ahtelete talking seriously to them about it."

My point is that this ad is not marked to men. It's marketed to their wives and lovers. The perception is that men need to be prodded to get these exams. They won't get them on their own. Those who made the ad probably believe that even a professional male athlete pushing this won't have the influence or power the man's wife or lover will have.

To what extent is that true? It may be to some extent. But the ad perpetuates stereotypes about men.

I don't think we really disagree about how offensive this ad is to many men.

Anonymous said...

A nice woman from American Cancer Research Association found the link I was looking for on the recent ad. I will try to post it, its a long url, but its worth a look....and if you feel like I do, its worth filing a complaint with CBS.

http://www.cbs.com/cbs cares/video/video.php?cid=822112903&cc=26&play=teve

I hope that works, the URL from Michele had a space between cbs and cares. Maybe someone else can look it up and do a link...I am limited in ablity..when you watch it, pay attention to the smirk the woman makes the comment about the blackberry. This ad seems to be directed to men...hope it works ...alan

Joel Sherman said...

Thanks for that Alan.
Here's the corrected link (cbs_cares).
Did you get a response from the ACS? If so, what did they say?

Joel Sherman said...

I've now looked at the other CBS Cares prostate ads. Note there are several done by men including a urologist which are much more acceptable. I think the last one by Lundquist is the most appropriate. You have to wonder why they didn't use them. It would be worth making that point when writing CBS or the ACS.

Anonymous said...

This running ad is essentially no
more different than when a partially nude woman adorns the cover of a popular man's magazine
such as hot rodders or car craft.
Not that I approve of it but its
only a wake up call to many who
haven't seen or merely realized this process thats been building
for years. It is disturbing but
so is the double-standard health
care community as well.
As far as I'm concerned they can
send a copy on the next voyager
spacecraft for all I care. I don't
get DRE'S,only bloodwork for a psa suits me fine.


PT

Anonymous said...

Dr. Sherman
I did not get a reply from the ACS or CBS. I did get a reply from the American Cancer Research Association which was very sincere and professional. If I get any reply at all I will let you know. I have found out that whether I get a reply or not, just doing something, even if its just writing a complaint letter, acknowledged or not....makes me feel better.....alan

Joel Sherman said...

Thanks Alan. I note that the only one of those CBS spots that gave any byline to the ACS was the Lundquist spot, which I thought was the best ad. So maybe the ACS has good intentions.

If you look at the topics available on the CBS site, I note with interest that 4 are specifically for women, and a few others such as domestic violence are almost certainly targeted to them. Incredibly they list ‘women's heart disease,’ but not heart disease in general or men's heart disease. In contrast, only prostate cancer is directed at men. It's a good example of the low priority that men's health has for the mass media.

PL said...

Women are never "offered" screening...it's demanded or forced on us.
My closest friend was forced to have screening to get birth control. Nothing new there...
She received no information at all and it wasn't her decision to have the test....if she didn't agree to a smear, she wasn't going to get the BCP.
This is a widespread thing in this country...no smear = no birth control.
We're denied the most basic of human needs (birth control)and often even totally unrelated medications, until we agree to a smear.
It's a fact...
Cancer screening has never been "offered" to us.

She was sent for a cervical biopsy after receiving an "abnormal" smear. The experience damaged her in every way.
She may now have trouble getting pregnant and will certainly need medical help to see a pregnancy to full term. She is also having trouble with anxiety and depression. Medical things are hard for her and now it looks like she'll need the most intimate and embarrassing medical help in the future.

It turned out the test was just wrong...she WAS a healthy young woman.
Her lawyer tells her she has a very strong case.
His research has revealed that one in every 13 smears in women under 25 leads to colposcopy.
Cancer in this age group is very rare.
He has found that many countries don't screen women under 25 or 30 to protect young women from harm.
This is a fact and well documented in medical journals.

He believes screening must always be the woman's choice and the risks must be clearly spelt out...and that women under 30 must have the very high risks clearly outlined to them.
That has never happened with cervical or breast screening.
Doctors have gotten away with just pushing us into screening and we live with the risk and damage.

Many women just accept this sort of treatment. My friend only discovered the truth because she wanted to avoid a repeat of her first experience....she went on a fact-finding mission.
Her attorney has found a website pointing out this clinic "requires" smears before prescribing the BCP (and almost all other clinic's have the same requirements)...and evidence to show this test can never be demanded...only "offered" - it should never be a requirement for birth control or anything else. Doctors must also obtain informed consent...
The doctor's conduct, he believes, amounts to coercion and an unlawful acceptance of risk on the patient's behalf & without the patient's knowledge or consent.
I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often...most women just don't get to the truth.
We're told it's for our own good, and we believe them.

Hopefully, more cases like this will force doctors to release all the information to patients and respect our decision to be screened or not and finally end the unethical "requirements" for birth control AND doctor's refusing any treatment for any other totally unrelated thing until we agree to a smear. (Yes, that happens every day)
It's hard to believe that this has been going on for so long.
How could any ethical doctor have thought this was an acceptable way to treat women?

Jan said...

I'm so delighted to read the last post although terribly sorry to hear about your friend.
I hope and pray a class action is just around the corner.
I hope there are serious consequences for the way women have been treated in the States.
I think there is a tidal wave of women that could follow your friend.
I hope the "controlling" of women and their reign of abuse is almost over...
I now live safely in Australia and have been out of their clutches for 5 years now.
I well remember contacting clinic after clinic trying to get birth control without all the unnecessary, unrelated and unethical "requirements".
I worry about all the women I left behind that are still trying to live with this "system".

Joel Sherman said...

The last several posts have gotten way off topic here (including mine). I will copy most of them to the women's privacy thread or thee informed consent thread and eventually delete them from here. Please post further posts on the topic of forced screening either to the women's thread or the informed consent thread.
Thank you.

MER said...

There doesn't seem to be a thread here to cover this post, so I'll post it here.

If you haven't seen it, you must see the 2009 documentary called "Money-Driven Medicine." I saw it on PBS.

It covers much of what we're talking about here but in the context of the big picture -- today's culture of medicine. There are even a few subtle references to the modesty issue. It talks much about the poor communication patients often face. It talks about the patient not being the focus or center of a system that is "money-driven," a system that engages in competition as if the product being sold were hot dogs, or television sets.

This modesty issue we're discussing is part of a much larger picture, an attitude, a world view, a philosophical foundation. When the system works, everyone is accommodated and respected as best as can be done. When it isn't working, we have to fight a system, a culture that is extremely powerful.

See this documentary. It is quite enlightening.

Hexanchus said...

MER,

No question - medicine is a multi-billion dollar business with highly paid lobbyists. They rely on cash flow to keep the money flowing and it is in their vested interest to "keep the hopper full" - get as many potential patients into their system as possible. Hence I believe one of the reasons for the extensive promotion of screening tests/exams of questionable value to the targeted population. Indeed, recent studies have shown that indiscriminate testing often leads to more harm than good.

I have seen it commented several times that there is a focus from the business management side of the industry to maximize billings. As I've said before - follow the money....

Joel Sherman said...

Here's the link to the show described by MER. As MER said, it's really a political analysis of health in our society and somewhat off topic here.
I agree with nearly all of it though it presents little new material. If you don't follow the political side of medicine, it is well worth a view. It's no surprise that the business side of medicine is inescapable in our society.

Anonymous said...

and there in may lie the answer,, finances drive the hospital policy. If the perception is there is money in modesty or failing to recognize modesty will cost them........you will drive the policies to take a second look at modesty......so while the economics of the hospital drive the culture that it is easier to ignore modesty...it can likewise be the cataylst of change...if we can build the numbers to at least create the perception that money wise...modesty pays....alan

MER said...

In a recent NYT column, Nicholas Kristof writes about a medicaL insurance executive who finally got fed up with the corruption in his industry. He writes: "...he liked his colleagues and bosses in the insurance industry, and respected them. They are not evil. But he adds that they are removed from the consequences of their decisions, as he was, and are obsessed with sustaining the company's stock price -- which means paying fewer medical bills."

Sound familiar?

Hospital CEO's and those directors on hospital boards, are also removed from the consequences of their decisions -- until, of course,the end up as a patient. Then, they most likely will get special treatment if they request it.

The lesson? -- patients with modesty complaints must go right to the top. Let them feel the consequences of their policy decisions. Patients must make this modesty issue a public issue so it will threaten to affect a hospital or clinic's bottom line. That will elicit change.

Tim said...

The emphasis on screening and preventative exams and tests has added significantly to modesty and privacy issues....and perhaps, is dangerous to our mental and physical well-being.
It seems we should do away with a lot of this testing.

Quote:MER
"Hence I believe one of the reasons for the extensive promotion of screening tests/exams of questionable value to the targeted population. Indeed, recent studies have shown that indiscriminate testing often leads to more harm than good."

Totally agree with this...if you look at the recommended tests for Americans at any age and compare it to any other developed country, we stand out.
In every case, we start testing years earlier than other countries, we test more often and test into old age.
Over-testing can cause major problems...more is not necessarily better.
Our women have VASTLY more pap smears than other women....and we are the only country in the world to test virgins.
We have the highest rates of cervical biopsies in the world...but we don't have the lowest rates of cervical cancer.
Why not, when we test to this degree?
It clearly isn't the right strategy and puts lots of healthy women through biopsies.
I'm sure these exams are very difficult for women anyway...so why put a woman through 50 or 60 pap smears when it may actually be more effective and much safer for her health to settle for 5 or so tests?
(I followed a link from one of the posts to the Finnish program which is considered the most effective in the world and they don't test virgins or women under 30, test 5 yearly and stop at 50, 55 or 60....)
Our recommendations seems shockingly excessive with no regard for women's privacy or what is actually in the best interests of their health.
We also REALLY pressure women in this country to have this testing.
I suspect the only reason they can over-screen our women is because they need birth control and our doctors control that totally...so, our women can't avoid this over-screening.
No pap smear and doctors can refuse to give you birth control.
So, who benefits from all this testing, certainly not our women.

Mammograms start at 40 and are annual.
Other countries it's 50 and every 2-3 years.
We send lots of women for breast biopsies.
It now seems there are increased risks having mammograms before age 50 or 55 and more often than 2-3 yearly.
My sister's birth control script was held until she had her first mammogram at age 40.
Again...doctors force screening on women because they control birth control.
If doctors can't behave responsibly and ethically, perhaps our women should be able to access birth control through pharmacies. (for the sake of their health!)

Prostate screening...from age 50 in other countries.
Here it's years earlier...
My Dr recommended I start prostate screening recently, but at 35, I'm not interested...
Once again, lots of prostate biopsies.
Add up the cost in dollars of all this extra work.

We don't have less cancer as a result...we have very high rates of treatment for false positives and I guess more people are left with health problems as biopsies all have risks.

We're put through more...for no benefit...in fact, we risk our health every time we follow an American recommendation.

Even routine colonoscopies...many countries don't recommend them unless there is family history and if so, from 50 and 5 yearly.
Other people....no testing
Here most people start having colonoscopies years before age 50...my Dr recommends them biannually from age 40.

This MUST be about money...
What other explanation is there?
Doctors must know the recommendations in other countries and that over-testing just leads to health problems.(& privacy concerns)
I can't believe all our doctors and medical societies are that ignorant and out of touch...
I had a vasectomy last year so my wife could avoid this over-testing.
Now that she doesn't need birth control, she's finally free to refuse any test.

Joel Sherman said...

Tim said: This MUST be about money...

Well that's much too strong and simple. Money is a part of every decision in ours and most societies. Nobody pushes tests that they'll lose money on. Organized screening programs have to turn a profit for the institution sponsoring them, but it may be a profit in secondary follow-ups and further procedures needed.
But in this country especially when it comes to the physicians' role defensive medicine is a huge part of the equation. Missed diagnoses can result in huge lawsuits. It is often easier to screen to prevent lawsuits. As I said in all this talk of health reform, no one is talking about malpractice reform. Routine malpractice (that is where no intent to harm was present) should be treated similarly to workers comp cases and our present legal lottery abolished.
Realize also that most tests are recommended before large scale follow up can provide evidence based recommendations. That happens much later. When the data is available, recommendations do change as is slowly happening for pap smears.
A few of Tim's facts I believe are wrong. Routine prostate testing is for men over 50. Routine screening colonoscopies are recommended only every 10 years.

John said...

Actually this over-testing of our wives leads to colposcopy.
I don't know how much you know about this procedure...but my wife said it was the most degrading and traumatic experience of her life.
It now seems clear she was led down that path by over-testing.
The more tests...the more likely you'll have a false positive.

This medical mandated over-testing is harmful to women.
My wife won't have any more tests...so this over-testing actually ends up driving many women away from testing altogether.
We may think it doesn't affect us...it does.
I hated to see my wife go through this procedure...even with an all-female team, she was badly shaken by the treatment.
As a result of this over-testing and unnecessary colposcopies...I think more men have vasectomies.
Doctors in this country are the only ones in the world who withhold birth control until women meet their demands...smears, mammograms or even totally unrelated meds.
They use their power to control women.

This has a negative affect on our wives and our marriages...rationing pills to make them go further, dropping back to condoms, the emotional stuff that accompanies these frequent tests, exams and procedures, rising resentment, sexual problems.
I agreed to have a vasectomy at age 33, many years before I was ready.
It was the only way to spare my wife and protect her health and rights.
My wife believes her health was damaged by this compulsory testing.
I agree with her...
We need to stop doctors controlling and harming our women.

The facts are clear...women should be free to refuse these tests and we should not be testing so often and greatly increasing the risk of further unnecessary procedures.

Joel Sherman said...

Once again, these appreciated comments are off topic here.
As I said before, I will copy them to the women's thread or the informed consent thread and eventually delete them here. Please continue commenting on these topics there. I have now deleted earlier comments.
If I have inadvertently deleted your post without moving it first, let me know because I have saved them all and can restore them.

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt our women are made to have too many smears and it accounts for all the extra testing.
Women definitely suffer the most..the recommendations for cervical and breast screening are very likely to lead to harm.
My Dr also recommended DRE from age 35...I changed doctors and it's now 45.
He also thinks routine colonoscopy from age 45 makes more sense.
All of this extra testing does make me nervous.
Ignorance is bliss in some ways.
In the past, I just followed a doctor's advice and if I ended up having extra testing, I put it down as necessary to double check I didn't have anything sinister...but now it seems that extra tests can damage your health.
It is worrying and often difficult to know whether we're making the right decision.
It may be unwise to just follow your doctor's advice.

MER said...

An episode of "Untold Stories of the ER.". A male patient with a knee problem is missing. Where has he gone? They finally learn that he has accidently been sent upstairs for the wrong test. They go upstairs and the female doctor tells the female technician that they have the wrong patient. The female tech says that they just gave him a full testicular ultrasound. He gets wheeled out with a look of extreme pleasure on his face. The tech says something like this to the doctor -- He acted like he was having a good time.
The doctor visits the patient with the knee problem that had the ultrasound. He has a smile on his face. Doesn't mention the mix up so neither does the doctor. Thanks the doctor with a smile. The doctor says that he's in a good mood and that he probably felt that the ultrasound test was a bonus.
All just a big joke.
And this is a show in real emergency room.
Oh -- as a side line, the African-American male who was supposed to have the ultrasound -- Earlier in the program, when he sees the female doctor, he's very embarrassed and he says something like "You're a woman." She says, "Last time I looked." She then gives the old cliche -- I do these all the time, basically I've seen one I've seen them all."
Of course, this is in an ER, but he wasn't dying. This was no life-death situation. No attempt to ask him if he'd prefer a male doctor. Not because there wasn't one available. There were plenty available. This is the message that the media is sending to the public, with the blessing of the medical community.
The message? This is how it is. Get used to it. Gender neutral. No choices. You'll get over it. And anyway, you may just consider an extra testicle exam a bonus. So just lay back and enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Just a little update, I did get an acknowledgement from ACS regarding the CBS prostate exam ad. They indicated this was not one of their spots, they did not find cancer or cancer screening humorous, and had run a "get the facts" campiegn with Harry & Sherry Belafonte on prostate cancer and screening....so, don't know if its going to go any further but they did respond and short of saying they were going to contact CBS and protest....I was ok with their response.

There are two series running on HBO, Trauma in the ER is supposed to be a live actual event, Untold Stories of the ER is an reinactment of a previous event sometimes using actual providers and patients sometimes using actors. I saw one episode and thought it was to "cheesy" more interested in entertainment than the event. The media is very detrimental to this issue choosing to distort the issue for entertainment. Nurse Jackie on HBO is a terrible example and if I were a nurse I would be offended to be represented by a pill poping adultress. One episode she yanked a urinary cath out of a guy who was a criminal chained to his bed and being demanding and obnoxious...real funny, other funny stuff, her trainee nurse (female) taking pictures on her cell of a guys genitals which were burnt from fire works. Unfortunately it all on reinforces providers sense that they can do what they please as it doesn't matter. Protest, protest, protest....challenge them, write them, I have recieved my response from ACS and ACRA and will continue to write CBS until I get a response or until I feel satisfied.....alan

Joel Sherman said...

MER, I did manage to record the episode of Untold Stories of the ER and watched it now. Did see the objectionable segment you describe. I certainly agree that it is inappropriate.
I believe like Alan that complaints should be raised about this portrayal of men's encounters with health care. They are demeaning. I did not record the final credits unfortunately. Does anyone know what hospital is involved in the filming of these episodes? I would like to send a complaint not only to TLC, but also to JCAHO if I can identify the hospital.
TLC is obviously providing entertainment, not educational material. Note that all these episodes are reenactments and not real. Beyond that they were fictitious. The main subject of the episode supposedly got a bullet through the heart, aorta, liver and other organs, yet was still alive ? hours later. He would have had massive bleeding and likely would have been dead with 10 to 15 minutes. There's a reason why I never routinely watch these shows, but please continue to comment on the most objectionable of these shows.

Thanks for the ACS update Alan. I thought they didn't really play a role in it, but it's still valuable to complain to them that they are associated with inappropriate material.

Anonymous said...

I personally find it extremely
disturbing that level 1 trauma
cases seem to be on show so to
speak. They are used as a showcase
for healthcare careers and entertainment. For nurses and
physicians looking to showboat.
Anyone who is a trauma patient
should be guaranteed all the privacy aspects as any other patient and that only necessary
personal be involved. Outside of
healthcare few lay people are
familiar with hippa let alone
what privacy laws entail.
Certainly a trauma patient won't
be asked permission have students stand around and observe as well as potential high schoolers
considering a healthcare career
and yes I seen this as well. How
does a society get like this?


PT

Anonymous said...

Just a FYI, the ACS followed up and provided me three links to groups assoicated with prostate cancer...didn't even know they existed....I will write each of them and let you know what they said....for my part, kudos to the ACS, again, other than filing a complaint with CBS they did everything and then some as to what i would expect from them...alan

Joel Sherman said...

Can you share those links, Alan?

Anonymous said...

While I agree with some of what was said above, the idea that screening is pushed for money making is ludicrous. I am involved in the radiology field and you should be aware that mammography is, for most radiology practice, the biggest money loser. It is minimally reimbursed and NOT profitable. It is also the biggest malpractice liability in radiology. Many radiologists currently refuse to do mammography due to these facts. Please get your facts straight before making accusations.

Joel Sherman said...

The anonymous poster is correct, screening mammography is a money loser for most radiology practices. Most radiology practices do it only because they feel they must provide the service.
But every test is different. A physician may have a financial motive when he/she orders the test and also performs it. Clearly that is a factor in some practices. But it's impossible to generalize. There are laws to minimize this, the Stark laws, but it only puts restrictions on referred tests, making it illegal to accept kickbacks for them.

Anonymous said...

Mammography is not considerably
profitable considering the headaches with state inspections
and the associated processing
equipment. Most mammograms are
extremely time consuming to read.
Equipment cost is another factor
considering the continual quest
by manufacturers to ever further
reduce radiation exposure as seen
by xeromammography.
Good mammo techs are hard to
find! The other side of the coin
are mammogram biopsies done surgically or under cat scan and
even these are done at most of your major medical centers. You
need a good interventional radiologist if you are planning to
do mammo biopsies as well as a
state of the art lab. Expensive
propositions.

PT

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately there are some sick CFNM lovers out there that enjoy being stripped, touched and dominated by female medical workers. Fine for them but they and the media like to make it look as if the majority of men are like that and so what's the big deal having female nurses and techs? I refuse to watch those types of ER shows for that very reason.

GL

Anonymous said...

Dr. Sherman
I will forward the links, due to my e-pairment I may have to forward the e-mail to you and ask you to post....I will give it a shot....I was away for a few days thanks........alan

MER said...

A very recent episode of "Mercy." A young man suffers from sleep walking, in the nude. He takes a fall and is brought to the hospital. The focus isn't on how embarrassed he must feel, but on how he makes other people feel embarrassed, especially women. He apologizes to one of the nurses who say him as if it's all his fault. At one point, he sleepwalks nude along the hospital halls. No attempt is made to cover him by the staff. They do try to wake him up, but he's left t walk naked. Can't help but believe that if it was a woman walking through the hospital halls naked, one of the first things people would do would be to cover her. Frankly, the same would probably be true for a man, in reality. But this is TV.

Joel Sherman said...

MER, do you know the name of the episode? Maybe I can still find it being shown as it's apparently on several networks.
I've still never seen a medical TV drama that I've liked.
But to repeat, what we should do about these shows is send a letter of complaint to the network. They need to hear our views about treating patients, especially the men, with equal respect.

MER said...

Actually, "Mercy" isn't too bad a show. It seems to get mixed reviews from medical professionals. I've been surveying the many new medical dramas. "Trauma" isn't too bad, either. I wondered why all of a sudden a large number of these medical dramas appeared on TV. The reason, I think, is because, after ER ended a very successful long run -- the networks are all looking to begin another series that may continue just as long. Many will fail. But the hope is that one of these programs will become another ER.
Why this interest in all these medical shows? I think the reason is this: Most "outsiders," those of us not working every day within the hospital culture, are very curious as to what happens no only "behind the curtains," but also in the break rooms and in the halls. This ties in with the "secret" culture of medicine. Even when one is hospitalized, there's much we're not told and much we don't see. These programs satisfy a deep universal curiosity we have in this country. All of us are either in and out of the hospital, or know someone, a friend or relative, who has medical conditions and is or has been hospitalized. With the aging baby boom generation, who has been dealing with their aging parents, the interest in medical needs has grown and will continue to grow. Now with health care reform on the agenda, the interest is even more acute.
This doesn't mean all these TV programs are good. They deal in as much stereotypes as they do reality. And, as with all art, they need to condense, narrow and focus everything into one hour episodes. Life isn't like that.
Joel -- I don't recall that episode name for "Mercy," but it was on this week and I'm sure it wasn't a rerun.

Joel Sherman said...

MER, the reasons you give for the popularity of medical dramas on TV might be correct.
But truthfully what they feed up to us on TV has about as much reality to it as any fantasy show. They should be viewed as entertainment only. Nearly all of them make no effort whatsoever to show health care as it really is. Even so called reality shows don't come close to reality.

MER said...

Lately, I've been watching off and on two new medical shows -- "Trauma" and "Mercy." Two observations:
1. The war in Afghanistan and Iraq is entering into these medical shows. Many doctors and nurses are shown to be veterans returning from the wars.
2. The professions are still stereotyped. I haven't seen any male nurses portrayed. Men are paramedics, doctors, firefighters, police. Women are nurses and cna's as well as police, firefighters, paramedics, doctors. Women are shown entering into past male dominated professions. Men are not show to be entering into the nursing and cna profession.

Joel Sherman said...

That's certainly correct MER. I have no expectation that it will change anytime soon.
It may be that they show more male techs. There certainly are lots more of them than there were at one time, but I don't watch enough TV to really know.

MER said...

Joel: I have mixed feelings about some of these medical TV shows. Of course, I can't view them as a medical professional, so you're getting a non expert opinion. Some more observations:
-- Why are they so popular today?
There are reasons that can be traced to the mass culture and psyche.
-- These shows are mostly focued on the doctors, nurses, paramedics, firemen and women, etc. Every once in a while there's a show that gets into the mind of a patient, but not often. The focus is on how the professionals feel, on how they balance their work and their lives, etc. That's natural since that's what these shows are about. I think ER did a better job of more often focusing on a patient now and then and getting into that experience.
-- It disturbs me how the nursing profession, in the media, seems pretty much immune to diversity. Nurses are women.
-- On every medical show there's a real bad-ass doctor, a real social misfit who is a great doctor, technically, but has the communication skills of a subhuman. They're usually show to have hearts and rarely comes out in their dealings with patients or staff. On ER it was Romano. There's one on Mercy like that. And of course, we have House. I do like this message. It's a good one for ptients to absorb. There are doctors and nurses like that. Inside they're really caring people. On the outside the crass and often insulting. Patients need to know how to deal with these professionals civilly and yet with firmness. Patients need to not be afraid to be frank with them about how their behavior is affecting them.

Joel Sherman said...

The media is interested in showing drama involving life and death situations as being most likely to get viewers attention. Of course it always helps if sex can be worked into the equation. The two basic story lines that most easily fit that bill are police and medical dramas. It's not a surprise that you don't see many shows built around say retail clerks at Walmart.
Beyond that, they have no goals. They don't worry about social issues such as diversity unless it's recognized law or public policy. Having a diverse nursing staff doesn't yet qualify. The media doesn't worry about what message they may or may not be sending except as it draws more viewers. I suppose that's a cynical view, but there are very few shows on TV that have any kind of intended social value.

MER said...

I must say, though, Joel, that ER took on some heavy topics and did them well. I can't speak to the medical accuracy of their programs, but they did deal with current, controversial issues both within and outside of medicine. I was impressed with the issues they covered. I don't see that daring and brilliance in any of the current programs.

MER said...

I watched several "House" episodes in a row. I can see why (from a limited understanding) why medical professionals don't like the show. I can also see why the public does.
-- House is a maverick doctor -- actually, he's a drug addict, a bully, egotistical, and brilliant. He's a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly. Beneath it all is a man in physical and mental pain, and a caring individual a complicated mix.
-- House would't last a day in any real hospital. He'd be out on his rear end and his license would be taken away. Rational views know this.
-- But patients want to believe that, when they get sick and go to the hospital, there's a team of three or four doctors (led by a brilliant one like House) who spend all their time just trying to solve the patient's medical problems -- as we see on House. Now most patients know this isn't true, but it makes them feel good. And, surprisingly, these doctors always come up with the right answers -- which doesn't happen in the real world.
I think there's value in trying to figure out why these medical programs are so popular today. Part of the answer is simple. Part of it is more complicated. We live in a society where the biggest sins are getting sick, growing old, and dying. People want to live forever. Notice that there are very few really old patients on these medical shows. They've been written off in our society, generally. The old aren't not "sexy" enough.

Anonymous said...

Thursday, January 7, 2010. This evening, on the NBC news, they had a story about the newest full body scan machines that will be used in airports. They demonstrated an example of exactly what these new machines work and what they actually see by having someone walk through one.
The technician behind the machine was a woman and the person going through the machine was a man. Without being specific, they said that these machines see everything. The man had items hidden on his body, including a baggy of flour on his groin.
Was the gender choice here conscious? Of course. And, of course, gender wasn't discussed within the story -- that's because gender isn't relevant to the media in these areas. But, the elephant in the room is this: NBC would never have shown a male tech with a woman passenger walking through one of those machines. Never.
Frankly, women do seem more concerned with the modesty violations of these machines. For me, personally, I'm more concerned with the civil liberty violations rather than modesty. I'm not against judicious use of these machines -- I'm against blanket use of them.
But -- I bring this up as an example of how the media deals with these gender issues -- how the real issues of concern are swept under the rug and not discussed.
And, I think this issue is intimately connected to hospital modesty concerns. In both cases, we could be dealing with life and death situations -- yet people are still protective of their modesty. This goes to show how pervasive body modesty issue are in our culture.
MER

Joel Sherman said...

Well I've now seen many examples of the pictures the new airport scanners take. None though have showed the whole procedure like this spot apparently did on NBC. In actual practice likely the technicians would be more commonly men than women, though you wouldn't get your choice. I'm waiting to see a poll on what percentage of people are in favor of them. Might give us a handle on the hard to find statistic on what percentage of people seriously care about these issues. I still don't really know. I believe these scanners are already in use in a few American airports so there must be some info available as to what percentage of fliers turn them down in favor of traditional searches.
I personally would be in favor of them if they are quick and unobtrusive and if identities are protected. Safety is important to me. But there are other ways of achieving it. The safest airline and airport in the world is undoubtedly El Al and in Israel where they have had to deal with high levels of danger for decades yet haven't had an incident in just as long. Don't think they use body scanners (but I don't know) but they think nothing of taking a passenger aside and quizzing them for hours if they are not sure what the motives of the passenger are for flying in and out of Israel. That is far more obtrusive than walking quickly through a machine that shows your body in outline.

Hexanchus said...

Joel,

Israel has been so successful because while they have the normal security measures in place, instead of focusing on the latest hi-tech whiz bang technology, they concentrate their efforts on the down to earth nuts and bolts of security by being proactive and gathering and using intelligence data in a timely and effective manner, including HUMINT sources. This includes passenger profiling, which I believe is justified from a security standpoint. As one Israeli official put it, "not all Muslims are terrorists, but virtually all terrorists are Muslims".

The recent "underwear bomber" incident was completely preventable and should never have happened. All the information needed was in the hands of US officials - it just wasn't communicated to the right people who could make effective use of it.

From some experts' comments I've seen, the odds the full body scanner would have picked up the device in the latest incident are less than 50% - explosive detecting dogs are actually the most effective. Yet here we go, getting ready to spend a billion plus dollars on new whiz bang technology instead of focusing efforts up front where they are really needed - gathering the intelligence to identify the potential threats ahead of time and keep them away from our transportation system in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Good response, Joel. We should all follow this story closely. Attitudes could be valid indicators of how the general public feels, broken down by gender, too, about body modesty. But I do find it interesting that NBC used a female technician and a male passenger for the demonstration. And, the way they did it, the technician was not hidden away somewhere, but right out in the open within view of the passenger. I know that's not how it's done in reality, but that's how they did it on TV.
MER

Anonymous said...

Watched an episode of "House" last night. Now, "House" is an inane program, although I can why some people watch it. He's a warped yet interesting character. But this episode had an interesting scene.
One of House's fellow doctors was giving a woman a breast exam to an attractive, young woman. Now, House had dosed the doctor secretly with an upper. Stupid premise, but that's what happened. While giving the breast, the doctor inadvertently winked at the patient -- and then realized what he had done. He became flustered, completely embarrassed and rambled on and on about how inappropriate his action was. As a result, the patient became embarrassed and quickly covered herself up.
Interesting scene -- which does demonstrate how fragile these intimate cross gender exams can be for doctors, especially. The facade of "professionalism" and "disinterest" can break down if either the patient or the doctor flaunts the "rules." When the breakdown occurs, it's difficult to recover. Non medical professionals should have enough empathy to understand why this "facade" can be very important for both doctor and patient. But, when the breakdown happens, it shows that this "distancing" is really is a "facade," and not a natural thing -- as necessary as it might be socially in some cases.
MER

Anonymous said...

Last week NBC did a series, one piece each day, about women's health. On Friday they read letters they had received. A significant number of letters asked them when they were going to do a series on men's health. Their answer was that they focused on women's health first because women are more often the caregivers in our culture and more likely to ignore symptoms and not go in to have things checked. I've not found that research, but perhaps women spend so much time looking after the health of their families that they neglect themselves. NBC responded that they were planning to do a series of reports on men's health and were pleased to see the letters showing interest.
MER

Joel Sherman said...

Interesting anecdote MER. I'm surprised in 2 ways. I wouldn't have expected a significant amount of interest in men's health. From these blogs, you would think just the opposite, that the public ignores men's health. Secondly their explanation of why they started with women's issues is contrary to what I would have said. Traditionally women get far more health care than men, probably because of child bearing and contraceptive issues that they can't easily ignore. They may push their men into health care, but most are far better than their guys in receiving health care themselves.

Anonymous said...

Joel: I had those same thoughts. I'm not sure where they got their information regarding how often men and women see medical care. There may be more data on women than men, so they based it on that. But I can see that some women may be so busy with their own lives plus looking after the health of their families that they don't get the health care they need. That would make sense to me. Now, when NBC does their series on men's health, it should be interesting to see how they see things. You can bet they won't see any gender issues nor will they see any modesty problems.
MER

Joel Sherman said...

Well here's a poll on how many people agree with the new airport scanners (as given on Bernstein). By near 80%, most approved. That's not surprising to me.
My only question is whether it is a reflection on people's opinion re medical modesty. Would 80% also not care? My guess is that it depends on the circumstances, the more critical and serious the situation, the fewer who would care.

Anonymous said...

I think being anonymously scanned at airports is very different than receiving a nipples to knees pre-op shave by a teenage girl. Letting a woman wrap her hand around your penis is much different than being a blurry black and white image on a TV screen.

I'm VERY strict about who sees me naked face to face but I don't lose sleeping thinking about airport scanners.

Anonymous said...

Watched another episode of "Mercy" last night. I can see one reason why medical professionals, especially nurses, don't like these TV shows.
Shows like "Scrubs" focus almost totally on medical staff. It's all about them and their relationships. Patients are mostly shown as buffoons and stereotypes. Of course, the staff on shows like this are stereotyptes, too.
Shows like ER and Mercy and more dramatic. Patients become characters in each drama and are less stereotyped. Dramatically, the writers must develop relationships between doctors and patients, nurses and patients. These shows show nurses getting quite close to their patients, developing close relationships. I'm not saying this never happens -- but it's not the reality of most hospitals for several reasons. First, ethical reasons. Second, time reasons. Third, personal reasons. Every episode shows these kinds of close relationships developing, especially between patients and nurses. As I've said, this may happen in reality, but I would think these real relationships are not as close as shown on TV, and not nearly as frequent as show on TV.
If any doctors or nurses are reading this thread, I'd appreciate your opinions.
MER

Joel Sherman said...

MER, I never watch medical drama shows because they are so far from reality that I find them obnoxious. All the 'doctors' and 'patients' are mostly young beautiful people and have little relevance to the average medical situation.
I once watched an ER clone for a few minutes, long enough to discover that the beautiful young curvaceous female patient in the ER was in 'reality' a transsexual. It was so absurd that I turned it off and have never watched again.

Mark said...

Hello, you have tried to your best. I agree with you and really liked it. Great effort... Keeps it up!!!!

Anonymous said...

That's funny, I can't bear watching the legal shows. I've worked in private practice for 20 years and have never caught anyone having sex in the filing room or spent hours standing around the water cooler talking about affairs, sex and other scandalous topics.
Having to bill out 9 hours a day means barely having time to lift your head and grab a sandwich for lunch!
Anyone basing their career decision on any of the legal shows, will be sorely disappointed.
Matt

Anonymous said...

For me, the point isn't that these show don't reflect reality. I think most intelligent people realize that. Dramatic convention often forces the writer to condense and stereotype. That's part of the creative process. But, within those limitations, a kind of truth can still emerge.

The question we need to ask is why they present the picture they do present. Is it just for entertainment? Much is at stake when movies can cost anywhere from 1 million to 10 millions dollars a minute to make (or even more). Like it or not, Hollywood (and advertisers) know their audiences well. They know their desires, fears, worries, fantasies. I'm sure some sociologists have already done studies about this. The book, Empire of Illusion, goes into our current culture of reality vs. fantasy and claims we've finally crossed over into a fantasy-based culture. The book covers the media pretty well -- reality shows, World Fed. Wrestling, etc.
Why do people watch these shows. I've read on medical blogs doctors and nurses say they watch the shows and enjoy them on one hand while despising them on the other hand. Why?
These are the questions we need to ask.
MER

Anonymous said...

Very interesting thread on allnurses called "A Letter to Hollywood: Nurses Are Not Handmaidens." Talks about the inaccuracies about nurses and nursing on many of these TV shows and movies. You'll find the thread at:

http://allnurses.com/general-nursing-discussion/letter-hollywood-nurses-464650.html

MER

Joel Sherman said...

Here's a synopsis of a soon to be published article on bioethics and the mass media. You may have to use their free registration to see it.
It documents just how pervasive ethics violations are on medical TV shows, this example being "House, M.D."

Joel Sherman said...

Here's a freely available article online on the same topic, Johns Hopkins study of ethical issues in medical TV shows.
I await the full article this month with interest.

Anonymous said...

I was watching an episode of "Cops" recently. All of a sudden, the police officer is asking the suspect, who is handcuffed, personal medical questions on camera, seeking information that should be protected under HIPAA. To top it off, the suspect answered the questions on camera.
My big problem with shows like "Cops," (and some reality medical shows, too) is that these shows often show people at their worst, and then use these people, not only for entertainment purposes, but, untimately, for monitary purposes. We never see the uppermiddle class and rich in these situations. Tell me if you've ever seen "Cops" charge into a gated community in Florida to surprise and arrest some white-collar criminal. You wont' see that. The scenes from "Cops" mostly take place in poor neighborhoods, and very often with undereducated people. I'm not justifying what these "criminals" do or how they live their lives. I'm just saying that their privacy is worth the same as the middle class and wealthy.
This reminds me of how, in the 17th and 18th centuries, people could pay a fee to enter an insane asylum and entertain themselves by watching the antics of the mentally ill. As a species, we really haven't evolved much beyond that. It's just that the technology has gotten better.
I have noticed this on "Cops," too, which demonstrates what we've talked about regarding the modesty double standard. When women are arrested and modesty issues arise, the modesty of these women is always protected by the police and the camera. Not so with men. Men are not always covered, and the camera always keeps roling.
MER

Joel Sherman said...

MER, I take it that Cops is a reality show claiming to film real police encounters. Of course just the presence of the cameras changes protocol substantially.
But your premise is wrong. HIPAA only applies to 'covered entities' which include physicians, hospitals and many related industries such as pharmacies, but it certainly does not cover municipalities. Also not covered are Microsoft and Google who want to put all your medical information online.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarificatin, Joel. Frankly, I can't see the distinction separating individual privacy rights. What's the point in having your medical rights "protected" in medical situations if the police can film ask all these personal medical questions and film them for public consumption. I don't understand. If the information is "private," then it's private. The key is, I'm beginning to think is that even with HIPAA, it's "private" de jure but not defacto.
MER

Anonymous said...

I've been watching the ER series from the beginning. On season three, there's an episode where a young girl comes in, maybe 14 or 15. She thinks she may be pregnant, and otherwise needs a pelvic. It's obvious to the nurse that she's very shy and doesn't want anyone doing the exam, esp. a man. She tells this to the doctor, Ross, who says that he can handle it. Another male doctor overhears the conversation and sends in a PA and a nurse to do what needs to be done. Ross is outraged.
Shows the sensitivity to women, esp. young girls. I've not see a similar scene with a male or young boy. They're never shown to be uncomfortable, and never offered a male nurse or doctor. Just doesn't happen.
MER/Doug

Anonymous said...

Yet another example of men’s modesty being disrespected, in the movie Space Cowboys, four astronauts from the 60s are called out of retirement to do one more mission. They are informed they must pass all of the physical requirements young ones must. In a doctor’s office, the four of them are standing without a gown completely naked as a male doctor starts the hernia exam (of course). In walks a female doctor without knocking and announces she will be assisting the doctor. She doesn’t actually do anything until the eye exam so there was no reason for her to be in the room. I guess Hollywood thinks this is funny. I don't.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zvOGdEtje8

Doug Capra said...

I just watched an episode of "Untold Stories of the ER" on The "Learning" Channel. I put "Learning" in quotes because I question the education value of this particular episode.
Several serious, life and death, cases are happening during this episode. As one might expect, the comic relief case is a man with a priapism. Granted, he did something stupid to get it, but the whole case is treated as a joke. My points:
1. In our culture, men's genitals and any problems related to them are often treated as funny. Look at all the hit in the crotch jokes and videos.
2. Within this episode, a medical student treating the man with a priapism is required to hold the man's genitals to put pressure on the penis. Here we get the whole "homophobic" bit. It's a big joke. The idea of touching another man's genitals is quite humerous to this medical student. Later, the medical student laughs and says that the first thing he did afterwards was wash his hands. So much for professionalism.
3. Can you imagine the same kind of joking and humor portrayed about a woman's genitals during "medical" show like this. Can you imagine a male medical student joking like that after examining a female?
4. Finally, what's most upsetting is this: The real hospital where this took place, and the real doctors involved in this case -- allowed the filming company to frame this case as the comic relief section of this episode. Whether this kind of behavior really exists at ER's is one thing. The point is, these "real" doctors allowed a man's discomfort and suffering to be the butt of a big joke in order to provide some comic relief for an otherwise serious program. This is not so surprising in Culture of the Celebrity. Everyone, even doctors, want their 15 minutes of fame -- even if it's at the expense of suffering patients.

Doug Capra said...

Someone suggested we write letters to complain. I'd write to producers of the program, but it's not the program producers I'm most upset with. I don't really expect high professional standards from reality TV and Hollywood. I'm more upset with the hospital and doctors working there who allowed themselves to be used by the media. When programs like this are made, the producers script out the sequences and play with the "reality" of what actually happened, and coach the actors, who are mostly the real medical staff. Reality TV is about plotting stories, creating conflicts, building characters. Producers and writers take the reality and work with it they way the think the public will eat it up. As a side note -- the episode of "Untold Stories of the ER" that followed this one, had yet another man with a priapism that was again used as the comic relief. The man, of course, was show to be a pathetic idiot. He was actually assaulted in his hospital bed by his mistress and his wife. Did did the hospital report that? So much for spousal abuse when a man is at the other end of it.
Again, I am not suggesting that most ER staff are like this. I am suggesting it's unprofessional of them to allow TV producers to use them to create stories like this that make light of men and their suffering. I want to call attention to the cultural/social context within which we are discussing this issue of men and genital exams. How do you think men feel about how they'll be treated in an ER or the hospital after watching episodes like that? These shows reinforce all kinds of negative stereotypes and attitudes. They help shape cultural attitudes toward men and their bodies and their sexuality, attitudes that I can't help but believe also cross over into some of those in the medical profession.
I would write to the TV producers of that show -- but they don't care as long as their ratings are up. It's more important to let those hospitals and doctors know the damage they're doing.

Joel Sherman MD said...

Thanks Doug,
I agree completely that the blame here belongs to the hospital that permitted the filming and staging of these events. And yes, they are almost certainly staged to some extent. Of course the producers of the show are crass and deserve criticism as well, but there is much less pressure that can be put on them.
What we need to know is the name of the hospital where the filming takes place. With that information I'd recommend people fire off letters of complaint, not only to the hospital, but to the state board regulating hospitals and JCAHO. That's the only real way to put pressure on the involved hospital or hospitals. Does the show name the hospital involved?

Doug Capra said...

Joel: The show may have named the hospital, but I didn't pick it up. For the record, these shows aired on The Learning Channel on the evening of December 11, 2011. It should be easy to find out which episodes I'm referring to.
I will add another interesting element of the first episode. The man with the priapism, the role played by an Asian-American actor -- is treated by all male doctors and nurses. Until, yes, until, a urologist is consulted, and then, of course, to make the situation more embarrassing for the patient, it's a female urologist. What's interesting is that this urologist is called in on her day off, since the man's had the priapism for 4 days and normal procedures won 't work. The urologist comes in and seems completely nonplussed with the whole situation and treats the suffering man quite coldly, at least that's my impression. She shows zero compassion or empathy. It's just played as humorous that he has to be treated by a female urologist. She'd just rather not be there. She tries to draw the coagulated blood out of penis with a needle, a scene with the patient screaming that again is used with some humor. That doesn't work, so he goes to surgery. It's said that the medical student working with the student never found out how this all turned out. Is that a joke? Why don't they tell us that this "funny" episode most likely resulted in the young patient losing sexual functioning? I don't believe no one knew how this case turned out. It seems clear to me that the producers wanted to keep the humorous of this incident intact by hiding the seriousness of the man's condition.
As this is going on, there's a young woman who passes out during her wedding ceremony because she has stopped eating for several days and taken someone else's medicine in order to get down to a size 4 dress. Like the man mentioned above, another stupid decision, and she has probably put herself in a more life-threatening situation than has the man. How does the staff treat her? Her female doctor feels so sorry for her that they bring the wedding ceremony to the hospital bedroom. Both patients do something stupid -- and look how each is treated.
This is part of our cultural worldview in the media. Men are treated generally as pathetic idiots and treated as such.

Joel Sherman MD said...

Thanks Doug. I didn't realize that these shows were on TLC as well as Discovery Health which I don't receive. I'll try to watch some. Pay close attention to the credits to see if the hospital is mentioned. If not, maybe the network would tell you if asked.
As far as I can find, these episodes are not available as videos on the net.

Anonymous said...

This was in the paper today

" Every day, deadly serious things happen in a
hospital. ABC opens it's nonfiction summer series
NY Med this week on a lighter note, following an
emergency room patient who suffers a painful side
effect after taking a drug designed to boost male
sexual performance. There's only one way out, and
it involves a needle. An attractive young nurse,
Maria Dedivanovic,looks on with a little sympathy
and a lot of amusement. The drama continues.

PT

Joel Sherman MD said...

PT, you should send a complaint to ABC when the show airs. They need to hear that not everyone thinks that humiliation of men is humorous.

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