Media Influence on the Practice of Medicine
Grey’s Anatomy, ER, House, Dr. 90210—for good or for ill, a large segment of the public gets its idea of doctors and hospitals from television dramas like these. The March issue examines the influence of the media—print, broadcast and electronic—on the practice of medicine and the patient-physician relationship. Media reports about epidemics fill emergency rooms with asymptomatic people; stories of the latest breakthrough, diet, or gene therapy create demand for products before they are proven. On the other hand, responsible reporting informs the public and helps patients become effective shared decision makers with their physicians.