The NBC Today Show is traveling around the country this week taking viewers “inside the operating room” to see various procedures.
Monday it was Cleveland and a heart arrhythmia procedure. Very high tech stuff.
Tuesday it was Boston and a baby born by C-section. Absolutely no news. Just drama and cute fat baby video.
An “Inside the Operating Room” series, of course, is going to make surgery and high-tech interventions seem dramatic.
I only wish we’d see a week-long series on primary care – doctors and nurse practitioners and RNs and others dealing with patients in shared decision-making encounters. Last week, at the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making’s annual research and policy forum, I talked with two health care consumers who truly exemplified the ideal of informed and shared decision-making. Mary Bianchi of Northern California talked about her breast cancer decision-making and Larry Forsberg of Minnesota talked about his BPH decision-making. I wish more Americans could hear more often (in news stories and elsewhere) from smart, informed patients and consumers like these two.
They may not involve high-tech interventions, but primary care encounters are where a lot of the rubber-meets-the-road health care happens – and where true health care reform might take place.
I’m not holding my breath to see that weeklong TV series, though.