NBC's week inside the O.R. – when will primary care get its week?

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The NBC Today Show is traveling around the country this week taking viewers “inside the operating room” to see various procedures. Screen shot 2010-02-02 at 9.01.33 AM.png

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.

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Comments (2)

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February 2, 2010 at 3:42 pm

You have a good point. It’s true that medical news covers the exciting and cute stuff more than the simply informative- that is what they think will sell. And it certainly does draw the eye and attention. If you were going to make a show about primary care, what would happen in it?
-Aurora from MDiTV, a new internet-based medical news tv company, (also really interested in what you are talking about)