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Fallible Docs – TNT’s New Medical Drama, Monday Mornings

Last night I watched the premiere on TV of a new medical drama, Monday Mornings. I have always been fascinated by any entertainment genre featuring medicine – books, movies, TV shows. While my husband fondly remembers watching Matt Dillon (Gunsmoke) and Wyatt Earp as a child, I remember Ben Casey and Marcus Welby. Dr. Casey and Dr. Welby were never wrong and certainly never caused the deaths of their patients. It was the times I grew up in – doctors were placed on pedestals and revered. In contrast, last night on Monday Mornings, two doctors were called to task for making mistakes that caused the deaths of their patients. It is a sober reminder that doctors are human and make mistakes like everyone else. I think it is a good thing that we have taken doctors off the pedestal. But, it is a fine line. Doctors sometimes have to make life and death decisions  – we want them to have confidence in their knowledge, skills, and “gut.” On the other hand, we want them to listen to us (consumers), provide the information we need to make fully informed decisions, and “allow” us to make our own decisions. I’m glad that the students in our childbirth classes are seeing in the media more realistic portrayals of doctors. I hope that will help them feel more comfortable talking with their physicians on a more equal basis. But, I also hope that Monday Mornings will celebrate more successes and the good that physicians do as well as the tragic mistakes.

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