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"Making a fetish of realism is a mistake"

From a Ceci Connolly story on House in today's WaPo:

Some real-world docs grouse that "House" is giving healers a bad name.

Philip Brachman, who ran the epidemiology program office at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and investigated the first anthrax epidemic in the United States, in the 1950s, is disturbed by the portrayal.

"It plays down the seriousness of what physicians do," he says after watching the show and reading several scripts. "I don't think this is typical."

Even more unusual -- some would say unbelievable -- are the cases House and his team of doctors-in-training tackle each week. Brachman says the episode in which a woman develops a tapeworm in her brain from eating ham was just one of the wacky cases he had trouble swallowing.

And then there was Sister Augustine, the demure nun who developed a near-fatal reaction from an copper IUD accidentally left inside her for 30 years. Turns out that before she took her vows, she had lived on the streets, got into drugs and attempted to self-abort a pregnancy.

As head of the allergy division at George Washington Hospital and former president of the Medical Society of D.C., Daniel Ein is pretty familiar with allergic reactions. In all his years practicing, he's never seen or heard of that one. "From a medical point of view, it's terribly farfetched," Ein says.

But that's the whole point.

"Making a fetish of realism is a mistake," says Laurie.

It's TV, people!

(Note: The new "recover post" function on Blogger actually seems to work!)


  • At 12:41 PM , Blogger David Moles said...

    Looks like a reading protocols problem to me. I do think the writers have some responsibility for that, though.

  • At 12:48 PM , Blogger gwenda said...

    But it's only docs who seem to be bothered by it... which is always true of any show in a specialty field -- it _will_ be inaccurate. But I have to say that I've met some pretty cranky brilliant physicians that remind me an awful lot of House (but less Hott) in my day.


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