The Big C’s plot includes at least two “atypical” and potentially complex features. First, Cathy chooses not to take chemotherapy or other treatment. This intrigues me, and may be the show’s most essential component – that she doesn’t just follow her doctor’s advice. Second, she doesn’t go ahead and inform her husband, brother or son about the condition, at least not so far…
Jackie is supposed to be a crackerjack nurse who has some serious problems including drug addiction. That premise might be fair enough, in a House-like way, if her life-saving skills had unique value. But they don’t: the underlying problem with this show is that Jackie has no exceptional or redeeming qualities as a nurse. Sure, she cares about some of her patients, but that’s nothing extraordinary…
Today is the start of this year’s Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. Dialog from NBC’s 30 Rock, Season 1, Episode 4 “Jack the Writer” (2006)*: Tracy Jordan: But I want you to know something… You and me, it’s not gonna be a one-way street. Cos I don’t believe in one-way streets. Not between people, and not […]
A Tapestry, and Double-Dose of Magic (on Carole King and James Taylor, Troubadour and Breaking Addiction)
My plan for today was to write on evidence-based medicine. But that can wait, at least until the morning comes. I came upon the most wonderful recording of a concert by Carole King and James Taylor played in November, 2007 at LA’s Troubadour Club, a place I’ve never been. PBS aired the video, about an […]
Am I pro- or con- colonoscopy for routine screening, you might wonder. Well, that depends.
Am I pro- or con- famous singers and other celebrities extolling the benefits of particular medical interventions? Well, that depends, too.
But I’m sure I prefer “Puff the Magic Dragon.” Also “Leaving on a Jet Plane” fills me with imperfect memories of 6th grade.
There’s a new survivor on TV and she means business.
In the latest episode of The Office, Kathy Bates walked into the Scranton branch of Dundler Mifflen and onto my living room TV screen as Jo Bennett, CEO of Sabre, a fictitious Tallahassee-based company. An assistant and two large canines accompany her as she meets the crew. She’s firm, graying and very much-in-charge.
When the camera gets her alone, in focus, here’s what she has to say:
“I’m Jolene Bennett, Jo for short.
“I’m a breast cancer survivor, close personal friends with Nancy Pelosi, and Truman Capote and I slept with three of the same guys. When I was a little girl I was terrified to fly, and now I have my own pilot’s license.
“I am CEO of Sabre International and I sell the best damn printers and all-in-one machines Korea can make.
“Pleased to meet ya.
“The insurance market as it works today basically slices and dices the population. It says, well you people with medical conditions, over here, and you people without them, over here…
– Jonathan Cohn, Editor of The New Republic, speaking on The Brian Lehrer Show, February 16, 2010*
There’s a popular, partly true, sometimes useful and very dangerous notion that we can control our health. Maybe even fend off cancer.
I like the idea that we can make smart choices, eat sensible amounts of whole foods…
This is my first film review, if it is that.
I was tempted to write about Ethan Hawke, hematologist among vampires in Daybreakers, but gore’s not my favorite genre. A mainstream choice would have been Harrison Ford solving the enzyme deficiency of Pompe disease in Extraordinary Measures, but I didn’t get sucked in.
I chose Precious, instead. This luminous movie relates to the practice of medicine everyday, big-time.
“One of the ways that I gained the trust of the family is that I gave them information.” (R. Skloot, a journalist, speaking about her interactions with Henrietta Lacks’ family, Columbia University, 2/2/10)
“Well, well” says the convenience store clerk. “Back for another test?”
“I think the first one was defective. The plus sign looks more like a division symbol, so I remain unconvinced,” states Juno the pregnant teenager.
“Third test today, mama-bear,” notes the clerk.
…”There it is. The little pink plus sign is so unholy,” Juno responds.
She’s pregnant, clearly, and she knows she is.
(see clip from Juno the movie*)
Think of how a statistician might consider Juno’s predicament…