Medical idolisation: The curse and the cure

By Rose Brazilek, Writing Competition First Prize 2016

Topic 3: Does popular culture’s depiction of medicine do more harm than good?

From Scrubs to Grey’s Anatomy, television shows depicting doctors appear to be sure-fire media sensations. Initially omnipotent and superlative in early shows such as Ben Casey and Dr Kildcare, portrayals have shifted to the ‘anti-heroes’ of today in House, Grey’s Anatomy and  ER.  ‘Cultivation theory’ proposes televised narratives are the basis of cultivation of assumptions and conceptions concerning cultural norms, memes and values. It is this theory which may explain the importance of physician portrayal in all forms of media, and how perception of medical professionals has altered as the televised climate has similarly shifted.

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The meteoric rise of technology in medicine

By Rose Brazilek

Harvey Cushing, the renowned neurosurgeon, once wrote of surgery:

“I would like to see the day when somebody would be appointed surgeon somewhere who had no hands, for the operative part is the least part of the work.”

While technology has not yet advanced to such levels, medicine is increasingly shedding its archaic image and beginning to engage with the technological enhancements that characterise the 21st century. However, with this increased uptake comes a new set of challenges, many of which have no precedent. Evolving discussion surrounding the impacts of such technology on patient interaction, education and care is a critical adjunct to the adoption of electronic practices that will ultimately change the face of medicine.

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