Monday, January 26, 2009

TV shows prompting bioethics discussions

In this week's AMNews: TV doctors' flaws become bioethics teaching moments -- comments on a recent study examining medical students' TV viewing habits.
Dr. House is the fictional protagonist of Fox TV's "House," a medical mystery drama that last year drew an average 16.2 million viewers weekly. The bad-boy antics that made the master diagnostician a hit with American viewers also have made him popular among medical students, according to a December 2008 study in The American Journal of Bioethics.

The survey of nearly 400 medical and nursing students at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland found that 76% of doctors in training watch "House" and 73% watch ABC's hospital soap opera "Grey's Anatomy." Nearly 40% watch NBC's "ER" and one in five tunes in "Nip/Tuck," which airs on the FX cable network. Eighty-five percent of medical students said they watched a medical drama in the prior year.
The AJOB paper itself: Matthew Czarny, Edwin Bodensiek, Ruth R. Faden, Marie T. Nolan, Jeremy Sugarman. Medical and Nursing Students' Television Viewing Habits: Potential Implications for Bioethics 2008. The Am J Bioethics 2008 Dec; 8(12):1.

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