Monday, November 12, 2007

Is The Actors Studio now giving a degree in medicine?

I remember back when we'd report our symptoms to a doctor, who'd make a diagnosis, but now we learn about new medications from TV commercials, go online to read about side effects and drug compatibility and then run our findings by a doctor for what feels like a second opinion. Our HMO will likely deny the claim, and why shouldn't they? Why pay an astronomical fee to a doctor, who's done little more than write a prescription?

We're not only the patient, but the paraprofessional and medical bookkeeper, which is why I'm glad I had my tonsils and appendix out before everything was dumped in our laps. I'd have had to hope that an aging actor who'd had a ruptured appendix would come on screen to tell me how best to deal with it.

TV is the new Merck Manual, Actors `who once starred in sit-coms advise us what to take for overactive bladders and sleep disturbances. Sally Field has replaced my internist while Suzanne Somers is my hormone specialist. Topping the field of mental problems are Brooke Shield (post-partum depression) and Patty Duke (bi-polar disorder). We'd all be fools to start a diet without consulting Kirstie Alley.

Do medical schools still exist, or is medicine being taught at The Actors Studio?