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Books, Journals, New Media
July 19, 2000


Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor; adviser for new media, Robert Hogan, MD, San Diego.

JAMA. 2000;284(3):368-369. doi:10.1001/jama.284.3.368

Who hasn't heard of doctors named Kildare, Jekyll, and Zhivago? What attracts millions of viewers to familiar motion pictures like Coma, The Fugitive, and Patch Adams? Can anyone deny the cultural significance of a movie like M*A*S*H and the television show it spawned? How do films portray the medical profession and health care system?

For better or worse, doctors and movies seem tethered to one another. In fact, motion pictures and the medical profession share many common features. Can you imagine a movie or a day in the life of the average physician devoid of drama, dialogue, an interesting cast of characters, and irony?