Thoughts on NY Med: Part 1/2

About one year ago, ABC news ran a documentary series entitled NY Med where TV cameras followed around medical personnel to show real life in the hospital setting. This is the medical institution where Dr. Oz works which I’m sure was one of the reasons the hospital was chosen– I mean, right?

And of course– you knew I’d be watching. You could have called me up. Oh right, I wouldn’t have answered.

Watching medical documentaries is a true source of entertainment.

There were several situations from the show that were interesting to me that I thought we’d discuss here in this forum that I would LOVE to know your thoughts on.  I found the episodes for free on Hulu. Here is the link to the first situation we’ll be discussing. It is the very first segment so you wouldn’t have to watch far.

Situation One:
A male patient comes in for a consult with Dr. Oz in regards to possibly needing heart valve surgery. He’d begun to experience some shortness of breath (SOB is how it is sometimes annotated in medical charts– so if you see this the doctor was not trying to insult you.)

The conversation goes like this:

Dr. Oz: Are you here by yourself?

Jack: Yea.

Dr. Oz: Why?

To which the patient responds with something indiscernible.

They begin to discuss the surgery.

Dr. Oz: Who is going to have your power of attorney in case something bad happens to you?

Jack: Uh, I’ll probably give it to my ex-wife.

Dr. Oz: You’re still close to her?

Jack: Yea, Yea.

Dr. Oz: Can I call her?

Wow– and he really does call his ex-wife on the phone– speaker and everything.

He later explains the following:

“I’m very concerned when a patient walks into my office and they don’t have family with them. It is a very concerning sign because it means that they may be isolated socially. I have made the mistake of operating on people who had no one who loved them. So I now insist that that person identify one person who they love and who loves them back because if you don’t have a reason for your heart to keep beating . . . it won’t.”


On a personal note, some of you know I had a family member in the hospital for a month. He’d had a big abdominal surgery and suffered some complications. I was in relieving my aunt one day when the doctors were rounding. A necessary discussion ensued about my relationship and if they could discuss his medical case in front of me. This led to the doctor commenting about how much better patients do when they have family visiting and helping to care for them.

What do you think about this stance? Do you think it should be a requirement for surgery?

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