Seems like there are more docs on TV than ever, and I'm not talking about the actors playing them on shows like House, Grey's Anatomy, or Private Practice. I'm referring to the talkin' heads on the news, on chat shows, and on programs devoted to medicine and health.
We've got Dr. Mehmet Oz on his eponymous show every single day; there's a panel of three physicians on The Doctors (including Dr. Travis Stork, who was a contestant on The Bachelor!); psychologist Dr. Phil dispenses his tough love every afternoon; Dr. Nancy Snyderman is the chief medical editor at NBC and Dr. Sanjay Gupta deciphers the health news over at CNN. I know I'm missing many more, but at some point, I just don't know how to feel about these docs.
In one sense, they have mastered the art of delivering health information in a way that people can understand and make even rather mundane stuff feel compelling. On the other hand, I'm not totally sure I'd want to be their actual patient. After all, I wonder how they have time to stay up-to-date on certain practices when their time actually caring for patients and (in the case of surgeons) honing their craft is so slim, in comparison to all the time they are on air or prepping for media appearances.
I mean, for example: Dr. Oz is EVERYWHERE. He's got columns in magazines, he's quoted in other publications, he's on TV every day, and he writes books. Oh AND he still sees patients and performs heart surgery! (One day a week.)
Don't get me wrong, I find him caring, sensible and really, really smart. Yes, I am sure he has many assistants to help shoulder his load, but I wonder…if you were having a certain surgery, would you want the guy who does 10 of the operations per week, or the guy who does just one or two, due to his schedule??
And when you're at home watching the "doc in the box", which one gets your most keen attention?