How Can I Help?
NBC’s newest medical drama, New Amsterdam, will debut tonight (Sept 25, 2018) at 10:00 PM (9:00 Central). It is about a doctor who is forcing a hospital to treat people instead of treating health insurance companies or playing to the media. This supposedly radical change in healthcare is saddening and frustrating.
For example, there is a scene between the new medical director and a cardiac surgeon where the medical director asks “Why do you have half as many surgeries as your colleges?”. The cardiologist replies “Because there are other ways to help someone then cutting them open.” This dialog seems other-worldly yet all too common at the same time. Where one surgeon recognized there are other paths, other doctors stayed the easier course of conducting surgery and collecting money. Somewhere later in their conversation the cardiac surgeon states “They aren’t just gonna let you just come in here and help people.” The medical director replies “So let us help as many people as we can before they figure us out”. How true such conversations are only those behind a hospital’s administrative doors can know. That such a conversation resonates with the American public, however, seems to be undeniable.
This commercial is so eye-opening. Changing our sick care system has now become such a public problem, such a common drama, that there is a TV show trying to fix it. Let’s hope that the public does take note and begin to intervene to transform this sick care system. As it stands the current “healthcare: system has not yet fixed itself. It is a heartbreaking failure that a decent healthcare, not sick care system, is only found on a medical drama.
Perhaps it all boils down to a question that seems to bring physicians back to what they do, “How can I help?”