Where Do TV Shows Get Their Medical Information?
the MPR take:
When the writers of television shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” need feedback on healthcare-related topics like the Affordable Care Act, who do they call? The organization Hollywood, Health, and Society was established with funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2001 to provide free, accurate information to the entertainment industry and has since advised hundreds of television writers on topics such as surgery, health insurance, and mental health. A Kaiser Family Foundation study found that knowledge increased and attitudes changed regarding HIV transmission risk from mother to child after watching a single episode of a television program. Physician consultants acknowledge that the technical advice they provide could be altered for plot purposes (and thus have less accurate information in the show), but the potential to share a public health message with millions of viewers is worthwhile.
A CDC-funded organization has advised TV shows from Grey's Anatomy to Law & Orderon how to write plots that deal with medical and health-insurance issues. And as millions of people gain coverage through the nation's landmark health law, they are also providing producers with information for storylines about Obamacare.
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