Desde Marcus Welby, M.D. hasta The resident: los cambios en las representaciones de los médicos en las series de televisión

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Revista de Medicina y Cine

versión On-line ISSN 1885-5210

Rev Med Cine vol.16 no.2 Salamanca abr./jun. 2020  Epub 02-Nov-2020

https://dx.doi.org/10.14201/rmc202016287102 

ORIGINALES

From Marcus Welby, M.D. to The resident: the changing portrayal of physicians in TV medical dramas

Desde Marcus Welby, M.D. hasta The resident: los cambios en las representaciones de los médicos en las series de televisión

Irene Cambra-Badii1  , Elena Guardiola2  , Josep E. Baños2 

1Cátedra de Bioética. Universitat de Vic – Universitat Central de Catalunya.

2Facultad de Medicina. Universitat de Vic – Universitat Central de Catalunya (Spain)

Summary

Over the years, the way medical dramas represent health professionals has changed. When the first medical dramas were broadcasted, the main characters were good, peaceful, intelligent, competent, empathic, and successful physicians. One of the most famous, even outside the US, was Marcus Welby M.D. (1969-1976) of David Victor –which this year marks 50 years since its first emission. This depiction began to change in the mid-1990s. While maintaining the over positive image of medical doctors, TV series started to put more emphasis on their negative characteristics and difficulties in their interpersonal relationships, such as ER(TV) by Michael Crichton (United States) and House MD(TV) by David Shore (United States). In these series, physicians were portrayed as arrogant, greedy, and adulterous, and their diagnostic and therapeutic errors were exposed. The last two series are The Good Doctor (TV) by David Shore (United States), with a resident of surgery with autism and Savant syndrome, and The Resident (TV) by Amy Holden Jones, Hayley Schore and Roshan Sethi (United States), where serious institutional problems appear. These series can be useful as a method to discuss medical ethics through positive or negative examples, and also help to represent changes in the image of physicians in recent decades, discussing the reasons for these changes.

Keywords: television programmes; representation; medical personnel; medical ethics

Resumen

La forma en que las series de televisión representan a los médicos ha cambiado a lo largo de los años. En las primeras, los personajes principales eran buenos, pacíficos, inteligentes, competentes, empáticos y exitosos. Por ejemplo, Marcus Welby M.D. (TV) de David Victor (Estados Unidos), que este año cumple 50 años desde su primera emisión. Esta representación comenzó a cambiar a mediados de la década de 1990. Mientras mantenían una imagen positiva, se comenzó a poner más énfasis en sus características negativas, y sus dificultades en las relaciones interpersonales, como ER(TV) de Michael Crichton (Estados Unidos) y Doctor House (TV) de David Shore (Estados Unidos). Los médicos fueron descritos como arrogantes, codiciosos y adúlteros, y se mostraban sus errores. Las últimas dos series estrenadas son The Good Doctor (TV) de David Shore (Estados Unidos), con un residente de cirugía con autismo y síndrome de Savant, y The Resident(TV) de Amy Holden Jones, Hayley Schore y Roshan Sethi (Estados Unidos), donde aparecen serios problemas institucionales. Estas series pueden ser útiles como un método para discutir problemas de la ética médica mediante ejemplos positivos o negativos, y también ayudan a representar los cambios en la imagen de los médicos en las últimas décadas, discutiendo las razones de estos cambios.

Palabras clave: serie de televisión; representación; personal médico; ética médica

Technical Details

Marcus Welby, MD

Original Title: Marcus Welby, MD(TV series, 7 seasons).

Country: United States.

Year: 1969-1976.

Director: David Victor (Creator), Marc Daniels, Leo Penn, Russ Mayberry, Hollingsworth Morse, Daniel Petrie, Jeannot Szwarc, Walter Doniger, John Erman, Joseph Pevney, Jerry London, Randal Kleiser, Philip Leacock, Chris Christenberry, Herschel Daugherty, Arnold Laven, David Moessinger, William Asher, Richard Learman, Bruce Kessler, David Lowell Rich.

Music: Leonard Rosenman, Hal Mooney.

Photography: Walter Strenge, Seymour Hoffberg.

Screenwriter: David Victor, Jerome Ross, Norman Hudis, Margaret Schneider, Paul Schneider, Richard Fielder, Ken Trevey, David Moessinger, Jerry de Bono, Robert E. Collins, Eugene Price, Max Hodge, Edward DeBlasio, Jean Holloway, John W. Bloch.

Cast: Robert Young, James Brolin, Elena Verdugo, Pamela Hensley, Sharon Gless, Marcia Ralston, Anne Baxter, Tom Selleck.

Color: Color.

Rumtime: 170 episodes of 60 minutes.

Genre: TV series. Drama. Medicine.

Production Companies: ABC, Universal TV, Studios USA Television.

Synopsis: «Marcus Welby is an old-school doctor who works at his home in Santa Monica (California). After suffering a heart attack, he is be forced to accept the collaboration of a much younger doctor who use new working methods. Welby is missing those days when he went to his patients' houses and when he was for them much more than just a doctor» (Filmaffinity).

Awards: 1976: Emmy: Nominated for Best Leading Actress in a single appearance (Sheree North). 1973: Emmy: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor in Drama (James Brolin). 1972: Emmy: 4 nominations, including Best Drama Series. 1971: Emmy: 5 nominations, including Best Drama Series. 1970: 4 Emmy: Series Drama, main actor, actor sec. and photography 8 nom. 1973: Golden Globes: Nominated Best Actor - Drama (Young). 1972: Golden Globes: Best Supporting Actor (Brolin). 3 nominations. 1971: Golden Globes: Best Actor - Drama (Young). 3 nominations 1970: Golden Globes: Best Supporting Actor (Brolin). 3 nominations 1969: Golden Globes: Best TV Series - Drama. 2 nominations 1972: Directors Guild of America (DGA): Nominated for Best Director in Drama Series. 1973: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nom. Best Screenplay in the Drama Series episode. 1972: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nom. Best Screenplay in the Drama Series episode. 1971: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nom. Best Screenplay in Drama-Series Episode.

Links:https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063927/?ref_=tt_ov_inf https://www.filmaffinity.com/ar/film167764.html

Ben Casey

Original Title: Ben Casey (TV series, 5 seasons).

Country: United States.

Year: 1961-1966.

Director: James E. Moser (Creator), Leo Penn, Irving Lerner, Sydney Pollack, Alex March, Mark Rydell, John Meredyth Lucas, Marc Daniels, Vince Edwards, Alan Crosland Jr., Abner Biberman.

Music: George Bassman.

Photography: Ted Voigtlander, William T. Cline (B&W).

Screenwriter: James E. Moser, Howard Dimsdale, Gilbert Ralston, Barry Oringer, Norman Katkov, Jack Laird, Chester Krumholz, Theodore Apstein.

Cast: Vince Edwards, Sam Jaffe, Jeanne Bates, Franchot Tone, Harry Landers, Bettye Ackerman, Nick Dennis, Don Spruance, John Zaremba, Linda Lawson.

Color: Color.

Rumtime: 153 episodes of 60 minutes.

Genre: TV series. Drama. Medicine.

Production Companies: Bing Crosby Productions.

Synopsis: «Hospital drama with Dr. Casey as a protagonist, initially under the watchful eye of Dr. Zorba and later under the supervision of the head of surgery, Dr. Freeland». (Filmaffinity).

Awards: 1963: Emmy: Best Leading Actress (Kim Stanley) and supporting actress (Farrell). 5 nom. 1962: Emmy: 8 nominations, including Best Drama Series. 1965: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nom. Best Screenplay in the Drama Series episode. 1963: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nom. Best Screenplay in the Drama Series episode. 1962: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nom. Best Screenplay in Drama-Series Episode

Links:https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054519 https://www.filmaffinity.com/ar/film917654.html

Dr. Kildare

Original Title: Dr. Kildare(TV series, 5 seasons).

Country: United States.

Year: 1961-1966.

Director: Elliot Silverstein, Alf Kjellin, John Newland, Leo Penn, Marc Daniels, John Brahm, Boris Sagal, Paul Wendkos, Ralph Senensky, Don Medford, Herschel Daugherty, Lamont Johnson, Jack Arnold, Jud Taylor, Buzz Kulik, Leonard Horn, Robert Gist, Jack Smight.

Music: Harry Sukman, Morton Stevens, Jerry Goldsmith, Richard Markowitz, Jeff Alexander.

Photography: Harkness Smith, Jack Swain, Paul Vogel, Ted Voigtlander, Meredith M. Nicholson.

Screenwriter: Archie L. Tegland, Jerry de Bono, Edward J. Lakso, Jerome Ross, Jean Holloway, Jerry McNeely, William Bast, Adrian Spies, John W. Bloch, Meyer Dolinsky, John Furia, Ernest Kinoy, E. Jack Neuman, Betty Andrews, Gerald Sanford, Boris Sobelman, Robert Blees, Benjamin Masselink, Max Hodge, Christopher Knopf.

Cast: Richard Chamberlain, Raymond Massey, Leslie Nielsen, Lee Meriwether, Hayden Rorke, Jean Inness, Martin Balsam, Diane Baker, Andrew Prine, Donna Loren, Marlyn Mason, William Shatner, Tom Nardini, David Opatoshu, Patricia Barry, Naomi Stevens, Robert Reed, Dean Stockwell, Joanna Pettet, Hazel Court, Norman Fell, Jack Nicholson, Sharon Farrell, Fred Astaire, Kathy Garver, Cloris Leachman, James Mason, Darren McGavin, James Earl Jones, Ricardo Montalban, Lesley Ann Warren, Suzanne Pleshette, Angie Dickinson, Ed Begley, Murray Hamilton, George Kennedy, Sorrell Booke, Daniela Bianchi, Alida Valli, Mercedes McCambridge, Ramon Novarro, Shannon Farnon, Yvette Mimieux, Mary Astor.

Color: Color

Rumtime: 191 episodes of 60 minutes.

Genre: TV series. Drama. Medicine.

Production Companies: Arena Productions, MGM Television. Distributed by NBC.

Synopsis: «The story of a young intern in a big metropolitan hospital, trying to learn his profession, attend to the problems of his patients and gain the respect of the greatest doctor in his specialty, clinical medicine». (Filmaffinity).

Awards: 1966: Emmy: Nominated for Best Leading Actress in Drama (Margaret Leighton). 1964: Emmy: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor (Sorrell Booke) and Screenplay. 1962: Emmy: Nominated for Best Leading Actress (Suzanne Pleshette) and Direction. 1964: Golden Globes: Nominated Best Female TV Star (Yvette Mimieux). 1962: Golden Globes: Best male TV star - (Richard Chamberlain). 1965: Writers Guild of America (WGA): 2 Nom. Best Screenplay Series-Drama and Comedy.

Links:https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054535 https://www.filmaffinity.com/ar/film898989.html

ER

Original Title: ER(TV series, 15 seasons).

Country: United States.

Year: 1994-2009.

Director: Michael Crichton (Creator), Christopher Chulack, Jonathan Kaplan, Richard Thorpe, Stephen Cragg, Lesli Linka Glatter, Félix Enríquez Alcalá, Laura Innes, Mimi Leder, Christopher Misiano, John Wells, Paul McCrane, Charles Haid, Andrew Bernstein, Rod Holcomb, Nelson McCormick, David Nutter, Anthony Edwards, Julie Hébert, Tawnia McKiernan, James Hayman, Thomas Schlamme, Paris Barclay, Babu Subramaniam ‘TR', Jack Orman, Ernest R. Dickerson.

Screenwriter: Michael Crichton, David Zabel, Joe Sachs, John Wells, R. Scott Gemmill, Lydia Woodward, Jack Orman, Lisa Zwerling, Dee Johnson, Neal Baer, Paul Manning, Carol Flint, Janine Sherman, Karen Maser, Virgil Williams, Lance Gentile, Samantha Howard Corbin, Mark Morocco, Sonya Steele, Meredith Stiehm, Linda Gase, Shannon Goss, Walon Green, Robert Nathan.

Music: Martin Davich (Theme: James Newton Howard).

Photography: Arthur Albert, Anthony R. Palmieri, Richard Thorpe, Thomas Del Ruth, Héctor R. Figueroa, Jamie Maxtone-Graham, Philip Holahan, Michael Alan Brierley.

Cast: Noah Wyle, Maura Tierney, Laura Innes, George Clooney, Goran Visnjic, Anthony Edwards, Eriq La Salle, Alex Kingston, Sherry Stringfield, Mekhi Phifer, Julianna Margulies, Parminder Nagra, Linda Cardellini, Laura Cerón, Yvette Freeman, Emily Wagner Lynn A. Henderson, Abraham Benrubi, Deezer D, Paul McCrane, Gloria Reuben, John Stamos, Maria Bello, Angela Bassett, Troy Evans, Lily Mariye, Scott Grimes, Wen Ming-Na, Ellen Crawford, Shane West, William H. Macy, Elizabeth Mitchell, Thandie Newton, John Leguizamo, Sally Field, Stanley Tucci, Wentworth Miller.

Color: Color.

Rumtime: 331 episodes of 45 minutes.

Genre: TV series. Drama. Medicine.

Production Companies: Issued by NBC; Warner Bros. Television / Amblin Television / Constant C Productions / John Wells Productions.

Synopsis: Prestigious series that tells the daily life, both professional and personal, of the team of doctors, nurses and administrative staff of the Emergency Department of the Chicago General Hospital. Awarded with more than 20 Emmys Awards and produced, among others, by Steven Spielberg in association with Warner Bros, and inspired by the work of the famous screenwriter and novelist Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park).

Awards: 2009: Emmy: Best Direction. Nominated for best guest actor (Borgnine). 2008: Emmy: Nominated for Best Guest Actor (Tucci) and Sound Editing. 2007: Emmy: 3 nominations, including best guest actor (Whitaker). 2006: Emmy: 2 nominations, including best guest actor (Woods). 2005: Emmy: Best Guest Actor (Ray Liotta). 3 nominations 2004: Emmy: 4 nominations, including best direction. 2003: Emmy: Best Sound. 4 nominations 2002: Emmy: Best Sound 4 nominations 2001: Emmy: Best Guest Actress (Sally Field) and sound edition. 7 nominations 2000: Emmy: Best assembly. 9 nominations, including Best Series - Drama. 1999: Emmy: Best sound and sound edition. 6 nominations 1998: Emmy: Best sound edition and technical direction. 16 nominations 1997: Emmy: Best casting, editing and sound. 22 nominations 1996: Emmy: Best Series - Drama. 17 nominations 1995: Emmy: 8 awards including direction and Actress sec. (Margulies). 23 nominations 2000: Golden Globes: Nominated for Best Series - Drama. 1999: Golden Globes: 2 nominations, Best Series - Drama and Actress (Margulies). 1998: Golden Globes: 4 nominations, including Best Series - Drama. 1997: Golden Globes: Best Actor (Edwards). 7 nominations 1996: Golden Globes: 5 nominations, including Best Series - Drama. 1995: Golden Globes: 5 nominations, including Best Drama Series. 1994: Golden Globes: Nominated for Best Series - Drama. 1995: BAFTA: Best foreign program. 1996: Satellite Awards: 3 nominations including best drama series. 2000: Producers Union (PGA): Nominated for Best TV Series - Drama. 1994: Producers Union (PGA): Best TV series. 2004: Directors Guild of America (DGA): Nominated for Best Director Drama Series. 1997: Directors Guild of America (DGA): Nominated for Best Director Drama Series. 1996: Directors Guild of America (DGA): Best Director Drama Series. 3 nominations 1995: Directors Guild of America (DGA): Best drama series director. 3 nominations 1994: Directors Guild of America (DGA): Best drama director and miniseries director. 4 nominations 2002: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nom. Best Screenplay in the Drama Series episode. 1999: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nom. Best Screenplay in the Drama Series episode. 1998: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nom. Best Screenplay in the Drama Series episode. 1997: Gu Syndicate ionists (WGA): Nom. Best Screenplay in the Drama Series episode. 1995: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Best Screen- play Series-Drama episode and long format. 2000: Actors' Union (SAG): 3 nominations inc. Best cast (Drama Series). 1999: Actors Guild of America (SAG): Nominated for Best Cast (TV Series - Drama). 1998: Actors Guild (SAG): Best cast (Drama Series) and actress (Margulies). 1997: Actors Guild (SAG): Best cast (Drama Series), actor (Edwards) and actress (Margulies). 1996: Actors Guild (SAG): Best cast (Drama Series). 3 nominations 1995: Actors Guild (SAG): Best cast (Drama Series) and actor (Edwards). 4 nominations 1994: Actors Guild of America (SAG): Nominated for Best Cast (TV Series - Drama).

Links:https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108757 https://www.filmaffinity.com/ar/film235350.html

Chicago Hope

Original Title: Chicago Hope(TV series, 6 seasons).

Country: United States.

Year: 1994-2000.

Director: David E. Kelley (Creator), Bill D'Elia, Michael Dinner, Lou Antonio, Stephen Cragg, Rob Corn, Oz Scott, Michael Schultz, James Frawley, James C. Hart, Adam Arkin, Martha Mitchell, James R. Bagdonas, John Heath, Thomas Schlamme, Sandy Smolan.

Music: Jeff Rona, Roger Neill, Peter Bernstein (Theme: Mark Isham).

Photograph: James R. Bagdonas, Kenneth Zunder, Tim Suhrstedt, Michael D. O'Shea, Walt Fraser.

Screenwriter: David E. Kelley, John Tinker, Sara B. Cooper, Jennifer Levin, Dennis Cooper, Josh Reims, David Amann, Kevin Arkadie, Ian Biederman, Tim Kring, Dawn Prestwich, Nicole Yorkin, Remi Aubuchon, Michael Nankin, Patricia Green Linda McGibney, Michael Braver.

Cast: Adam Arkin, Hector Elizondo, Christine Lahti, Mark Harmon, Mandy Patinkin, Peter Berg, Rocky Carroll, Jayne Brook, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Thomas Gibson, Roxanne Hart, Peter MacNicol, Stacy Edwards, Eric Stoltz, Barbara Hershey, Carla Gugino, Lauren Holly, Jamey Sheridan, EG Marshall, Rome Maffia.

Color: Color.

Rumtime: 141 episodes of 60 minutes.

Genre: TV series. Drama. Medicine.

Production Companies: Issued by the CBS chain; 20th Century Fox Television / David E. Kelley Productions.

Synopsis: «On September 18, 1994, a day before premiering at the NBC ER (dramatic series on the life of the staff of a Chicago hospital), CBS premiered Chicago Hope, a dramatic series on the life of the personnel of a Chicago hospital. The protagonists are doctors Jeffrey Geiger and Aaron Shutte, surgeons and friends, who often had to face the administration of the hospital, directed by Dr. Phillip Watters, to resolve ethical and personal conflicts related to their patients» (Filmaffinity).

Awards: 1999: Emmy: 3 nominations, including best actress (Christine Lahti). 1998: Emmy: Improves actress (Lahti) and sound mixing. 6 nominations 1997: Emmy: Best Supporting Actor (Elizondo). 9 nominations 1996: Emmy: Best casting and direction. 15 nominations 1995: Emmy: Best Actor (Patinkin) and Photography. 9 nominations 1997: Golden Globes: Best Leading Actress in a TV Series - Drama (Lahti). 2 nominations 1996: Golden Globes: Nominated for Best TV Series - Drama and Actress (Christine Lahti). 1995: Golden Globes: Nominated Best TV Series - Drama. 1994: Golden Globes: Nominated for Best TV Series - Drama and Actor (Mandy Patinkin). 1996: Satellite Awards: Best Actress (Christine Lahti). 3 nominations 1994: Directors Guild of America (DGA): Nominated for Best Director Drama Series. 1998: Actors Guild of America (SAG): Nominated for Best Actress (Drama Series) (Lahti). 1997: Actors' Union (SAG): Nom. Best cast (Drama Series) and actress (Lahti). 1996: Actors' Union (SAG): Nom. Best cast (Drama Series) and actress (Lahti). 1995: Actors' Union (SAG): Nom. Best cast (Drama Series) and actress (Lahti). 1994: Actors' Union (SAG): 3 nominations inc. Best cast (Drama Series).

Links:https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108724/ https://www.filmaffinity.com/ar/film989992.html

Grey's Anatomy

Original Title: Grey's Anatomy(TV Series, 15 seasons).

Country: United States.

Year: 2005-

Director: Shonda Rhimes (Creator), Rob Corn, Chandra Wilson, Tony Phelan, Kevin McKidd, Jeannot Szwarc, Debbie Allen, Tom Verica, Mark Jackson, Peter Horton, Edward Ornelas, Jeffrey Melman, Jessica Yu, Stephen Cragg, Daniel Minahan, Bill D'Elia, Julie Anne Robinson, James Frawley, Allison Liddi, Ron Underwood, Nicole Rubio, Adam Davidson, Wendey Stanzler, Denzel Washington.

Music: Danny Lux.

Photography: Herbert Davis, Tim Suhrstedt, Adam Kane, Walt Fraser.

Screenwriter: Shonda Rhimes, Stacy McKee, Krista Vernoff, William Harper, Joan Rater, Debora Cahn, Peter Nowalk, Tony Phelan, Mark Wilding, Zoanne Clack, Austin Guzman, Allan Heinberg, Meg Marinis, Jen Klein, Tia Napolitano, Jeannine Renshaw.

Cast: Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey, Katherine Heigl, Sandra Oh, James Pickens Jr., Chandra Wilson, T.R. Knight, Isaiah Washington, Justin Chambers, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kate Walsh, Eric Dane, Sara Ramirez, Chyler Leigh, Mark Saul, Steven W. Bailey, Brooke Smith, Lauren Stamile, Jessica Capshaw, Kevin McKidd, Caterina Scorsone, Jessie Williams, Molly Kidder, Sarah Drew, Kim Raver, Loretta Devine, Gaius Charles, Jerrika Hinton, Camilla Luddington, Jason Winston George, Kelly McCreary, Nicole Rubio, Tessa Ferrer, Kate Burton, Amrapali Ambegaokar, Melissa George, Bresha Webb, Justin Bruening, Amanda Fuller, Rachael Taylor, Janina Gavankar, Abigail Spencer, Geena Davis.

Color: Color.

Rumtime: 344 episodes of 45 minutes.

Genre: TV series. Drama. Romance. Medicine.

Production Companies: Issued by ABC; Touchstone Television.

Synopsis: «The famous Seattle Grace Hospital is the setting where the lives of five young people take place. After graduating in medicine, they begin a hard period of residency. The series has been defined as a mixture between ER and Sex and the city, for the interest of both love intrigues and medical cases. The frantic activity of the team of surgeons manages to convey the stress to which the characters are subjected». (Filmaffinity).

Awards: 2012: Emmy: Nominated for Best Guest Actress (Loretta Devine). 2011: Emmy: Best Guest Actress (Loretta Devine). 2 nominations 2010: Emmy: Best makeup. 2 nominations 2009: Emmy: 5 nominations, including best actresses sec. (Oh & Wilson) 2008: Emmy: 5 nominations, including best actresses sec. (Oh & Wilson) 2007: Emmy: Best Actress Sec. (Heigl) 10 nominations, incl. Better casting 2006: Emmy: 10 nominations, including best drama and screenplay series. 2005: Emmy: 3 nominations: Best drama series, director and actress sec. (Oh) 2007: Golden Globes: 2 nominations: best drama series and actress sec. (Heigl) 2006: Golden Globes: 3 nominations: Best Actor (Dempsey) and actresses sec. 2005: Golden Globes: Best Supporting Actress (Oh). 3 nominations 2005: American Film Institute (AFI): Top 10 - Best TV Shows of the year. 2008: Satellite Awards: Nominated for Best Supporting Actress (Wilson). 2007: Satellite Awards: Best Actress (Pompeo). 3 nominations 2006: Satellite Awards: Best cast. 2005: Satellite Awards: 2 nominations: Best Actress Sec. (Oh) and drama series. 2007: Producers Union (PGA): Nominated for Best TV Series - Drama. 2006: Producers Union (PGA): Best TV series - Drama. 2005: Producers Union (PGA): Nominated for Best TV Series - Drama. 2006: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nominated for Best Screenplay in Drama Series. 2005: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Best Screenplay in the New Series. 2 nominations 2006: Directors Guild of America (DGA): Nominated for Best Director Drama Series. 2005: Directors Guild of America (DGA): 2 nominations for Best Director Drama Series. 2007: Actors Guild (SAG): Nominated for Best Cast (TV Series - Drama). 2006: Actors Guild (SAG): Best cast (Drama Series) and actress (Wilson). 2005: Actors Guild of America (SAG): Best Actress (Drama Series) (Oh). 3 nominations.

Links:https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0413573 https://www.filmaffinity.com/ar/film237246.html

Nip / Tuck

Original Title: Nip / Tuck (TV series, 6 seasons).

Country: United States.

Year: 2003-2010.

Director: Ryan Murphy (Creator), Michael M. Robin, Elodie Keene, Ryan Murphy, Charles Haid, Craig Zisk, John Scott, Nelson McCormick, Sean Jablonski, Richard Levine, Brad Falchuk, Dirk Craft, Jamie Babbit, Greer Shephard, Lynnie Greene, Tim Hunter, Scott Brazil, Jeremy Podeswa, Hank Chilton, Tate Donovan.

Music: James S. Levine.

Photography: Christopher Baffa, Christopher Duskin, David A. Harp

Screenwriter: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Lynnie Greene, Richard Levine, Jennifer Salt, Sean Jablonski, Hank Chilton.

Cast: Dylan Walsh, Julian McMahon, Roma Maffia, Joely Richardson, Kelly Carlson, John Hensley, Linda Klein, Valerie Cruz, Kelsey Batelaan, Jessalyn Gilsig, Bruno Campos, Sanaa Lathan, Josiah Henry, Anna Lynne McCord, Famke Janssen, Julie Warner, Portia de Rossi, Peter Dinklage, Vanessa Redgrave, Mario López, Robert LaSardo, Jacqueline Bisset, Paula Marshall, Bradley Cooper, Rhona Mitra, Ruth Williamson, Joey Slotnick, Phillip Rhys, Rose McGowan, Nancy Cassaro, Sharon Gless, Seth Gabel, Brittany Snow, John Schneider, Larry Hagman, William Belli.

Color: Color.

Rumtime: 100 episodes of 44 minutes.

Genre: TV series. Drama. Medicine.

Production Companies: FX, Hands Down Entertainment, The Shephard, Robin Company, Stu Segall Productions, Warner Bros. Television, Ryan Murphy Productions.

Synopsis: «Sean and Christian are two prestigious plastic surgeons who work in the luxurious and glamorous Miami. Work, envy, personal and loving problems intersect in sharp plots. In 2004, this popular and cynical television series, then a minority, surprised everyone when he won the Golden Globe for the best drama television series, beating «The Sopranos», the big favorite». (Filmaffinity).

Awards: 2010: Emmy: 2 nominations, including best prosthetic makeup. 2009: Emmy: 2 nominations, including best prosthetic make-up. 2008: Emmy: Nominated for best guest actor (Platt) and guest actress (Gless). 2007: Emmy: Nominated for best prosthetic makeup. 2006: Emmy: 3 nominations, including best artistic direction. 2005: Emmy: 4 nominations, including best casting. 2004: Emmy: Best makeup. 5 nominations, including best address. 2004: Golden Globes: Best Drama TV Series. 3 nominations 2003: Golden Globes: Nominated for Best TV Series - Drama and Actress (Joely Richardson). 2004: American Film Institute (AFI): Top 10 - Best TV Shows of the year. 2003: American Film Institute (AFI): Top 10 - Best TV Shows of the year. 2004: Producers Union (PGA): Nominated for Best TV Series - Drama. 2005: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nom. Best Screenplay in the Drama Series episode.

Links:https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0361217 https://www.filmaffinity.com/ar/film191859.html

House MD

Original Title: House MD(TV Series, 8 seasons).

Country: United States.

Year: 2004-2012.

Director: David Shore, Greg Yaitanes, Deran Sarafian, Juan José Campanella, Miguel Sapochnik, David Straiton, Lesli Linka Glatter, Andrew Bernstein, Katie Jacobs, Daniel Sackheim, Sanford Bookstaver, Daniel Attias, David Platt, Matt Shakman, Peter O'Fallon Fred Gerber, James Hayman, David Semel, Bryan Spicer, Frederick King Keller, Newton Thomas Sigel, Martha Mitchell, Hugh Laurie, Tucker Gates, Tim Southam, Peter Medak, Paris Barclay, Guy Ferland, Nelson McCormick, Tim Hunter, Keith Gordon Bill Johnson, Gloria Muzio, Randy Zisk, Jace Alexander, Félix Enríquez Alcalá, Laura Innes, John F. Showalter, Elodie Keene, Matthew Penn, Paul McCrane, Nick Gomez, SJ Clarkson, Kate Woods, Colin Bucksey, Tony To, Julian Higgins, Stefan Schwartz, Peter Weller.

Music: Jason Derlatka, Jon Ehrlich.

Photography: Gale Tattersall, Roy H. Wagner, Anthony Gaudioz, Walt Lloyd.

Screenwriter: David Shore, Peter Blake, Lawrence Kaplow, David Foster, Thomas L. Moran, Russel Friend, Garrett Lerner, Liz Friedman, Sara Hess, Doris Egan, Eli Attie, David Hoselton, John C. Kelley, Pam Davis, Leonard Dick John Mankiewicz, Matt Witten, Matthew V. Lewis, Seth Hoffman, Kath Lingenfelte.

Cast: Hugh Laurie, Lisa Edelstein, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard, Jennifer Morrison, Jesse Spencer, Olivia Wilde, Bobbin Bergstrom, Peter Jacobson, Anne Dudek, David Morse, Kal Penn, Sela Ward, Edi Gathegi, Chi McBride, Amber Tamblyn Stephanie Venditto, Andy Comeau, Cynthia Watros, Kayla Colbert, Meta Golding, Jennifer Crystal Foley, Michael Weston, Alexis Thorpe, Wentworth Miller.

Color: Color.

Rumtime: 176 episodes of 44 minutes.

Genre: TV series. Drama. Intrigue. Medicine.

Production Companies: NBC Universal Television, Heel, Toe Films, Shore Z Productions, Bad Hat Harry Productions, Moratim Produktions. Distributed by Fox Network.

Synopsis: «Gregory House, the best doctor in the hospital, is an unfriendly man who specializes in the diagnosis of diseases. His extravagant character, his rebellion and his honesty with the patients and his team make him a unique person. He tries to avoid the relation-ship with patients, because what interests him above all is the research itself. He is also addicted to painkillers and hospital series». (Filmaffinity).

Awards: 2011: Emmy: best sound mix. Nominated for best actor (Hugh Laurie). 2010: Emmy: 3 nominations, including best actor in drama (Hugh Laurie). 2009: Emmy: best sound. 3 nominations, including best drama series. 2008: Emmy: Best Direction. 4 nominations, including best drama series. 2007: Emmy: best prosthetic makeup. 4 nominations, including best drama. 2006: Emmy: 4 nominations, including best drama and casting series. 2005: Emmy: Best Screenplay 5 nominations, including best actor (Laurie). 2010: Golden Globe: Best Actor in Drama (Laurie). 2009: Golden Globe: Nominated for Best Actor (Laurie) and drama series. 2008: Golden Globe: Nominated for Best Actor (Laurie) and drama series. 2007: Golden Globe: Nominated for Best Actor (Laurie) and drama series. 2006: Golden Globe: Best Actor in a Drama Series (Hugh Laurie). 2005: Golden Globe: Best Actor in a Drama Series (Hugh Laurie). 2006: Nominated for BAFTA TV Awards: Best International Series. 2005: American Film Institute (AFI): Top 10 - Best TV Shows of the year. 2007: Satellite Awards: Nominated for Best Actor in Drama (Laurie). 2006: 2 Satellite Awards: Best Actor (Laurie) and drama series. 2005: 3 Satellite Awards: Best Actor (Laurie), Actress (Edelstein) and Drama Series. 2007: Producers Union (PGA): Nominated for Best TV Series - Drama. 2006: Producers Union (PGA): Nominated for Best TV Series - Drama. 2005: Directors Guild of America (DGA): Nominated for Best Director Drama Series. 2010: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nom. Best Screenplay in the Drama- Series episode. 2009: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Best Screenplay in the Drama Series episode. 2008: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nom. Best Screenplay in the Drama- Series episode. 2005: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Best Screenplay in the Drama Series episode. 2010: Actors Guild of America (SAG): Nominated for Best Actor (Drama Series) (Laurie). 2009: Actors Guild of America (SAG): Nominated for Best Actor (Drama Series) (Laurie). 2008: Actors Guild of America (SAG): Best Actor (Drama Series) (Laurie). 2 nom. 2007: Actors Guild of America (SAG): Nominated for Best Actor (Drama Series) (Laurie). 2006: Actors Guild of America (SAG): Best Actor (Drama Series) (Laurie). 2005: Actors Guild of America (SAG): Nominated for Best Actor (Drama Series) (Laurie).

Links:https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0412142 https://www.filmaffinity.com/ar/film709243.html

The Knick

Original Title: The Knick (TV series, 2 seasons).

Country: United States.

Year: 2017.

Director: Jack Amiel (Creator), Michael Begler (Creator), Steven Soderbergh.

Music: Cliff Martinez.

Photography: Steven Soderbergh.

Screenwriter: Jack Amiel, Michael Begler, Steven Katz.

Cast: Clive Owen, André Holland, Eve Hewson, Juliet Rylance, Jeremy Bobb, Michael Angarano, Cara Seymour, Eric Johnson, Chris Sullivan, Grainger Hines, Zuzanna Szadkowski, Sean Harris, Matt Frewer, Maya Kazan, Ylfa Edelstein, Leon Addison Brown Charles Aitken, Tom Lipinski, Lucas Papaelias, Frank Wood, Happy Anderson, Perry Yung, Jennifer Ferrin, Ying Ying Li, Suzanne Savoy, Richard James Porter, Blanca Camacho, David Fierro, Rachel Korine, Michael Nathanson, Molly Price, Michael Berresse LaTonya Borsay, Reg Rogers, Johanna Day, Arielle Goldman, Annabelle Attanasio, Erin Wilhelmi, James Zeiss, Zaraah Abrahams, Danny Hoch, Collin Meath, Colman Domingo, Brian Kerwin.

Color: Color.

Rumtime: 20 episodes of 58 minutes.

Genre: TV series. Drama, Medicine. 1900s (circa). Racism. Drugs.

Production Companies: Anonymous Content. Distributed by Cinemax.

Synopsis: «Set in New York in 1900, The Knick enters the corridors of Knickerbocker Hospital in New York, where the prestigious surgeon Dr. John W. Thackery, despite his secret addiction to cocaine, leads a team of doctors with whom he does not hesitate to exceed the limits of ethics and morals of his time in favor of scientific research. All ahead of its time, questioned in a conservative society that has not yet discovered antibiotics and faces the highest mortality rates. On the other hand the arrival of Dr. Algernon Edwards, a determined and talented black doctor, will change many things in the hospital». (Filmaffinity).

Awards: 2016: Emmy: Nominated for Best Director. 2015: Emmy: Nominated for Best Director. 2014: Golden Globes: Nominated for Best Actor TV Series - Drama (Clive Owen). 2014: American Film Institute (AFI): Top 10 - Best TV Shows of the year. 2014: Satellite Awards: Best TV Series - Drama and Actor (Owen). 2015: Critics Choice Awards: 3 nominations including best drama series. 2015: Directors Guild of America (DGA): Nominated for Best Director Drama Series. 2014: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nominated for Best Screenplay in the New Series.

Links:https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2937900 https://www.filmaffinity.com/ar/film775348.html

The good doctor

Original Title: The good doctor(TV series, 2 seasons).

Country: United States.

Year: 2017-

Director: David Shore (Creator), Seth Gordon, Mike Ready, Larry Teng, Cherie Nowlan, Steven DePaul, David Straiton, Allison Liddi, Nestor Carbonell, John Dahl, Regina King, Michael Patrick Jann, Bill D'Elia, Bronwen Hughes.

Music: Dan Romer.

Photography: Eric Steelberg, John S. Bartley.

Screenwriter: David Shore, Karen Struck, Johanna Lee, Lloyd Gilyard Jr., William Rotko, David Renaud, Jae-Beom Park, David Hoselton, Simran Baidwan, Thomas L. Moran.

Cast: Freddie Highmore, Nicholas Gonzalez, Beau Garrett, Antonia Thomas, Richard Schiff, Graham Verchere, Dylan Kingwell, Hill Harper, Irene Keng, Chuku Modu, Rose Ranger, Teryl Rothery, Paige Spara, Tamlyn Tomita, Fiona Gubelmann, Christina Chang, Will Yun Lee, Chris D'Elia, Jasika Nicole, Marsha Thomason, Adil Zaidi, Eric Winter.

Production Companies: Issued by ABC; 3AD / EnterMedia Contents / Shore Z Productions.

Color: Color.

Rumtime: 37 episodes of 41 minutes.

Genre: TV series. Drama. Medicine. Disease.

Synopsis: «A young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome is recruited as a surgeon in a prestigious hospital. The question arises: can a person who does not have full abilities to relate to people really save their lives?» (Filmaffinity).

Awards: 2017: Golden Globes: Nominated for Best Actor Drama (Highmore). 2018: Critics Choice Awards: Nominated for Best Actor (Highmore) and Sec Actor (Schiff).

Links:https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6470478/ https://www.filmaffinity.com/ar/film445968.html

The Resident

Original Title: The Resident(TV series, 2 seasons).

Country: United States

Year: 2017-

Director: Phillip Noyce

Screenwriter: Amy Holden Jones, Hayley Schore, Roshan Sethi

Cast: Matt Czuchry, Emily Vancamp, Bruce Greenwood, Elizabeth Ludlow, Manish Dayal, Valerie Cruz, Tasie Lawrence, Shaunette Renée Wilson, Mallory Moye, Robin Dyke, Vince Foster, Tequilla Whitfield, Alexa Mansour, Michael Patrick Lane, Jessica Miesel, Megan Chelf Fisher.

Color: Color.

Rumtime: 38 episodes of 60 minutes.

Genre: TV series. Drama. Medicine.

Production Companies: 20th Century Fox Television, 3 Arts Entertainment, Fuqua Films.

Synopsis: «It focuses on a young doctor who begins his first day under the supervision of a brilliant senior resident who will show him the harsh reality of modern medicine» (Filmaffinity).

Links:https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6483832 https://www.filmaffinity.com/ar/film820843.html

Since their inception, TV medical dramas have been popular with the general public and especially with medical students. According to some authors, representations of medical ethics and professionalism in these dramas allow them to be used for medical1 2 3-4 and ethical education5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14-15.

It is important to know that TV series' portrayals of health professionals have changed over the years16 17 18-19. How did they did it? And how can we use these portrayals and changes in the curricula of medical education?

Marcus Welby MD ideal and good physician

In 2019 it will be 50 years from the pilot of Marcus Welby MD (TV) of David Victor (United States), a well-known medical drama that was aired from September 1969 to July 1976. The main character is a family practitioner with kind manners who cares about the patients, their feelings, their families. The pilot was called A Matter of Humanities (Figure 1).

Figure 1.  Marcus Welby. 

The first medical dramas, like Marcus Welby MD, were aired in the post-World War II period when scientific medicine was making great advances. Main characters were good, peaceful, intelligent, competent, empathic, and successful physicians20 21 22 23 24 25-26.

The doctor-hero figure – e.g., the well-known Ben Casey (TV) of James E. Moser (United States), Dr. Kildare (TV) of Elliot Silverstein (United States), or even Marcus Welby, MD was a constant reminder that medicine can be good, and doctors can be nice and caring about their patients and families. This idealistic world of healthcare and the doctor-hero figure portrayals can also be rethought as even a little paternalistic -let's remember first medical dramas were aired contemporary to the Helsinski's Declaration in 1964. The importance of the autonomy of the patient and the democratic doctor-patient began to spread slowly in the medical dramas but were almost absent at this time.

Physicians are also human beings: ER and Chicago Hope

As Pfau et al pointed out19, this idealistic and paternalistic depiction began to change in the mid- 1990s. While maintaining the over positive image of medical doctors, TV series started to put more emphasis on their negative characteristics and difficulties in their interpersonal relationships. This started with Emergency Room (ER) (TV) of Michael Crichton (United States) (Figure 2) and Chicago Hope(TV) of David E. Kelley (United States), two successful medical dramas that can also be depicted as romance television series, like Grey's Anatomy (TV) of Shonda Rhimes (United States) (Figure 3). In these cases, the romantic argument of the relation-ships between doctors takes the first place, even over the clinical cases.

Figure 2.  ER. 

Figure 3.  Grey's Anatomy. 

In the context of increasing demands in health care, burgeoning skills, and pharmaceutical and technological advances16,25, the scenarios started to involve ethical dilemmas and issues related to professionalism26. Physicians were often portrayed as arrogant, greedy, and adulterous, and their diagnostic and therapeutic errors were exposed19,27. However, these personal flaws and mistakes were attributed to individual problems that were unrelated to the health care system28. The responsibility for such mistakes was often attributed to patients them-selves, to institutional bureaucracy, or to residents' learning curves, and they were even considered inevitable27.

The anti-hero physician: the case of Nip/Tuck and House MD

In the decade of 2000's, another figure has appeared: the anti-hero. The protagonists of Nip/Tuck (TV) of Ryan Murphy (United States), House MD (TV) of David Shore (United States) (Figure 4), and The Knick (TV) of Jack Amiel and Michael Begler (United States) exposed their errors and bad behavior. In the first case, they also expose the lucrative medicine of cosmetic surgery, with the cruel aesthetic treatments of the human body; the second one include a bad mood hero in a leading role.

Figure 4.  Doctor House. 

In 2018, two new medical dramas were aired: The good doctor (TV) of David Shore (United States) and The resident (TV) of Amy Holden Jones, Hayley Schore and Roshan Sethi (United States). The main character of The good doctor is Shaun Murphy (Figure 5), a physician with autism and savant syndrome who has just started his training as a resident in surgery –in fact, it is the first time that a physician with autism is portrayed in a TV medical drama30. Dr. Murphy's superior knowledge often results in the correct diagnosis and an adequate cure. Among his colleagues, he stands out for his prodigious memory, and special effects show viewers his mental representation of patients' anatomy: he is depicted as alienated, imagining the different organs and systems spatially and even palpating these representations with his hands in the air. However, his difficulties in communi- cation are evident from the first episode through the last. He is nearly devoid of facial expression. His tone of voice is higher than the others', and he speaks «robotically», often looking up and avoiding eye contact with patients or with his colleagues. Right from the start, patients know that he is «weird», and they make sure that the other doctors know that they know. Furthermore, Dr Murphy does not understand body language, humour, sarcasm, or social norms such as politeness or untruth- fulness to avoid offense31.

Figure 5.  Doctor Shaun Murphy, the first physician with autism in TV series. 

Bad guys are here: The resident

The Resident has a narrative structure that follows the plot through each episode, so it can be necessary to analyze the entire season to follow the story. From the first episode, we observe that health professionals have great technical skills and professionalism. Residents are young, follow the principles of professionalism, and mostly adhere to the norms (Figure 6). Counterbalanced against this group are Dr. Lane Hunter and Dr. Randolph Bell, older than the residents (about 40-50 years old), selfish, and manipulative. Bell, who is egocentric and cocky, is the chief of surgery and the visible face of the hospital in the media and advertising. He is notorious for his medical errors, for which he is nicknamed «HODAD», for Hands of Death and Destruction. His rate of surgical complications is more than twice as high as the other surgeons', but his errors are hidden. His negligence due to his inability to accept his own limitations goes unpunished, despite the intentionality of his actions. Bell uses power and intimidation to cover up his mistakes. Dr. Hunter, an oncologist, is also highly recognized in her area of specialization. In addition to working at the hospital, she has a clinic bearing her name where she administers chemotherapy and she gains prestige and money from even unnecessary treatments. Moreover the medical malpractice, it is important to take into account the medicine depicted as a management-oriented-business. The unequal access of rich and poor to health services is evident in all episodes, and a patient's financial status may determine physicians' choices.

Figure 6.  The Resident. 

So, even middle 2000s marked a change with the anti-heros as a leading role, The Resident marks a turning point where not only professional errors appear, but serious institutional problems and the capital contribution of business affairs in healthcare are also central themes31. These new plot devices add a realistic touch to a picture of medicine that is very far from the idealistic picture of the sixties. In the first medical series, «medical administrators who worried about the cost of care were either absent or irrelevant»25. In The Resident, the cost of providing health services is an important factor in healthcare decisions that sometimes results in young professionals' needing to violate norms in order to save patients' lives, and older professionals making malpractice without any institutional consequences.

On the pedagogical usefulness of medical dramas

Medical dramas can be used for medical and ethical education: movies and TV series stimulate discussions and reflections, which is a part of an active learning process. Cinematographic language and narratives are attractive to the students. We can use a complete season, an episode or a fragment. In a very few minutes we can describe a critical or dilemmatic situation, and discuss about the physicians' emotions and reactions –this help to train more empathic physicians by showing the need of treating patients caring about their feelings.

The changes about the physician's depictions and health care system allow us to focus on good or reproachful behaviors: they both teach positive or negative models to follow or criticize. Also, criticizing technical mistakes in medical dramas is important, but plausibility may be more important than accuracy32. This means that even the actors or the script doesn't do fit into the daily reality of doctors, medical dramas help to rethink ethical behavior, professionalism and doctor-patient relationship.

Referencias

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Received: July 09, 2019; Accepted: September 05, 2019; pub: June 01, 2020

e-mail: josepeladi.banos@uvic.cat

Irene Cambra Badii: Licenciada y Doctora en Psicología. Durante más de diez años, fue investigadora y profesora en la Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina). Completó su formación postdoctoral en la Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) donde es miembro del Grupo de Investigación en Educación en Ciencias de la Salud (GRECS) en el Departamento de Ciencias Experimentales y de la Salud. Desde 2019 es investigadora en la cátedra de Bioética de la Universitat de Vic - Universitat Central de Catalunya.

Elena Guardiola es doctora en Medicina. Investigadora asociada en la Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud y de la Vida de la UPF desde 2007, se ha especializado en información, documentación y redacción científica, áreas en las que ha impartido numerosos cursos. Su interés por la relación entre la medicina y la literatura se ha plasmado en la participación en varios proyectos así como en la publicación de diversos trabajos.

Josep-Eladi Baños: Doctor en Medicina. Ha sido profesor de Farmacología en la Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud y de la Vida de la Universitat Pompeu Fabra (2002-2018). Vicerrector de Docencia y Ordenación Académica en dicha Universidad (2005-2013). Ha dirigido el Grupo de Investigación Educativa en Ciencias de la Salud de la Universitat Pompeu Fabra (2016-2019). Ha recibido diversas distinciones a la calidad de la innovación docente de la Generalitat de Catalunya. Desde 2019 es Rector de la Universitat de Vic - Universitat Central de Catalunya.