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Playing Doctor: Television, Storytelling, and Medical Power

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Playing Doctor is an engaging and highly perceptive history of the medical TV series from its inception to the present day. Turow offers an inside look at the creation of iconic doctor shows as well as a detailed history of the programs, an analysis of changing public perceptions of doctors and medicine, and an insightful commentary on how medical dramas have both exploite Playing Doctor is an engaging and highly perceptive history of the medical TV series from its inception to the present day. Turow offers an inside look at the creation of iconic doctor shows as well as a detailed history of the programs, an analysis of changing public perceptions of doctors and medicine, and an insightful commentary on how medical dramas have both exploited and shaped these perceptions. Drawing on extensive interviews with creators, directors, and producers, Playing Doctor is a classic in the field of communications studies. This expanded edition includes a new introduction placing the book in the contemporary context of the health care crisis, as well as new chapters covering the intervening twenty years of television programming. Turow uses recent research and interviews with principals in contemporary television doctor shows such as ER, Grey's Anatomy, House, and Scrubs to illuminate the extraordinary ongoing cultural influence of medical shows. Playing Doctor situates the television vision of medicine as a limitless high-tech resource against the realities underlying the health care debate, both yesterday and today. Cover image: Eric Dane, Kate Walsh, Sara Ramirez, and crew members on the set of Grey's Anatomy © American Broadcasting Company, Inc.


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Playing Doctor is an engaging and highly perceptive history of the medical TV series from its inception to the present day. Turow offers an inside look at the creation of iconic doctor shows as well as a detailed history of the programs, an analysis of changing public perceptions of doctors and medicine, and an insightful commentary on how medical dramas have both exploite Playing Doctor is an engaging and highly perceptive history of the medical TV series from its inception to the present day. Turow offers an inside look at the creation of iconic doctor shows as well as a detailed history of the programs, an analysis of changing public perceptions of doctors and medicine, and an insightful commentary on how medical dramas have both exploited and shaped these perceptions. Drawing on extensive interviews with creators, directors, and producers, Playing Doctor is a classic in the field of communications studies. This expanded edition includes a new introduction placing the book in the contemporary context of the health care crisis, as well as new chapters covering the intervening twenty years of television programming. Turow uses recent research and interviews with principals in contemporary television doctor shows such as ER, Grey's Anatomy, House, and Scrubs to illuminate the extraordinary ongoing cultural influence of medical shows. Playing Doctor situates the television vision of medicine as a limitless high-tech resource against the realities underlying the health care debate, both yesterday and today. Cover image: Eric Dane, Kate Walsh, Sara Ramirez, and crew members on the set of Grey's Anatomy © American Broadcasting Company, Inc.

29 review for Playing Doctor: Television, Storytelling, and Medical Power

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    Turow's book covers the mania that broke out when Ben Casey and Dr. Kildare began on TV in the early '60s. Women swooning! Women writing the actors for advice about their medical (even their gynecological) problems! Then, in the '70s, along came Marcus Welby, M.D. and Medical Center. Robert Young, the actor who played Welby, identified thoroughly with the role. After years of depression and alcoholism, he needed a personality to adopt, so he adopted Welby's. When the woman who played his nurse f Turow's book covers the mania that broke out when Ben Casey and Dr. Kildare began on TV in the early '60s. Women swooning! Women writing the actors for advice about their medical (even their gynecological) problems! Then, in the '70s, along came Marcus Welby, M.D. and Medical Center. Robert Young, the actor who played Welby, identified thoroughly with the role. After years of depression and alcoholism, he needed a personality to adopt, so he adopted Welby's. When the woman who played his nurse felt a little under the weather, he reached out and took her pulse. Playing Doctor gets rather bogged down in discussions about the AMA trying to exercise control over doctors' TV images, and the networks constantly trying to figure out the perfect doctor-show formula while keeping the genre fresh. True medical-drama fans may find the book a little thin on behind-the-scenes anecdotes.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jen

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bri

  6. 4 out of 5

    Arti383

  7. 4 out of 5

    Frances Levy

  8. 4 out of 5

    BookDB

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kris Byrd

  11. 5 out of 5

    Megan

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jenifer

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lucia Molina

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  17. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shatha24

  19. 5 out of 5

    Winnie Fraiser-Boykins

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nina

  21. 5 out of 5

    Adam

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  23. 5 out of 5

    Liz

  24. 5 out of 5

    SSShafiq

  25. 5 out of 5

    Siobhan

  26. 5 out of 5

    moenaq

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marisa Goldstein

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sergei Mashukov

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