Wednesday, January 11, 2006


So I love this show. House just rocks. Now, there are some things that are really really wrong with the show.

But it does some things just so freaking right.

The things that the show does right include - well - the fact that it will actually consider the process of decision making. Most shows just let the viewer leap to the
correct diagnosis along with the TV doctor. In real life, doctors make a list like anyone else. Then we check our list twice. And try to figure out what fits and what doesn't. Even better, through the course of the show, the patient - and his or her symptoms - evolve. In medicine, there's an idea called 'watchful waiting'. Basically, we shove the patient in the hospital and wait for him to 'declare himself'. That means we wait for the disease to make itself known; we wait for the patient to evolve. This is a good thing 'cause we don't treat the wrong disease, and the patient is in a safe place, a place where the docs can act in an instant - and fix the actual problem.

(By the way, patients hate watchful waiting. They haven't read all of the warning labels on the meds.)

There are bad things about the show. No 'juniors' sit around in a glass office, no simple differentials (the fancy name for those lists) and no narcotic addicted geniouses rule. And for Pete's sake, the differentials don't take as freaking long to develop as the show represents.

So watch House, and think about lists. But not about time.

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