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Playing Doctor

Television, Storytelling, and Medical Power

New and expanded edition

Subjects: Cultural Studies, Health & Medicine, Media Studies, T.V. & Radio
Paperback : 9780472034277, 472 pages, 15 B&W photographs, 6 x 9, August 2010
Ebook : 9780472027576, 472 pages, 16 images, September 2010
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A classic look at doctors in television, updated with two decades of new shows and research

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Copyright © 2010, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

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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 exploited and shaped these perceptions. Originally published in 1989 and drawing on extensive interviews with creators, directors, and producers, Playing Doctor immediately became 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 draws on recent research and interviews with principals in contemporary television doctor shows such as ER, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, 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. Joseph Turow is Robert Lewis Shayon Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. He was named a Distinguished Scholar by the by the National Communication Association and a Fellow of the International Communication Association in 2010. He has authored eight books, edited five, and written more than 100 articles on mass media industries. He has also produced a DVD titled Prime Time Doctors: Why Should You Care? which has been distributed to all first-year medical students with the support of the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation.

Read: About the Author New York Times | 8/6/2010
Read: Review Variety | 7/6/2010
Read: Review TV Over Mind | 10/1/2010
Read: Op-Ed "A Perfect Doctor, but Behind the Times," New York Times | 6/14/2011
Watch: Joseph Turow in a video produced by the University of Pennsylvania, discussing depictions of medical professionals in popular television shows, with video clips | YouTube