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Posts from the ‘House, MD’ Category

A doctor reviews the episodes of House, MD!

Whenever a friend asks me about the television show with the best medical background, I always use House, MD as the example. Well, now a doctor published reviews, detailed medical explanations and sometimes pointed out the mistakes and errors episode by episode. Enjoy!

Medical paternalism in House M.D.

Ewa Dobrogowska shared this interesting article with us on Twitter. I didn’t think I would ever see House, M.D. in a publication:

Medical paternalism in House M.D.

Mark R Wicclair, Center for Bioethics and Health Law, University of Pittsburgh

The popular television series House M.D. is drawn upon to provide a critical examination of medical paternalism and how it is presented in the show. Dr Gregory House, the character named in the title of the series, is a paradigm of a paternalistic physician. He believes that he knows what is best for his patients, and he repeatedly disregards their wishes in order to diagnose and treat their illnesses. This paper examines several examples of medical paternalism and the means used to portray it favourably in the series. It is argued that the positive depiction of medicalpaternalism in the fictional world of the series does not apply in the real world. The paper also considers why a show that features a paternalistic physician who so blatantly flouts mainstream medical ethics might appeal to health professionals and members of the general public.


Further reading:

Television shows teach communication skills in internal medicine residency

The article of the day award goes to…

To address evidence-based effective communication skills in the formal academic half day curriculum of our core internal medicine residency program, we designed and delivered an interactive session using excerpts taken from medically-themed television shows.

We selected two excerpts from the television show House, and one from Gray’s Anatomy and featured them in conjunction with a brief didactic presentation of the Kalamazoo consensus statement on doctor-patient communication.

Our residents indicated that their understanding of an evidence-based model of effective communication such as the Kalamazoo model, and their comfort levels in applying such model in clinical practice increased significantly. Furthermore, residents’ understanding levels of the seven essential competencies listed in the Kalamazoo model also improved significantly. Finally, the residents reported that their comfort levels in three challenging clinical scenarios presented to them improved significantly.


House, MD in different languages

Just a little bit of fun for Friday. Our favourite medical series, House, MD, in different languages:








Which one does sound funny for you?

House, MD: The Best Bloopers!

While we have to wait for the 10th episode of House, MD (Season 4), I share two funny videos featuring the best bloopers with you. Enjoy!

Newborn Screening in the US: a mother’s story about how to improve a whole system

Some time ago, in one of my posts I noted that I was looking for a newborn screening specialist. Then I got a letter from a mother of a boy with MCAD (medium chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase defect) from Texas and I had to realize how incredible story she had. Laura Clow who is also a member of website, kindly answered my questions.

  • Please tell us the story of your boy! How was he diagnosed with medium chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase defect?

Brickman was a full-term, seemingly perfect, healthy baby & toddler, hitting every developmental milestone ahead of schedule. When he was 19 months old, he became ill with a stomach virus. He went 18 hours without food because of the illness. He began having seizures and slipped into a coma. The doctors at the E.R. could not determine what was wrong. His lab-work (which took 3 hours to receive) from the hospital revealed that his glucose level was 7 in the blood and 2 in the spinal fluid. When this was discovered, we were in a critical care ambulance in transport to a children’s hospital in Dallas. The paramedic put glucose into his circulation immediately.

He remained in the coma for 15 hours, was in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit unit for 2 days and stayed in the hospital for 6 more days. Lab tests were sent to Duke University and it was determined that he had MCAD. My husband and I had genetic testing and he has the most common MCAD mutation and I have one that had not been discovered until that time. We then learned that other states in the USA routinely screened for MCAD in the newborn screening panel and that we could have ordered the test for only $25.00 at the time of his birth if we had only known about it. By the grace of God, Brickman did not suffer any long-term consequences from the metabolic crisis.

  • You told me that your family has been very active promoting awareness of supplemental newborn screening. You even went to the state capitol and testified in front of the Health & Human Services Committee. Why did you do that and what are the results?

When I learned that the state lines in which we lived prevented us from knowing about his condition at birth and that we could have paid $25.00 for a supplemental screening test, I was mad, but determined to make a difference for others. I joined two support groups ( and ) and met many families whose children had died or suffered permanent brain damage from undiagnosed metabolic conditions. I did not want another family to have to endure a tragic experience because of lack of proper newborn screening. Educating others about newborn screening became my passion.

I have worked at many trade show booths, baby fairs, spoken to Mom’s groups, midwife groups and doctors to promote awareness of expanded newborn screening. I would stop pregnant women in the grocery store and tell them about it. I also gave supplemental newborn screening kits with a check for $25.00 to many of my friends.

One day, I contacted my State Representative to express concern about lack of proper newborn screening in Texas. About that same time, the March of Dimes was pushing for states to expand newborn screening programs across the USA. We teamed up with the March of Dimes when Texas was considering expansion of their program in April of 2005. We traveled to the State Capitol and testified in front of the Health & Human Services Committee. There were several other affected Texas families there as well. The proposals passed the House and the Senate, but the expanded screening did not actually begin until December 2006. Texas now screens newborns for 27 inherited disorders – 19 more than before.



  • What are your plans for the near future?

Great Question! I wish I knew the answer! I am looking for a job for the fall because my youngest child will start Kindergarten. I was an elementary school teacher before I had children, and I would like to teach again or work in the field of expanded newborn screening.

The Save Babies Through Screening Foundation is a non-profit, volunteer-run foundation which exists to promote awareness and educate others about expanded newborn screening. The website has many links to the 50 USA state newborn screening programs, information about how to obtain a supplemental screening kit, family stories and more. They also have an email list where families can seek support from others and share information.

I’m totally amazed by the work and enthusiasm of Laura Clow. It became true that mothers like her can improve even a whole system.



House M.D., quotes, research and a weird video

In my opinion, the best medical Tv-series is House. Just like the best fictional doctor is Gregory House. I’ve seen the first season several times. Hugh Laurie received the 2006 and 2007 Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor in a Drama. See List of House awards on Wikipedia. While reading this post, listen to the soundtrack of House:


Sometimes my friends tell me that I’m just like House: ironic, sarcastic and occasionally arrogant. Look, I’ve grown up with real English humor: Benny Hill, Monty Python, You Rang, M’Lord?, so my manner of thinking became similar to theirs. Now I see a part of the world like House. Being sarcastic helps me handle problems easier in life. Here are some of my favourite quotes from him:

  • Are you comparing me to God? I mean, it’s great, but so you know, I’ve never made a tree.
  • Like I always say, there’s no ‘I’ in team. There’s a ‘me,’ though, if you jumble it up.
  • Treating illness is why we became doctors. Treating patients is actually what makes most doctors miserable.
  • This thing won me second place in the clinic’s weekly ‘Weirdest thing pulled out of an orifice’ contest.
  • Heart transplant. Immune system’s in the toilet, Mommy builds her little angel a John Travolta-quality bubble.
  • What else turns you on? Drugs? Casual sex? Rough sex? Casual rough sex? I’m a doctor, I need to know.

And the best feature is the page of research to help fuel all your hypochondriacal tendencies. Yes, Research. You can find out how they came up with those weird ideas and stories. Take an example, season 3, episode 11 (Words and Deeds):

Skin grafts
Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
Aging Male Syndrome (“male menopause”)
Heart attacks
Brain tumors

At last, I couldn’t resist, forgive me! Don’t miss this video called House MD – MadTV Spoof:


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