Medical education via the mass media
Ever wondered how lounging on a sofa watching mindless soap opera after soap opera can benefit your health? Fiona Kenny explores the education being delivered through your television screen
After a hard day spent on endless ward rounds with problematic patients, all most of us want to do is to curl up on the sofa in front of the television and watch something undemanding and entertaining. Television is a means of escape from our own problems; the irony is that more often than not, what we escape into are television serials presenting the lives and problems of others.
Internationally, viewers seem to choose fictional television series, with soap operas top of the poll. 1–5 I am sure most of us have experienced an exasperated parent sighing, “Honestly, you aren't still watching that rubbish are you?” after they have walked in to find us slouched on the sofa in front of East Enders, Neighbours, or any other soap opera that happens to be gracing the screen. But have you ever wondered whether what you are watching is “mindless entertainment,” or