Medical Visions: Producing the Patient Through Film, Television, and Imaging Technologies

Medical Visions: Producing the Patient Through Film, Television, and Imaging Technologies

by Kirsten Ostherr
     
 

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How do visual images shape the practice of medicine? What role does visual representation play in the cultivation of medical ways of seeing? And how has medicine's visual culture changed in the digital age?

Kirsten Ostherr's ambitious study explores 120 years of medical image-making to explain how visual representations shape medical education and practice.

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Overview

How do visual images shape the practice of medicine? What role does visual representation play in the cultivation of medical ways of seeing? And how has medicine's visual culture changed in the digital age?

Kirsten Ostherr's ambitious study explores 120 years of medical image-making to explain how visual representations shape medical education and practice. Marshaling powerful, vivid examples she demonstrates how medical images created by the healthcare industry, documentary filmmakers, experimental artists, and the mass media acquire cultural meaning and influence doctors' and patients' understandings of health and disease. Her analysis proceeds chronologically, turning from the earliest experiments with medical filmmaking by the American College of Surgeons, to the place of health films in the "golden age" of instructional film in the 1960s. Ostherr considers the shift to television as the dominant medium of health education, highlighting the evolving status of realism, the techniques employed to bridge the entertainment-education divide, the role of expert consultants and sponsors, and the tradeoffs made by professionals to reach a broad audience. The rise of physician advice segments on newsmagazines forms a transition between medical dramas like Marcus Welby, MD and more recent reality shows like Boston Med and Doctor 90210. Concluding with a section on advertising and social media in the health care setting, the book ends with ten key lessons for the future of medical media.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Kirsten Ostherr shows us how we might learn to see—and to experience—health and illness differently. Medical Visions is crucial reading for anyone who practices medicine and for anyone who is, has been, or will be a patient—which is to say, all of us."—Priscilla Wald, author of Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative

"With fascinating discussions of documentaries, training films, television shows, advertisements, and more, Medical Visions underscores the key role played by the media in shaping our common sense ideas about medicine and objectivity. Ostherr's important study provides a guide to watching and understanding today's new health media. This book is an example of the medical humanities at its finest."—Joseph Dumit, author of Drugs for Life: How Pharmaceutical Companies Define Our Health

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199737253
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
04/08/2013
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Kirsten Ostherr is an Associate Professor of English at Rice University. She is author of Cinematic Prophylaxis: Globalization and Contagion in the Discourse of World Health.

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