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Trust me, I'm a doctor


Nowadays a trip to the doctor's office comes with a not so healthy dose of distrust. Bill Condie performs a check-up on the documentary focused on answering common health questions.


The documentary that aims to be the antidote to Doctor Google. – Roadshow

Trust Me, I'm a Doctor
Series 1, BBC DVD, RRP 29.99

Not so long ago a doctor’s word was gospel. Our grandparents would no more think of questioning a physician’s pronouncement than they would smoke in church. But times have changed and authority figures are out of fashion.

There are many reasons for this. Greater scrutiny on public figures in the media and conflicting stories of the health benefits of this vitamin, that fad diet or those treatments have made us question what and whom we should believe.

Combined with that is the democratisation of knowledge that has come with the internet. “Doctor” Google has turned us into both hypochondriacs and our own health professionals. At best this sees us sitting up at night trawling through symptoms that lead us to imaginary diseases. At worst it puts lives at risk when legitimate treatments are questioned on the spurious advice of an obscure web page.

Trust me, I’m a Doctor, attempts to be an antidote to this doubt and distrust, looking behind the headlines for definitive answers to lots of common health questions. In some cases it is successful. In others, not so much.
It is enlightening (and comforting for the more, er, portly), for example, to discover that the much-vaunted measure of obesity, the Body Mass Index, is an unreliable guide to health. Questions of whether you should take statins, or hormone replacement therapy, or aspirin are all important and timely.

The problem is, however, that for many of these questions, the “definitive” answer is elusive, and we meet new experts, often with very different opinions. That said, the series is packed with interesting information that at least poses the questions and lays out current thinking to challenge Doctor Google’s questionable authority.

Bill condie 2014.png?ixlib=rails 2.1
Bill is head of publishing at The Royal Institution of Australia and former publisher of Cosmos.
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