Saturday, July 2, 2011

Life imitates art? Art imitates life?

A few of my classmates and I started a list of pop-culture movies with heavy pathological themes. We were trying to figure out how much of medical school curriculum could be learned through movies. Specifically movies with much more substantial lessons of disease processes, biochemistry, and/or real doctoring than what can be gleaned from Scrubs, ER and Gray's Anatomy. Here is the list so far. What other movies can you think of? (I am sure there are more!)

*Gross Anatomy (1989): "A smart first-year med student takes nothing seriously, except the pursuit of his Gross Anatomy (human dissection)..."
*Extraordinary Measures (2010): "A drama centered on the efforts of John and Aileen Crowley to find a researcher who might have a cure for their two children's rare genetic disorder."
*The Elephant Man (1980): "A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. "
The Madness of King George (1994): "A meditation on power and the metaphor of the body of state, based on the real episode of dementia experienced by George III [now suspected a victim of porphyria, a blood disorder]."
Lorenzo's Oil (1992): "A boy develops a disease so rare that nobody is working on a cure, so his father decides to learn all about it and tackle the problem himself."
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007): "The true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffers a stroke and has to live with an almost totally paralyzed body; only his left eye isn't paralyzed. "
*Love and Other Drugs (2010): "A woman suffering from Parkinson's befriends a drug rep working for Pfizer against 1990s Pittsburgh backdrop."
*Awakenings (1990): "The victims of an encephalitis epidemic many years ago have been catatonic ever since, but now a new drug offers the prospect of reviving them."
Outbreak (1995): "Extreme measures are necessary to contain an epidemic of a deadly airborne virus. But how extreme, exactly?"
And the Band Played On (TV 1993): "The story of the discovery of the AIDS epidemic and the political infighting of the scientific community hampering the early fight with it. "

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