Neal Baer: Television Shows Have an Impact on the World of Medicine

[ 0 ] June 28, 2014 |

“The best doctors are really good story tellers,” says Dr. Neal Baer. He has first-hand knowledge of just how good a storyteller medical professionals can be.

Baer is an American pediatrician and television writer and producer. He is best known for his work on the television shows ER and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. WATCH as Baer talks with genConnect about the impact these shows have on the general public knowledge of medicine and why he made the switch from practicing medicine to writing about it, at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival:  

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Baer says it was the personal connections that he had with his patients and his love for stories that lead him to become a writer for hit TV dramas. Baer was inspired to write for fictional TV shows about medicine in the 1990s when he learned that most people got their medical information from television and the medicinemedia.

As a doctor, Baer feels he has a responsibility to be as accurate as possible when writing about medicine. The character may be fictional, he says, but their diagnosis is real. Even on shows like the wildly popular House, where the medical conditions always seem to be rare and uncommon cases, the information should be valid, Baer stresses. These shows have an impact on the audience that views them so it is important to make the medical terms and situations as authentic as possible.

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Follow all of the wisdom from the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival on Twitter @AspenIdeas #AspenIdeas, and genConnect on Facebook and Twitter 

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Category: Aspen Ideas Festival 2014

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About Neal Baer: Neal A. Baer, M.D. is a Harvard-trained physician, practicing pediatrician and award-winning television writer and producer. Since 2000, he has served as executive producer of the NBC series Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. He [...]
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