Medicine And The Media Medicine and the media

From paternalism to partnership

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7152.221 (Published 18 July 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:221
  1. Sue MacGregor., radio broadcaster and journalist

    Medical reporting on the radio has changed from the paternalistic advice given by the early radio doctors to a consumerist, partnership approach to health care, says broadcaster Sue MacGregor

    The anniversary celebrations of the NHS–and don't we journalists love anniversaries?–and an invitation from the Royal College of Physicians to address them on their college day gave me a highly entertaining chance to trawl through the BBC's archives to look at how radio had reflected medical issues over 50 years.

    I'd heard of Charles Hill, the radio doctor, of course, but until I listened to some of his early broadcasts I'd no idea how pioneering he really was in those wartime days and beyond. It wasn't all roly poly references to bowels and muddy tongues; there was a pretty frank discussion that he chaired about venereal disease and how you could (and couldn't) catch it, …

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