Intended for healthcare professionals

Reviews TV

Wanted: spunky TV doctor

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 15 June 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1457
  1. Graham Easton, general practitioner and broadcaster (
  1. Ealing, London

    Most doctors I know avoid watching medical television programmes like the plague—you want anything but medicine once you're back home. But (admit it) it can be entertaining watching the health experts on lifestyle reality shows like Celebrity Fit Club, Turn Back Your Body Clock, or You are What You Eat. It's especially fun when they're medical doctors: criticising their clinical skills, being bowled over by their bedside manner, or even picking up some useful tricks of the trade. But where do TV doctors come from? How are they chosen, and what are the TV people looking for?

    The straight talking general practitioner Una Coales is one of the latest television doctors to make a splash. She presents the Channel 4 series Turn Back Your Body Clock, and she's fierce. Each week Dr Coales (MD, FRCS, FRCS (ORL), DRCOG, DFFP, MRCGP) meets someone who has allowed their body to go to pot. She uses a range of investigations, from body scans to blood tests, to determine how their internal organs are coping under the strain of their unhealthy lifestyle. Then, like a strict headmistress, she delivers her …

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