Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Review

The men of steel

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 20 August 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1363
  1. James Owen Drife, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, Leeds
  1. J.O.Drife{at}

    The question of whether technology can ever replace doctors kicks off an excellent new series by Robert Winston. James Owen Drife reviews

    This has been a big week for medicine on terrestrial television in Britain. On Sunday Channel 4 gave us vulval cosmetic surgery. On Monday Panorama investigated the NHS postcode lottery (see Review, doi: 10.1136/bmj.a1366), and on Wednesday BBC Four began Blood and Guts, a series about the history of surgery (see Review, doi: 10.1136/bmj.a1362). On Thursday Robert Winston presented SuperDoctors.

    The working title of this series was Medical Frontiers, but after The Perfect Vagina and Blood and Guts that would have seemed dull. Indeed, running the words “super” and “doctors” together raised hopes that we might see colleagues wearing red capes and operating with kryptonite scalpels.

    Mercifully, the programmes are much better than their dumbed down name. They take a hard look at the problems of introducing new technology in medicine, surgery, and—we’re promised—physiotherapy. Inevitably, perhaps, surgery was first, preceded in Radio Times by a gee-whiz article (headed …

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