Tuesday, June 7, 2005

House, MD: Diagnosis & Treatment

I've seen only a few episodes of House, MD, and I'm impressed that the show -- intentionally or not -- captures the best and worst of internal medicine. Greg House is boarded in both nephrology and infectious disease, two specialties which exemplify the crazy variety of differential diagnoses and treatments in medicine. Fittingly, you sometimes see House as Holmes, using deduction to logically hunt down disease, one of the best parts of the field. Other times, he bumbles around, orders every invasive test he can think of, doesn't have a coherent plan, and fires shotgun blasts of treatments at shadowy problems (such as during a recent episode, when he treated a patient with plasmapheresis, intravenous immunoglobulin, and cytoxan). The haphazard ordering of multiple tests and treatments without much thought is a bad habit shared by House and many other internists, even those who are otherwise brilliant. I like the show because it captures the best and worst of internal medicine.

The Soapbox Series: Normalizing Patients.

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