Smallscreen Reviews

Review: ABC's 'Boston Med' their best summer fare

By April MacIntyre Jun 23, 2010, 7:03 GMT

Review: ABC's 'Boston Med' their best summer fare

Boston Med, courtesy of ABC

Brigham and Women's Hospital doctors saved my Father's life from a Brown recluse spider bite that put him in a life-threatening coma, and Massachusetts General Hospital saved my right eye on my ninth summer, when an errant cherrybomb hit me in the face July 4th on Short Beach in my hometown of Nahant, Massachusetts.

Ah summer!   ABC's new limited series "Boston Med" already sold me when I heard about the premise.

Three of Boston’s best hospitals - Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital Boston - are the stars of “Boston Med,” premiering Thursday at 10 p.m.

This real series is gripping fare, presented in eight-parts by  Peabody Award-winning executive producer of the 2008 medical documentary series "Hopkins." Terence Wrong, who spent four months and thousands of hours filming at the hospitals.  

Producers introduce you to residents, established doctors and the patients they treat, as well as their families. We get fly on the wall access as these professionals dispense both successful and heartbreaking news, and make difficult decisions that can go very badly.

The premiere sees a police officer who caught a bullet in the jaw, and two women who receive lung transplants. Their surgeries are facinating to observe. Dr. Maria Troulis is an Oral-Maxillofacial surgeon who puts the police officer right as rain again, as his worried mother and wife wait.

This is raw, real footage that is not manipulated, not posed, but shot in classic cinema verite techniques.

I was told once by a Doctor at Cedars Sinai, here in Los Angeles, that there were two American cities to get sick in: Boston, Massachusetts and Houston, Texas.

He told me for hearts and cancer, Houston was tops, and for everything else, Boston beat even New York and LA.  Modern anesthesia was invented at Mass General. Children's Hospital is the tops for pediatrics.  The Brigham is a leader for all OB-GYN issues and transplants.

I remember vividly when I spent two weeks recovering in a Mass General hospital bed, a wealthy Arab Royal flew in all of his wives, and children and had occupied a whole wing of Mass. General Eye & Ear. The nurses were abuzz about the massive family that had descended from so far away.

This series also lets you get to know key players in each facility. Especially interesting was Pina Patel's story, an Ohio State grad in a sea of Harvard sheepskinned residents. She is questioned by an anesthesiologist about her leadership ability. Also enjoyable to watch is Daniel "Dibar" Dibardino, or Doctor "D" as his patients call him. His enthusiasm and empathy make you wish you could clone him and put him in every emergency room all over the country.

Really good smallscreen fare.



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