"...This smoothly produced hour-long report will raise your hackles and spike
your blood pressure.
This is the story of the insidious effect of bottom-line financial pressures on
the medical profession. In it, able physicians are constantly being forced
into roles as bean counters, consciously or unconsciously calculating profit
and loss every time they prescribe a pill or arrange a hospitalization.
What makes the PBS production so effective is the way it intimately
personalizes critical but complex issues of medical economics. ...
This program is specifically about Boston, with its expensive teaching
hospitals and their reliance on dwindling federal funding. The only notable
problem with the crisply intelligent and surprisingly gripping report is its
failure to explain how, or even whether, Boston's troubled system represents
American medical care at large."
"...No wonder acclaimed series 'Frontline' has set its savvy sights on managed
medical care--with the trenchant investigative report 'Dr. Solomon's Dilemma'
If you want to take serious charge of your health, this deft documentary should
not be missed. Because the reality it shows is daunting.
A cost-cutting corporation may well have swallowed up your trusted physician's
practice. And that means your care could be in crisis.
...Meanwhile the larger question is, where will the medical buck stop? This
particular 'Frontline' does not attempt an answer. But it does prove how
crucial an answer is."
"We've heard some of this before--patients discharged, as a matter of course,
three days after quadruple-bypass operations; doctors punished for ordering
'too many' tests. But this 'Frontline' documentary examines the latest painful
and frightening twist. As correspondent Hedrick Smith notes early in the film,
doctors at the teaching hospitals around Harvard Medical School are taking
power back from the HMOs. ... But there's a catch--taking control means
assuming financial risk--the more care they give, the more it costs them
directly.... This conflict of interest now pits doctor vs. doctor--and patients
are caught in the middle."
"...'Dr. Solomon's Dilemma' is an informative biopsy of the great health-care
malignancy. It doesn't pretend to look at the big picture, doesn't offer any
grand solutions and doesn't explain how the economics of the health and
medicine 'marketplace' are skewed by government meddling and the third-party
But the hour show is informative, well done and not out to trash doctors,
hospitals or even insurance companies. It is further proof that any
subject--even the brain-stopping intricacies of managed health care--can be
humanized and made interesting by the clever producers of 'Frontline.'"
"...does a good job showing both the human and economic side of a very
complicated subject. The problems it lays out are clear: decline in patient
care and an inevitable erosion in the doctor/patient relationship.
What we don't get are any solutions, or even suggestions beyond continued cost
inside the dilemma ·
financial incentives ·
cost v. care
ask the producer ·
producer's notebook ·
tapes & transcripts ·