TLC Big Medicine = Big Marketing
Equally as dramatic as TLC’s “Inside Brookhaven Obesity Clinic”, “Big Medicine” follows the personal stories of severely obese patients who turn to Houston’s Methodist Weight Management Center as a last resort to their weight problem. There, bariatric surgeons Dr. Robert and Garth Davis are not only the doctors, but also the stars of the show.
I really have mixed feelings about this show. It looks like the real purpose of this weekly documentary is more oriented as a big marketing and self-promoting (but well done) Infomercial.
I have no doubts about the professionalism of the doctors or about the hospital in particular. But there is something in every episode that makes me feel it is 2 AM in the morning and I am watching a 30 minute “As Seen on TV” commercial.
For example, I really feel sorry for Mary Jo Rapini, the groups Psychotherapist. She is never taken into consideration, and no matter what she suggests about her patients, she gets ignored by the surgery-hungry doctors. I remember when I got my surgical procedure, I had a BMI of about 45 and weighted more than 331lbs, I had diabetes, hypertension and severe sleep apnea. In my mind, I was the perfect candidate for this operation. To my surprise, I was very close to being rejected because my Psychotherapist felt I was not mentally prepared to face a new way of living and to change my obscure exercise and eating habits and addictions.
From a physical point of view, my body was more than ready to even have brain and heart surgery at the same time, so my surgeon was already sharpening his knife. But he stressed-out to me that he would only perform the surgery if my Psychotherapist would give me the green light. Lately she did, but I realized that there is more than surgery in this ordeal.
Gastric Bypass surgery should be approached as a complete professional team effort of specialists. The surgery is performed in the guts, in the part of your being that you can physically touch (aka your body); but it is not performed in your mind, in your soul not even in your feelings and emotions.
So, no matter how successful Dr. Robert and Garth Davis are in performing their operations, by the end of the day, the patient has to live with a modified body but still with his or her unmodified mind.
I’ve lost 110 lbs after my gastric bypass more than a year and a half ago. I have had no complications, and I feel great and I am happy. But my success is not solely based on my surgeon’s ultra-modern laparoscopic tools, but equally on the drastic change in my lifestyle.
Remember that weight loss surgery can last from 30 minutes to 2 hours; but The Rest of your Life is measured in years and decades.
I think Big Medicine would be a better and more realistic and convincing program, if the producers would have walked into different doctors and hospitals every week, rather than focusing on one specific group. But well, we are in America, and we are the kings of Marketing.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I love Dr. Robert and Garth Davis, they are not only good physicians but they perform excellent on camera too, very entertaining. I just can’t imagine seeing my doctor on a show like that… how boring would that be!