The San Francisco Chronicle Magazine ran an article on documentarian Dr. Mareen Graninger-Monsen this past Sunday. Dr. Graninger-Monsen, who did her residency in the ED at Stanford University Medical Center and currently heads the biothics in film program there, has produced several documentaries on health care, including the Emmy-nominated “The Vanishing Line.” Released in 1999, that film examines the ways in which physicians are able to prolong life but struggle to cope with the emotional, physical and spiritual realities of death and dying. She has also produced films on an Afghan refugee family (“Hold Your Breath”), and health care disparities, as well as a series of short films called “Worlds Apart,” which are currently being shown in medical schools across the country.
Quotable quote from the SFC Magazine:
What I learned in making “Hold Your Breath” is that as a physician I always used to approach relationships with patients as if I had trust, unless something bad happened. I assumed they trusted me, and one of the biggest things I learned is not to make that assumption, especially when there is a cultural barrier. You really have to earn that trust.
It’s interesting to hear of a doctor-turned-documentarian–I like the idea of a physician stepping back and examining the “whole patient” from the perspective of film making. You can check your local PBS station to see if they’ll be airing the films– or you can order them from the bioethics website cited above.