Sunday, August 01, 2010

A nostalgic look back at Lifetime Medical Television

Lifetime Network is the network for women. It was in the 80s and early 90s too, but back then they interrupted their regular fare on Sundays and devoted the entire day to programming for doctors. The schedule contained educational programs (non-accredited, mostly) in all the specialties. Although most presentations were balanced it was all clearly industry supported with a few of the offerings resembling infomercials for featured products. Commercial ads (directed to doctors, not consumers) were frequent. I've since been bombarded by all the non-evidence based propaganda about how this sort of stuff is harmful to patients but you know what? I found it to be a helpful learning experience.

I was getting on line even back then but the on line experience was very limited compared to what we have today. There were no blogs, multimedia presentations or web casts on demand. I lived in the hinterlands and didn't get away for CME all that often so I was hungry for something like this. I was addicted to LMT. It was my Monday Night Football. When I could I watched in real time. When I couldn't be home to watch I set my VCR.

In spite of all the web has to offer I kinda miss LMT. It's Sunday, time to reminisce. Here's a montage of promos and ads from 1991. (Most of this is from LMT although a couple of promos are from American Medical Television, a competing doctors' network on CNBC, which had a very brief run). Of note: at 4:00 to 4:25 a panel of master teachers including Jeremy Swann prepare to challenge three residents in a sort of medical Jeopardy on Med Quiz. At 4:30-5:25 a Vasotec ad highlights the landmark CONSESUS trial. At 5:25-6:23 is a very clever Feldine ad. At 7:00-7:44 on Physicians Journal Update discussants prepare to debate Washington's (failed) initiative 119 for assisted suicide.

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