A young woman has three heart attacks in one week; a man is misdiagnosed and now needs a bypass; a 54-year-old man with heart failure refuses treatment.
Meyer and her crew follow Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD (Physician-in-Chief of The Mount Sinai Hospital) and Herschel Sklaroff, MD (Clinical Professor of Cardiology at Mount Sinai), as they care for critically-ill cardiac patients.
The film explains that while all teaching hospitals “make rounds,” it has become common for those discussions to happen outside of patients’ rooms, without talking with or examining the patient. And it is during “rounds” that young physicians learn their “doctoring skills.” Making Rounds highlights the back-to-basics approach favored by two leading cardiologists, who prefer hands-on assessment and diagnosis.
“Our film shows how simply listening and looking at a patient at the bedside remains medicine’s most indispensable tool.. over any technology,” says Dr. Fuster. The conditions of most of the patients featured in Making Rounds, were exacerbated by flawed diagnoses or lapses in their preventive healthcare. In one case, “a 10 cent mask” to take care of a patient’s sleep apnea is the correct course of treatment–in another, a commitment to treating diabetes through medication and diet will go a long way toward preventing another heart attack. These simple and effective diagnoses would not have been arrived at without spending time with the patients.
“Dr. Fuster and I make rounds the old fashioned way. The first thing that we do is go to the patient and hold his hand. With that touch you establish rapport instantly. We were trained to go to the bedside and talk to the patients, and take the perfect history, do the perfect physical, from which one ought to be able to make a diagnosis or come close to a diagnosis, maybe 90% of the time,” says Dr. Sklaroff.
The film points to another significant advantage to this traditional approach: it could be a defense against devastating healthcare costs. The United States spends an estimated 700 billion dollars a year on advanced medical tests and procedures that do not improve outcomes. The film makes a strong case for the return to tradition in the form of doctor-patient dialogue that would significantly lower the cost of care.
Making Rounds preserves the disappearing art and science of how to listen, examine, and diagnose patients for future generations of physicians and patients.
This documentary film was made possible by the generous support of the McInerney Family.
Produced and Directed by Muffie Meyer
Producer: Richard Brick
Director of Photography: Bob Richman
Sound Recording: Roger Phenix
Editor/ Co-Producer: Sharon Sachs
Associate Producer/ Post-Production Supervisor: Jaclyn Lee
The Village Voice – “Medical Doc ‘Making Rounds is an Engaging Study of Bedside Manner”
Film Journal International – Film review
The Hollywood Reporter – Film review
For More Information
Please go to First Run Features website http://firstrunfeatures.com/newsletter/Publicity/makingrounds.html