Private Practice, Season One, ABC Television

I've been a big fan of "Grey's Anatomy" from the very beginning, and from the ratings, plenty of others out there also can't wait to find out what will happen next at Seattle Grace Hospital where it rains just about every day. With a dominating hit on Thursday night, the ABC network tried to pull some of those viewers along with an old '70's style spinoff trick, and thus "Private Practice" was born.

One of the characters, Dr. Addison Montgomery, played by Kate Walsh, has a late thirties midlife crisis. She is some superspecialist that does obstetrics, gynecology and neonatal surgery (this is already ridiculous as newborn surgery is done by someone trained in pediatric surgery, not ob). Despite being an academic specialist, she packs her car, and heads south on the Pacific Coast Highway. She meets up with some buddies from medical school, and joins into an atypical medical practice, hence the title of the show.

To say that this practice is atypical is an understatement. They see, at most, like two patients a day, between five doctors. They do far more alternative medicine than mainstream. Each of the doctors is also having relationship issues making feel like a medical remake of the show "Thirtysomething."

In the pilot episode, they decide to do a delivery in the office on an apparently healthy patient. Things progress to the brink of disaster until an emergency C-section is done. It goes way past implausible when the anesthesia used is only acupuncture (no way, from someone who saw an epidural malfunction during a section once, and believe me it wasn't pretty), and the assistant is the desk clerk who just happened to be in midwife school (midwives only do regular deliveries and never operate so he is both unlicensed and unqualified to assist in this situation). Yeah, it's details like this that make no sense to me.

As much as I wanted to like this show, I just can't get into "Private Practice." The pace is way too s-l-o-w, and not enough happens between the never ending commercials. Actually, last week, I watched "The Bionic Woman," on during the same time slot (Wednesday, 9 PM) and it is a better show. For my weekly dose of healthcare based entertainment, I'll stick with "Grey's Anatomy."

Overall Grade: C

Reviewed by Jonas


Chris said...

That's hilarious; even in China, people who use acupuncture for anesthesia use it in conjunction with drugs (they just end up using less of the drug).

Plus, on one episode the acupuncture guy gave some woman a treatment and said "You're going to cry" then she did. On the other hand, in real life acupuncturists merely tell people who seem like they bottle things up "you might cry during this treatment" and some do while others don't. No one can guarantee that it will happen.

digitaldoc said...

I would have no problem with a more reasonable use of acupuncture (both on or off the show...), but as the only anesthesia for a C-section, it's rather implausible. From my understanding, the pins used for an acupuncture treatment are quite small, and they really don't cause pain in the area they're being inserted. If they did, what would be the point except to distract the patient from the other pain they're having!