By case 3, Dr Brown Bear displays signs of "burnout"
December 13, 2017 8:14 AM   Subscribe

The BMJ asks "Does Peppa Pig encourage unnecessary use of primary health care resources?

Does the author, Dr Bell, think the pig should be banned from our screens? "No, because then I would be in real trouble with my two-year-old" .

Not the first time Peppa's been in trouble for setting poor examples, see previously on Metafilter.
posted by threetwentytwo (20 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
"However, from (repeated, mostly involuntary) review of the subject material..."
posted by Shutter at 8:40 AM on December 13, 2017 [9 favorites]


BMJ Christmas special is always the best.
posted by cobaltnine at 8:59 AM on December 13, 2017 [2 favorites]


These are all completely appropriate uses of medicine. Affordable, accessible, friendly care rather than turning patients away ("self-management") is what we can and should expect from healthcare providers.

That is to say: welcome to the Resistance, Peppa Pig.
posted by capricorn at 9:00 AM on December 13, 2017 [6 favorites]


Doc Mc. Stuffins isn't helping the situation either.
posted by cyclotronboy at 9:06 AM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]


I bet this was written by someone who really really admires US health care. What, you are sick? Doctors are busy taking care of old people and people with novel illnesses. Look it up on WebMd and go to WalMart to get some Robitussin and and some Advil. It's even backed up by our advertising. "Sick? Don't go to the doctor, go to work after you take some flu medication".
posted by The_Vegetables at 9:07 AM on December 13, 2017 [5 favorites]


Really? I would have said it was written by a jobbing UK GP who is not a fan of US medicine but sees the need not to encourage overuse of resource in a budget limited public funding environment and the need to avoid over-prescription of drugs, especially antibiotics. And who watches too much Peppa Pig.
posted by biffa at 9:37 AM on December 13, 2017 [29 favorites]


Rare occasion where reading the comments on TFA is totally worth it and delightful. I appreciated the one who pointed out that Dr. Brown Bear treats pigs, so he's technically a vet, so the NHS worry is unfounded.
posted by coppermoss at 9:47 AM on December 13, 2017 [10 favorites]


Encouraging people to self-care is like the first step in rolling back comprehensive medical care. Also, Dr Bear is their primary and would surely know if Peppa has any special conditions requiring more dedicated care (hint: he keeps making housecalls after telephone consultations and in each case he's not doing anything other than sitting at his desk) and guessing the medications he's giving are antibiotics are assumptions.

Also, a rash like poison ivy will "clear up quickly" but often still is best managed by a doctor visit rather than self care in terms of patient comfort. And the fact that Dr Bear gives the same medicine for the rash and cough, I'd guess it's more likely a steroid or liquid pain reliever than an antibiotic.

And that's as far as I can go discussing the medical care of talking animals.
posted by The_Vegetables at 10:02 AM on December 13, 2017 [4 favorites]


Affordable, accessible, friendly care rather than turning patients away ("self-management") is what we can and should expect from healthcare providers.

The case studies described look a great deal more like concierge medicine than anything reasonable and sustainable, frankly; I'm not sure how else to explain Dr. Brown Bear's apparently unlimited availability, other than a retainer. Self-care is not necessarily 'leave-patients-to-fend-for-themselves' care, and there is no reason for a physician to administer what is, likely, an OTC-strength pain medication (this is covered in TFA). Not all illnesses or injuries require office visits. Having a physician make "an urgent visit to the playgroup. In a green light car. With sirens" for a cough is, frankly, weird. (I get that the writers must get pretty strapped for show ideas, on occasion, but that kind of speculation is outside the span of the article.)
posted by halation at 11:34 AM on December 13, 2017 [5 favorites]


I bet this was written by someone who really really admires US health care.

I'd take Dr. Anna over a goddamn annoying bear, tyvm.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:40 AM on December 13, 2017 [2 favorites]


Self-management is associated with better patient outcomes than over-reliance on doctors. We might see patients a couple of times a year; they need to understand how to best manage their conditions themselves for the other 363 days of the year.

And if you’d ever worked in the emergency dept and seen fit young adults presenting with “ghost poo”*, “hangover” and “tripped over paving slab, no apparent injuries but might want to sue the council”, you’d be prescribing a few sachets of moral fibre too.

*Since I know people will ask: ghost poo is when you go to the toilet and the poo bounces off the bottom and disappears straight down the u-bend, leaving an empty toilet behind. A little disconcerting yes, but it does not warrant a trip to fucking A&E.
posted by tinkletown at 1:51 PM on December 13, 2017 [17 favorites]


presenting with “ghost poo”*

Wait, seriously?

This is so incredibly foreign to the American perspective, where your friends try to talk you out of going to the ER because not only will you be there for hours (which I'd think would be a factor dissuading frivolous visits in most places, really) but it will cost you a good $2k to get looked over.
posted by atoxyl at 2:06 PM on December 13, 2017 [4 favorites]


The population of Peppa Pig's village is very low, and the population generally healthy, so the doctor isn't busy at all. There are so few inhabitants that one person, Miss Rabbit, has to do dozens of different jobs.

I'd always assumed the low population is because the show is set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland after whatever crisis exterminated (or perhaps mutated) the entire human population, with the suspicious exception of the Queen, the only human in the show.
posted by w0mbat at 2:08 PM on December 13, 2017


And if you’d ever worked in the emergency dept and seen fit young adults presenting with “ghost poo”*, “hangover” and “tripped over paving slab, no apparent injuries but might want to sue the council”, you’d be prescribing a few sachets of moral fibre too.

Shouldn't all those types of cases be handled by triage nursing staff?
posted by The_Vegetables at 2:29 PM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]


Triage nurses can't give medical advice. If you show up with a clearly frivolous complaint, they can tell you you'll be waiting a long time, but they can't tell you you're fine and don't need to see a doctor.
posted by saturday_morning at 2:50 PM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]


Miss Rabbit is a single parent and needs the money
posted by glasseyes at 4:01 PM on December 13, 2017


A 3 year old pony coughs three times while attending playgroup.
Shotgun
posted by hawthorne at 4:53 PM on December 13, 2017 [3 favorites]


Miss Rabbit is a single parent and needs the money

There you go making the rookie mistake of confusing Miss Rabbit with Mummy Rabbit, her sister. You obviously haven't put in the requisite one thousand hours of watching the same 8 Peppa Pig episodes over and over again.
posted by w0mbat at 5:58 PM on December 13, 2017 [5 favorites]


Actually, stands to reason that there a lot of Miss Rabbits, given rabbit families, and all these years I assumed there was one Miss Rabbit doing a dozen jobs, it was really all the Rabbit sisters.
posted by glitter at 5:16 AM on December 14, 2017


there's also a shortage of physicians in the US that contributes to the overburdening of current practitioners in the system

I think there's two sides to the self-management issue - one is that new trends in medicine emphasize more communication between patient and doctor. Foucault wrote the Birth of the Clinic and described the medical gaze a long time ago. making sure that medical knowledge isn't all contained inside of a shibboleth so that it increases the power of an institution is a progressive action, not political shorthand for repealing universal care

the other side is that medical knowledge needs better sources than just the one or two times a year you happen to go to a clinic/hospital/etc - WebMD only exists because nobody knows to go to the NIH and that's deficient because things like UpToDate are privatized and monetized whereas government funding for freely available medical knowledge is not. thank capitalism for the fact that all the tools for a better educated public are there but are circumscribed from the public by requiring fees
posted by runt at 9:33 AM on December 14, 2017


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