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The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs

  • 2016
  • Season 1
  • 2 episodes
  • News and current affairs
  • Science and technology
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Episode 1: The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs

Summary

Dr Chris van Tulleken presents the first in a two-part social experiment aimed at finding out whether patients really need the repeat prescriptions they currently take. While many drugs undoubtedly do good, he is concerned about the possible side effects they can cause - and also believes many common illnesses are best treated without drugs. Taking over part of a GP surgery, Chris hears the stories of several patients, and instead of handing out their regular pills, he takes them away. In one case, a woman with chronic shoulder pain is unaware that some of her pills are now placebos, while his treatment of a depression-sufferer is more extreme - asking her to swim in a freezing cold lake.

Review

What do you want from a medical documentary? This has it all – engaging presenter, shrewd approach, touching case studies and radical implications. So relax: we’re in safe hands.

Presenter Dr Chris van Tulleken (the more low-key of the van Tulleken twins) is convinced that GPs over-medicate. Under pressure from patients, they understandably prescribe painkillers, antidepressants and antibiotics too readily, and to a dangerous extent. So can he do any better?

What follows is wonderfully eye-opening, and includes a dramatic experiment with a woman called Wendy who has been taking painkillers for 20 years to treat her chronic shoulder pain. You may never look at paracetamol the same way.

Details

Released on
2016-09-15
Languages
Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
PresenterChris van Tulleken

Crew

rolename
DirectorJack Rampling
Executive producerDominique Walker
ProducerLizzie Bolton
Series directorEmeka Onono

All episodes

  • Summary

    Dr Chris van Tulleken presents the first in a two-part social experiment aimed at finding out whether patients really need the repeat prescriptions they currently take. While many drugs undoubtedly do good, he is concerned about the possible side effects they can cause - and also believes many common illnesses are best treated without drugs. Taking over part of a GP surgery, Chris hears the stories of several patients, and instead of handing out their regular pills, he takes them away. In one case, a woman with chronic shoulder pain is unaware that some of her pills are now placebos, while his treatment of a depression-sufferer is more extreme - asking her to swim in a freezing cold lake.

    Review

    What do you want from a medical documentary? This has it all – engaging presenter, shrewd approach, touching case studies and radical implications. So relax: we’re in safe hands.

    Presenter Dr Chris van Tulleken (the more low-key of the van Tulleken twins) is convinced that GPs over-medicate. Under pressure from patients, they understandably prescribe painkillers, antidepressants and antibiotics too readily, and to a dangerous extent. So can he do any better?

    What follows is wonderfully eye-opening, and includes a dramatic experiment with a woman called Wendy who has been taking painkillers for 20 years to treat her chronic shoulder pain. You may never look at paracetamol the same way.

    Details

    Released on
    2016-09-15
    Languages
    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Cast

    rolename
    PresenterChris van Tulleken

    Crew

    rolename
    DirectorJack Rampling
    Executive producerDominique Walker
    ProducerLizzie Bolton
    Series directorEmeka Onono
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