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Letter to "ER" from Claire Fagin

Dear Mr. Parsons:

I just attended the annual meeting of the Institute of Medicine. The severe problems facing the public because of the shortage of nurses were alluded to and at the same meeting the major "contribution" of television to people's learning about the health field were substantiated. Unfortunately, the two items were not put together.

What you folks are doing to nursing is so damaging that it leaves one breathless (and in some cases this may be literal rather than figurative). ER is a case in point. ER thinks it is doing what? by having bright, excellent nurses become physicians. In addition to that unreal and insulting development of character there are many others that are destructive to nurses and also to recruitment to nursing; e.g. nurses role in re physicians, nurses character, etc.

A meeting of the New York Academy of Medicine is being devoted to nursing and medicine on December 10th. The egregious examples of what I assume is physician input into ER will certainly form part of my concluding statement at that meeting. While I recognize that your role in the company is far from script development perhaps you can you use your influence to correct these plot lines? This is too important a show to your company and to the public to be so damaging to one of the most important public lifelines.


Claire M. Fagin, Ph.D., R.N.
Dean Emerita, Professor Emerita
University of Pennsylvania
School of Nursing



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