Massachusetts Medical Society's Physician Focus

Boards of Health: Public Health at the Local Level
They’re invisible to many citizens, but the work of the local boards of health in communities across the state is critical to our collective well-being and safety. This edition of Physician Focus will take an in-depth look at public health efforts at the local level by examining how local boards of health operate. What are the responsibilities of these boards? What kinds of power do they have? How, exactly, do they operate? Who are the people who watch out for our health and safety? And how do they interact with state public health officials?

Physician Focus is a monthly, half-hour educational talk show that brings important health and medical information from practicing physicians and health care professionals to people and patients of all ages.

Produced for public access television stations, Physician Focus is a collaborative effort of the Massachusetts Medical Society, the statewide organization of physicians, and HCAM-TV, Hopkinton. The program is distributed each month to 195 Massachusetts public access television stations, reaching some 272 communities and an estimated 1.9 million cable households.* The program also has a national reach, available to public access stations across the U.S. via download from the transfer site, It is also available on iTunes. With statewide and national broadcasts, Physician Focus reaches an estimated 2.5 million households.

In each edition, members of the Medical Society share their knowledge and expertise in patient-friendly discussions with a physician host. The principal program host is Bruce Karlin, M.D., a primary care physician in Worcester, Mass. Other regular hosts include Mavis Jaworski, M.D., a primary care physician, James Kenealy, M.D., an otolaryngologist; Lynda Young, M.D., a pediatrician; and John Fromson, M.D., a psychiatrist. Other physicians may appear as guest hosts from time to time.

The Massachusetts Medical Society develops the content and distributes the programs to public access stations as a public service. HCAM-TV provides the studio and production facilities. The show is taped two months in advance of distribution.

Executive Producer of the show is Richard Gulla of the Medical Society’s media relations office. The program is produced by HCAM Station Manager Jim Cozzens and directed by HCAM’s Michael Torosian. Mr. Cozzens has over 25 years experience producing programs and overseeing community access television stations, and Mr. Gulla has more than 25 years experience in public relations and communications for some of the region's largest nonprofit and media organizations. The producers welcome inquiries and comments. Write to

*Subscriber figures from Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy, Cable Television Division


HPV: The Most Common STD
Human Papillomavirus is the most commonly sexually transmitted disease, currently infecting about 79 million Americans, with 14 million becoming newly infected each year. HPV can lead to certain cancers, including cervical cancers and head and neck cancers. This program will look at such questions as: Why is this condition so widespread? Who is most at risk for this disease? How is the disease detected? How can the number of infections be reduced? And what treatments are available for those who get the disease?

End-of-Life Care: Advance Care Planning
Physicians are trained to promote wellness, cure illness, and preserve and protect life. Yet, death is inevitable, and health care providers are now paying more attention to end-of-life issues. One of the most important aspects of end-of-life issues is preparing advance directives. These include such items as a living will, health care proxy, durable power of attorney. Why should people prepare advance directives? What do they signify? How difficult are they to prepare? And how do they benefit the patient, family members, and health care providers?

Is Marijuana Medicine?
Despite Federal law prohibiting the drug and lack of approval by the Food and Drug Administration, the use of marijuana as medicine is now permitted in Massachusetts as well as several other states. Yet the debate continues on many topics: What are the health risks associated with its use? What is the drug’s effectiveness as a therapy for medical conditions? This program will look at those questions and others, including what the available science says about the drug, and what patients should know if they are considering using it for medicinal purposes.
Weekly Schedule First Airing Second Airing Third Airing Fourth Airing
Physician Focus Monday, 8:30 PM Thursday, 2:00 AM Thursday, 9:30 AM Thursday, 6:30 PM