Massachusetts Medical Society's Physician Focus

The Misconceptions of Obesity
For more than a decade, obesity has been recognized as an “epidemic” in the United States. Despite great attention to this condition, overall rates of obesity in the U.S. have not declined. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35% of American adults are obesity and more than 6% have severe obesity. New research is showing that obesity is more complex than first thought. There is much more to obesity and weight loss than diet and exercise, and effectively treating this disease requires an understanding of many factors involved.
Physician Focus is a monthly, half-hour, educational talk show that brings important health and medical information on timely topics from practicing physicians and health care professionals to people and patients of all ages. 2015 marks the eleventh consecutive year of production, and since the first program appeared in 2004, more than 130 programs have been produced on a variety of personal and public health subjects.

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 to some 275 communities in Massachusetts, reaching an estimated 1.9 million cable households in the state.*

The program has a national reach, via the website, where public access stations across the U.S. can download the program for broadcast on their stations. And the program has a multiple online presence, available on YouTube, the website of the Massachusetts Medical Society, and here on its principal website,, hosted by HCAM-TV. With statewide and national distribution, 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. Bruce Karlin, M.D., a primary care physician in Worcester, Mass., is the principal host for the program, with several physicians also serving as moderators.

The Massachusetts Medical Society selects and develops the content and distributes the programs to public access stations as a public service. HCAM-TV provides the studio and production facilities and technical expertise for production. The show is taped at least one month in advance of distribution.

Executive Producer of the show is Richard Gulla of the Medical Society’s media relations office. Mr. Gulla has more than 30 years of experience in communications and public relations for some of the region's largest nonprofit and media organizations. The program is produced by HCAM’s Station Manager Jim Cozzens, who has over 30 years of experience producing television programs and overseeing community access television stations. It is directed and edited by HCAM’s Mike Torosian. Comments and inquiries about programming are welcome. Write to [email protected].

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


Telemedicine: Patient Care From Afar
Technology is rapidly changing the practice of medicine, and one of the fastest growing areas is telemedicine – defined as the exchange of information via electronic means to improve a patient’s health. Telemedicine is quickly becoming integrated into hospitals, home health agencies, and physician offices. What are the advantages and disadvantages of these virtual visits? For the physician? For the patient? Can it replace the in-person office visit? When is it appropriate? When is it not? And how should patients regard this new approach to medical care?

Health Care Ratings As consumerism has spread into healthcare, rating hospitals and physicians has become commonplace today. From major national magazines like Consumer Reports and US News, to independent healthcare agencies, to Medicare, to individual patients, the quality of care provided by hospitals and physicians is coming under increasing public scrutiny. What impact is this having on the delivery of care? How do these ratings affect hospitals and physicians? And what should patients consider when viewing this information and making decisions about their care?

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