Massachusetts Medical Society's Physician Focus



Common Eye Diseases
Eye injuries and disorders can occur regardless of age, but vision impairment increases rapidly with age, and as our population gets older, age-related eye diseases are expected to jump dramatically. Today, nearly three million people have glaucoma, and nearly 25 million have cataracts. And macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, currently affecting nearly 10 million people combined, are projected to double and quadruple, respectively, in the next 25 years. This edition of Physician Focus will discuss the major vision problems people over 40 may face, as well as examine the steps people of all ages should take to protect their eyes.

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 www.pegmedia.org, 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, www.physicianfocus.org, 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 PhysicianFocus@mms.org.

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

 UPCOMING PROGRAMS

Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and second most common cause of death from cancer among American women. The standard for preventive care has been the mammogram, and death rates from breast cancer have dropped 34% since 1990 largely due to screening. Yet differing opinions from health professionals about such screenings have raised concern and confusion, and some research has indicated overtreatment of breast cancer – from false-positives and over diagnosis –costs billions each year. What guidelines should women follow about screening? What are the risk factors for breast cancer? Is genetic testing a prudent path to take? And what are the risks and benefits of preventive mastectomies?


Hearing Loss and Ear Health
Hearing loss is one of the most common chronic conditions Americans of all ages, with more than 30 million Americans age 12 and older having some level of impaired hearing, according to The National Institute on Deafness. What are the major causes of hearing loss? Who is most affected? What effect, if any, does hearing loss have on our overall health? What steps should we take to prevent hearing loss? And what remedies are available for those who lose all or part of their hearing?


Children’s Health: The Major Concerns
The problems children face growing up today, as viewed through the eyes of their parents and other adults, are vastly different than those from just a few years ago. The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital of the University of Michigan Health System has conducted an annual national poll on children’s health, rating adult perceptions of “big problems” in children’s health. What do adults see as the “big problems” in children’s health? Do they vary among different racial and ethnic groups? Are they different from those that pediatricians see as major issues? And how do pediatricians counsel their patients and their parents on the biggest threats to a child’s health?


Women and Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for nearly 600,000 deaths a year, with more than half of the deaths occurring in men. Yet cardiovascular disease – heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure – is the number one cause of death in American women, claiming more women’s lives than all cancers combined. Why are women more threatened by heart disease than other illnesses? What are the gender differences that play a role in this condition? Are there differences among racial or ethnic groups? What is hindering preventive efforts? And what can be done to reduce the threat?
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