Albert Francis E. Domingo, MD

my flight of ideas

Desperate Scriptwriter

Posted on | October 2, 2007 | No Comments

It was a desperately written script seeking to eke a laugh out of housewives. As pathetic as my attempt to make a literary instrument out of the immediately-preceding sentence in this composition.

In a recent Desperate Housewives episode titled “Now You Know”, a segment goes with this script. The scene is that of Teri Hatcher’s character Susan Mayer questioning her (apparent) obstetrician-gynecologist, to wit:

Doctor: Susan, I know for a lot of women the word menopause has negative connotations. They hear aging, brittle bones, loss of sexual desire…

Susan Mayer: Before you go any further, can I check those diplomas? I would just like to make sure that they’re not from some med school in the Philippines…

Some writer must have been pressured into coughing up quips for the episode. Was his/her job on the line? Was s/he beating a producer’s deadline?

In the American concept of Land of the Free, I think it not the norm for people to have absolute freedom of expression to the point of racially insulting others. Try to crack even a seemingly harmless joke using the wrong expression negro towards black americans and you’ll get a political beating. Try inappropriately saying redheads to native american-indians and you’ll be persona non-grata if you happen to be a tourist.

It just leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Last 2006 I had my off-campus elective in Family Practice at a branch of a large multispecialty practice in Houston, TX – and I found the work environment quite harmonious. No patient was out discriminating against a physician of non-American descent, and no staff member found it funny to even joke about another healthcare worker’s ethnic origins.

In fact, that same clinic where I rotated in had two Filipinos among the physician staff, one of them being the clinic’s Managing Physician. She, the manager, being from “a med school in the Philippines”.

I do hope that sense will get knocked into the people behind Desperate Housewives for them to realize their mistake.

I also hope that in the unfortunate event that they figure in a medical crisis, they will receive the best possible care from a Filipino Physician, and in their realization of whose hands their lives are in, they will come to appreciate that medical care is no laughing matter for us Filipinos.

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