Despite spending a trillion dollars per year on high-tech medical tests in the US, almost 20% of patients are misdiagnosed. Making Rounds reintroduces the oldest diagnostic method– listening to the patient– by following two leading cardiologists as they care for critically-ill heart patients in the Cardiac Care Unit at Mount Sinai Hospital.
The film accompanies Dr. Valentin Fuster and Dr. Herschel Sklarof as they teach future doctors the traditional art and science of a thorough bedside physical exam. The film demonstrates Fuster’s and Sklaroff’s decades of experience in action as they correct misdiagnoses and save lives, demonstrating– in real-world situations– that simply observing and listening to patients remain medicine’s most indispensable tools.
The film explains that while all teaching hospitals “make rounds,” it has become common for those discussions to happen outside of patients’ rooms, without talking with or examining the patient. And it is during “rounds” that young physicians learn their “doctoring skills.” Making Rounds highlights the back-to-basics approach favored by two leading cardiologists, who prefer hands-on assessment and diagnosis.
“Our film shows how simply listening and looking at a patient at the bedside remains medicine’s most indispensable tool.. over any technology,” says Dr. Fuster. The conditions of most of the patients featured in Making Rounds, were exacerbated by flawed diagnoses or lapses in their preventive healthcare. In one case, “a 10 cent mask” to take care of a patient’s sleep apnea is the correct course of treatment–in another, a commitment to treating diabetes through medication and diet will go a long way toward preventing another heart attack. These simple and effective diagnoses would not have been arrived at without spending time with the patients.
“Dr. Fuster and I make rounds the old fashioned way. The first thing that we do is go to the patient and hold his hand. With that touch you establish rapport instantly. We were trained to go to the bedside and talk to the patients, and take the perfect history, do the perfect physical, from which one ought to be able to make a diagnosis or come close to a diagnosis, maybe 90% of the time,” says Dr. Sklaroff.
The film points to another significant advantage to this traditional approach: it could be a defense against devastating healthcare costs. The United States spends an estimated 700 billion dollars a year on advanced medical tests and procedures that do not improve outcomes. The film makes a strong case for the return to tradition in the form of doctor-patient dialogue that would significantly lower the cost of care.
Making Rounds preserves the disappearing art and science of how to listen, examine, and diagnose patients for future generations of physicians and patients.
This documentary film was made possible by the generous support of the McInerney Family.
The Village Voice
An engaging study of bedside manner, Making Rounds demonstrates the real value of medicine with a human touch…showing just how vital listening is to the process.
Making Rounds follows the disappearing art and science of how to listen, examine, and diagnose patients…highlighting the back-to-basics approach favored by two leading cardiologists.
This Week in New York
Two old-time doctors are keeping the human touch alive, diagnosing patients with a refreshing lack of reliance on technology in this important, sweet-natured documentary.
- Produced and Directed by: Muffie Meyer
- Producer: Richard Brick
- Director of Photography: Bob Richman
- Sound Recording: Roger Phenix
- Editor/ Co-Producer: Sharon Sachs
- Associate Producer/ Post-Production Supervisor: Jaclyn Lee
- Starring: Dr. Valentin Fuster
Dr. Herschel Sklaroff