PBS Documentary Focuses on Preparing Future Doctors for the New Era of Team-Based, Patient-Centered Care

Ten-time Emmy Award-winning producer David Grubin, center, with Dr. David Battinelli, left, dean of medical education at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, and Founding Dean Dr. Lawrence Smith.

HEMPSTEAD, NY -- A half-hour PBS documentary showcasing the Hofstra North-LIJ School of Medicine’s revolutionary approach to educating the next generation of physicians, “Doctors of Tomorrow,” is being broadcast this spring on PBS stations nationwide.

“It’s a film about an institution that takes the standard medical curriculum and stands it on its head,” said 10-time Emmy Award winning director, David Grubin, who produced “Doctors of Tomorrow” along with a separate 90-minute documentary entitled “The Quiet Revolution,” in collaboration with Jennifer H Mieres, MD, professor of cardiology and senior vice president of North Shore-LIJ Health System’s Office of Community and Public Health. 

The film follows the medical school’s first-year students as they head into the field, train as emergency medical technicians, and confront simulated disasters alongside New York City firemen. While mastering the science of medicine, the young doctors learn about the critical role of the human dimension – trust, empathy and the importance of a caregiver’s “bedside manner” – in achieving successful outcomes for patients.

“When North Shore-LIJ began partnering with Hofstra University to create the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, we made a decision to become a change leader in medical education. We wanted to create a different kind of medical school where humanism and science form the foundation for clinical care --- and this documentary highlights that,” said David Battinelli, MD, chief medical officer of the North Shore-LIJ Health System and the medical school’s dean of medical education.“Of the 136 allopathic medical schools in the US, it says a lot that the medical education community identified our school as having the innovative curriculum to train doctors of tomorrow.”

With 280 students, the medical school recently received final accreditation from the Liaison Committee for Medical Education and will be graduating its first class in May. 

“In the United States, we have the greatest technology, medications and advanced methods of treating disease, and as we expand our focus to solve  the epidemic of chronic diseases, we  must educate, train and prepare our doctors for a  humanistic, team-based healthcare delivery system that puts the patient in the center, emphasizing collaboration , partnership, empathy and compassion.” said Dr. Mieres, who co-produced both documentaries with Mr. Grubin. “It’s time to expand the healthcare conversation and focus on innovative prevention strategies, in a patient-centered model as highlighted by our medical school.”  

Mr. Grubin has produced more than 100 films, winning every award in the field of documentary television, including two Alfred I. Dupont awards, two George Foster Peabody prizes, five Writer’s Guild prizes and 10 Emmys. His biographies for the American Experience series on PBS -- LBJFDRTrumanTR: The Story of Theodore RooseveltAbraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided -- have set the standard for television biography.

To watch “Doctors of Tomorrow,” go to: http://interactive.wttw.com/rx-doctors-of-tomorrow

To see interviews with founding medical school Dean Lawrence G. Smith, MD, Dr. Battinelli, Dr. Mieres, Mr. Grubin and a medical student, click here.

While “Doctors of Tomorrow” is scheduled to be broadcast nationally on PBS throughout the spring, it can be seen locally on Long Island’s PBS affiliate, WLIW-Channel 21, this Friday, April 10 at 8:30 p.m., and Saturday, April 11 at 1:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.  It will is expected to be broadcast on New York City’s PBS station, WNET Channel 13, on a still-to-be-scheduled date in May.


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