DOCTORS’ DIARIES (previous episodes: Can We Make a Better Doctor and So You Want to be a Doctor?)

The Boston Globe  “What makes it memorable are the qualities of the seven medical students ” Nova”  has been tracking since they entered Harvard Medical School in 1987.”Doctor” conveys a sense of intimacy made possible by the long-term cooperation of the students. Their clarity and candor – as they tentatively explore a cadaver, queasily take blood for the first time (each other’s) and self-effacingly but gently conduct their first patient interviews and examinations – have a welcome freshness.”

The Chicago Tribune  “One of the most ambitious and engrossing projects ever attempted. The show masterfully edits its material into an engrossing and detailed whole, punctuated by interviews with the students. It puts the process of becoming a doctor in a sharp human context. Like some chapter in an unfolding drama, we can watch and enjoy this remarkable show while eagerly anticipating its next chapter.”

The New York Times   “It is the next best thing to going to medical school. Harvard’s New Pathway curriculum takes the future doctors out of the classroom and into the clinic before they can say Hippocrates, and the camera stays close and catches revealing moments. In opening up the workings of an important institution through personal experiences, tonight’s program does well one of the things that television documentaries can do best…it captures the shakiness of bright young people trying to cope with too much new information and too many unsettling experiences. It’s enough to give patients a new perspective on their doctors.”  Walter Goodman  

The Orlando Sentinel Tribune  “There is high drama here, and humor and heartbreak.”

The Seattle Times  “Don’t miss it …it’s a splendid film that follows seven (out of 167) students through four intensive years at Harvard Medical School…not only enlightens us about how tough medical school is, but profiles the young students so we eventually feel we know them – and root for them to make it. The camera never flinches (although you may), whether the subject is cut-up cadavers or sexually transmitted diseases. But just as many scenes show us that a sense of humor is imperative for making it through those four years.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune  “An intriguing show.”


The Bergen Record  “It would have been easy, and not altogether inappropriate, to have engaged in a little Exxon-bashing in the  Nova  special “The  Big Spill, ” an investigation into the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which airs tonight at 8 on Channel 13. But much to the hour-long special’s credit, “The  Big Spill”  steers clear of finger-pointing and other knee-jerk conclusions throughout its rounded, well-researched examination…Nova’s  documentary will be difficult to top for its comprehensiveness, clarity, and fairmindedness. What makes “The  Big Spill”  particularly noteworthy is its long-view stance.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch  “This first-rate program -distinguished by its comprehensive scope, dazzling photography, computer     generated graphics and pointed interviews with all the major players. Smartly written, produced and directed.”


The New York Times  “As demonstrated by tonight’s offering on ”Nova,” the ideas of Sigmund Freud remain as provoking nearly a half-century after his death as they were during his life. It’s a model of the expository documentary.” Walter Goodman