Are You in the Know? Recent Healthcare Documentaries to Check Out

It’s election season and healthcare weighs heavy on voter’s minds. But regardless of which party you vote for, you can’t deny that our current healthcare system is undergoing change. The following documentaries have interviewed hundreds of doctors, alternative medicine practitioners, and patients alike to get an understanding of what the future may bring.

As a medical institution, we think that the current dialogue about healthcare, regardless of the surrounding politics, is an important one to be aware of. Are you in the know about the future of our healthcare and how it may affect you as a practitioner or as a patient? Check out these fall documentaries:

Money and Medicine

This new PBS documentary describes itself as “An investigation of wasteful health care spending and the medical, ethical, and financial challenges of containing runaway health care costs.”

The film explores why contemporary U.S. healthcare costs so much, and also asks the question of what are patients really getting in return for the high price. Director Roger Weisberg investigates what factors are driving U.S. Healthcare costs and how some of those factors are driving the U.S. into major financial difficulty while still providing mediocre medical results. When asked what he thinks are some of the largest factors driving the price of medicine, Weisberg says “Well, I think there are a lot of drivers…But I think the biggest single driver is our fee-for-service system that rewards volume instead of value and quantity of medical services instead of quality.” The film aims to show that as a result of this value placed on quantity of service vs. quality, there may be more harm than benefit for patients.

Website: PBS

When: Aired on September 25, 2012 on PBS


Medical, Inc. – Exposing the Modern Medical Monopoly

The filming crew of the new documenatary, Medical, Inc. filmed MD’s, PhD’s, DC’s, alternative health providers, lawyers, NBA Hall of Famers, NFL champions, numerous Olympic Gold, Silver, and Bronze medalists, Pharmaceutical whistle blowers, and, most importantly, patients and families who lost and regained their health (and freedoms) under shocking circumstances.

This film investigates the monopoly running the current U.S. medical system: a complex system run by pharmaceuticals and the pill-popping culture that has been created to support the big money to be made. This film seeks to illustrate the legitimacy and importance of natural, preventative medicine such as chiropractors and alternative healthcare providers before signing up for multiple prescriptions that may cause more harm than good.

Website: To Your Health

Releasing to theaters Fall 2012


Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare

The same filmmakers that were behind the HBO series, The Alzheimer’s Project, spent three years researching and creating the most thorough and engaging healthcare documentary yet produced. Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare is an in-depth exploration of contemporary American medicine. They interview a wide variety of healthcare providers, doctors, and alternative medicine practitioners. As one doctor, Dr. Steven Nissen, puts it “What I’m arguing for is not to make things tough on industry, it’s to make things safe for patients, putting patients first. We have a motto in medicine, Primum Non Nocere. In Latin it means above all do no harm.”

However, it’s not a downward spiral. The document engages the viewer and offers promising efforts to heal an ineffective system—including a stronger focus on the incorporation of integrative medicine, preventative self-care, and working together from all walks of medicine to put more “care” back in healthcare.

Website: Escape Fire

Pacific College is collaborating with Bastyr, Scripps, UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine, Samueli Institute, and The Westreich Foundation to present a special screening of Escape Fire at this year’s Pacific Symposium.

Join us after the film to listen to a panel of healthcare professionals respond to the documentary.  There will be a representative expert from each of the institutions sponsoring the event.


Friday, November 9th at 9pm


In the Aviary Ballroom at the Catamaran Hotel, San Diego

Dessert and light refreshments will be served.

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