CNN supposedly has John Roberts and Kiran Chetry anchoring its morning show these days, but the real star lately has been Sanjay Gupta.
Gupta, the network's medical editor, has been on more than Wolf Blitzer lately, because each day has brought a new health scare. Today it's MRSA, which was killing thousands quietly before we started counting it today.
The health beat is on its way to becoming like the celebrity beat, with a new scare every day, a new disease of the week. A star is born.
Question is whether all this is good for us. After all if Dr. Gupta writes that panic attacks can lead to health problems and Dr. Gupta's reporting is leading to panic attacks, does that mean Dr. Gupta leads to health problems?
Part of this is an outgrowth of the way we do news -- you make it big or no one hears it. Part of it is the outgrowth of our health care system, with tens of millions uninsured and ripe for a good scare. Maybe it's just October.
When big media starts doing health scares regularly, it's going to have an impact on patients and potential patients. Right now, I'll bet you have people outside your waiting room certain that mole on their arm is the dreaded "flesh-eating bacteria." And you probably got several calls this morning from the practice's aspirin junkies.
So is the Gupta-ization of medical coverage a good thing or a bad thing?