Netflix has shows on pretty much anything you could want to watch, and recently there have been some great medicine-related documentary series on the streaming service.
If you are intrigued by the wider field, the application of medicine or the latest at the forefront of the field, these docuseries will definitely not disappoint!
From the next virus X to the potential of gene editing, to some mysterious and uncommon medical conditions, these docuseries will be an interesting and worthwhile use of some downtime.
Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak
This relatively new 6 episode docuseries was released on Netflix just as the Coronavirus outbreak was beginning.
Pandemic meets those on the frontline battling to prevent the next flu outbreak as well as those who are trying to prepare for the next pandemic of any kind. This show tells its story through many narratives; from India to the US to Guatemala to Vietnam, it examines the global impact and many different points of view.
The contrast is effective – being shown scientists working on a one-shot vaccine against all strains of flu before switching to clips of staunch anti-vaxxers.
It is a fascinating watch and certainly leaves you with food for thought. If you’ve been following the coronavirus story closely, you might be interested to learn more about the global context of novel strains arising and what is being done to try to prevent or mitigate the next one.
With the coronavirus epidemic happening right now, you are left wondering as to how prepared humanity really is for the next pandemic, however close or far away that may be.
There are fascinating instances where patients have incredibly rare conditions, of which a diagnosis can elude most doctors. This can be incredibly hard for patients and families who are desperate for some answers and some help with their unknown medical problems.
Diagnosis is a series comprised of 7 standalone episodes where Dr. Lisa Sanders, a long time columnist for the New York Times, crowdsources to get a diagnosis for patients with rare undiagnosed conditions.
The series explores the power of the crowd and how answers might come from the most unlikely of places. It is not uncommon for families across the world with similar conditions to come forward in an attempt to help.
Each episode has a different individual with a very different presentation at the heart and therefore each has quite a different ending. This series is definitely reflective of real-life and both the benefits and the challenges are shown in a balanced manner.
It is truly incredible how people come together to help someone they don’t even know, and this is the biggest and most comforting take-home message from Diagnosis.
If gene-editing technology and its massive potential is something you are interested in, Unnatural Selection is a must-watch.
Like Pandemic, it follows many different stories that all link together to form a broader narrative, on gene-editing and its possibilities. It explores the many aspects of genetic engineering and the social and environmental impacts that this has and is yet to cause.
UnnaturalSelection follows a variety of people, from environmental scientists to a boy waiting for a new gene-editing treatment for his rare condition causing him to go blind, to Jennifer Doudna; one of the co-creators of CRISPR.
This 4 part series explores the complexities of gene-editing technology, its potential uses, and the benefits and risks of it being so widely available – such that anybody could start doing genetic engineering in their home using kits that can be bought online. Unnatural Selection shows both the concerns about this new technology and some of the hope it brings for many.
Medical docuseries can be fascinating and informative on important and emerging topics in the wider medical and public health fields.
High-quality series such as these ones are a great way to expand your knowledge on topics related to the field you want to go into, and give many perspectives on complex and often controversial topics.
Words by: Safiya Zaloum
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