Series has weekly telecasts on both TBS and TNT
Q: When you were approached about getting involved in “Chasing the Cure,” what was your first thought?
A: My initial response was, “Is this something where we’ll make sure not to exploit people? Is this something that will really aim in the right direction?” (The TBS and TNT executives) were thinking, “This is going to be great television because we’re going to address this responsibly and with compassion.” And you don’t hear that every day, so I was really affected by it.
Q: How did you go about finding doctors who are “TV-ready” to participate in “Chasing the Cure”?
A: Our No. 1 priority is to find doctors who can help these patients. The priority list is, “Patients first, stories second, and everything else third.” And if you think about patients first, you’re going to go for the top-drawer doctors and push that really high … and we found a great list.
Then it’s, “Who are these doctors? How do they interact with people?” There are a lot of great doctors with great charisma and personality who are inquisitive and can ask really smart questions. They’re just not doctors who have sought the limelight. Not all of them are necessarily camera-ready, but we have a team that is making sure that they will be comfortable.
Q: What are you doing to ensure the integrity of the advice given to patients in the cases “Chasing the Cure” covers?
A: One of the first hires we had on our team was a medical ethicist. We also have a social worker, to make sure there is aftercare for the patients. We have doctors behind the scenes who help shore up the team that’s on camera; in fact, they will be the gatekeepers on a lot of the decisions. It’s been an incredibly positive experience, and I think that is required for this.