If you don’t get HBO, you should, just to see this documentary.
Baghdad ER is an HBO documentary, filming (a few) of the soldiers, Iraqis (and one Marine) who come through the Army’s 86th Combat Support Hospital in the Green Zone of Baghdad. It’s not to be missed.
First off, as an EM doc, I have absolutely no quibbles with the medical care shown. None. (You say: well, sure, you spent time in the military medical system, of course you’d say that. You couldn’t be more wrong. This is an Army Hospital, and I was in the Navy: there’s a friendly rivalry, to be polite.) I was very very pleased at the level of care shown. It didn’t, frankly, look any different than the care in any stateside hospital I’ve been in (except not enough use of emergency sonography is shown, but who knows if sonos were there and just not shown).
Second, this is a film for those who support the war and those who don’t. It’s just a good study of America’s all-volunteer military, and their all-volunteer healthcare providers. It’s neither pro- nor anti-war, and for this sort of film that’s all the balance you can hope for. Frankly, I found it a lot more even-handed than I expected.
Lastly, I’m very proud of my profession as it’s being practiced in Iraq by the US Army. This shows the US military as they are: individuals putting themselves out for each other. Wonderful.
Oh, and I was literally moved to tears, and I’m not easily emotional. I found myself wishing, briefly, I was back in uniform caring for the troops.