It’s about influenza, which we’re seeing a LOT of this year (payback for last years’ light flu season no doubt).
It seems like the local stations all have a ‘go-to’ site for their “I need a doc to talk about (insert TV medical issue of the day)”, and my hospital is a main site for the NBC affiliate. The ED docs are asked to do the Lion’s share of these interviews, which are arranged through the Hospital PR department; it’s not a requirement, and there’s always someone else who will do it, but when asked I say yes as I see it as representing my joint as well as I can. Also, I think “GruntDoc never helps out” won’t help me with admin during an inevitable ‘Oh, heck’ event, while “GruntDoc is on TV for us a lot” might keep them from kicking me to the curb quickly. Job security by PR? I hope I never have to find out.
Oh, and if you’re asked to do this, remember: this is not gotcha journalism. As one interviewer told me: “we’re going to make you look good, it does us no good to do anything else”. Typically they’ll ask you several questions they’ve told you they’re going to ask (so you can think of some answers), and then they’ll (maybe) use one of them.