“Code Black” A Worthwhile Documentary about Emergency Room Docs, L.A. County Hospital, & a Quest for Ideals

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Danny Cheng, M.D., Dave Pomeranz, M.D., Ryan McGarry, M.D., Billy Mallon, M.D. at bedside in CODE BLACK, a Long Shot Factory release 2014

Danny Cheng, M.D., Dave Pomeranz, M.D., Ryan McGarry, M.D., Billy Mallon, M.D. at bedside in CODE BLACK, a Long Shot Factory release 2014

I had never heard of the term, “Code Black” but now know it refers to a waiting room at L.A. County Hospital’s ED when it is overflowing with sick people, many of whom can’t afford healthcare.
This movie is sort of about that, but it is also a movie about some young ED docs who are trying to figure out how to navigate our bureaucratic healthcare system so they can actually try to help people!  There are some seasoned ED nurses and docs too who have interesting insights.

In fact, one of the most compelling things about the movie are the stories that these senior year emergency doctors share about their ideals and frustrations about practicing medicine.   This movie will hold the attention of health care professionals and anyone who likes to watch medical drama!  There’s some blood and gore in the context of real-world emergency medicine, but it isn’t over done. Many healthcare professionals will find it validating and even though emergency medicine, like all specialties, has its own special kind of healthcare, I think we’re all trying to help people who are sick in a system that is overburdened with documentation, stressed by mixed agendas, and under-supported in terms of resources.

Dave Pomeranz, M.D., Jamie Eng, M.D., Ryan McGarry, M.D., in CODE BLACK, a Long Shot Factory release 2014

Dave Pomeranz, M.D., Jamie Eng, M.D., Ryan McGarry, M.D., in CODE BLACK, a Long Shot Factory release 2014

The movie is hopeful and inspiring for two reasons.  One,  these docs want to have more focus on their relationships with patients!  YAY, real people who care and are working hard!  And two, it offers another educational reality check for consumers and professionals which I think brings us another step forward in terms of raising awareness about problems in healthcare.  As we become empowered with information and connected in cause, we (healthcare professionals and consumers) have the capacity to create a healthcare system where the priority is providing care.  Seriously….!

I was also interested in a conversation and an ED doc and ED nurse were having about staffing ratios, which are mandated in C A and intended to protect patients and nurses.  Not enough detail to for me to totally understand the situation, but clearly there are bureaucratic consequences to this too!  AHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Ok,  so I found it difficult to follow in a couple of places, but not a big deal and really, that could be more about healthcare USA than the film!  It has won lots of awards and I definitely recommend it!

Trailer

I’d also love to know more about the doctor the film is dedicated to:  

Tony Peduto, MD

 1978-2011

This entry was posted in Book & Movie Reviews, Communication in Healthcare, Complexity in nursing, Diversity, Heroines & Heros, Holistic Health, Nurse Leadership, Patient Advocacy, Patient Safety and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to “Code Black” A Worthwhile Documentary about Emergency Room Docs, L.A. County Hospital, & a Quest for Ideals

  1. April hammond says:

    Dr. Anthony Michael Peduto went missing, and is believed to have jumped off a bridge even though his body was never found. According to 2 different sites, he suffered from depression.

  2. Melissa Taylor says:

    Hi Beth- This sounds like a very interesting documentary. Do you know when this will be running and on what network? (Or did I miss that?) I want to make sure to catch it.

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