Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Veterans' medical saga well told by CBS reporter

This story by Byron Pitts on CBS will leave you speechless ... and that CBS devoted 8:00 to one story should you tell you a lot right there. Take a look:

I could go on and on about the good and bad I've seen in military health care, but I think the flipside story here is the government's inability to attract the best doctors to military service when their professional careers in the private sector can be so lucrative.

When I retired from the National Guard two years ago, the state was offering $20K cash bonuses to doctors willing to drill one weekend a month for three years. That's on top of their normal pay as soldiers. All to provide physicals to the troops and to attend our two-week annual training -- usually in Michigan -- to help treat any injuries we received during our maneuvers.

You'd think young docs with mega college loans would jump at the deal, but a great many of those jobs weren't filled. I remember a Lieutenant Colonel asking me if I could put a story on the evening news asking for doctors to at least give it a try -- that's how bad the military needed good docs to help out the ranks.

What stands out to me in this story is how well it's told by Byron Pitts. He doesn't choose any hyped-up adjectives or verbs to try and overpower the viewers' emotions. Instead, he lets the people involved become "characters" and steps back as a story-teller instead of making himself the story. Too often, TV reporters do indeed get in the way of their own stories. I'm glad that wasn't the case here.


No comments: