Making the Rounds

Doing your staffing homework takes on an added urgency when a documentary is being filmed. Jim Gosky, director of communications at The MetroHealth System in Cleveland had to
learn this lesson the hard way. A few years ago a TV crew for "Trauma: Life in the ER" was at the hospital shooting for two months, capturing over 200 hours of ER footage. For the
most part, the video journalists captured compelling stories that cast MetroHealth in a positive light. However, one of MetroHealth's surgeons decided to "ham it up for the
cameras," says Gosky. The surgeon played a practical joke on a colleague and made an offensive statement about patients he examines who often have a higher "tattoo to tooth
ratio." The doctor's statements generated a few angry letters to the hospital. In retrospect, Gosky offered, his department should have done its research on the surgeon, who, in
spite of having a respectable surgical reputation, was known to make off-color comments. Gosky could have also asked that the producer avoid using the doctor's comments in the
program -- although there was no guarantee it would have been honored. "The fact is good TV doesn't always make good PR," says Gosky.