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UOS wins top award at International Health Film Festival

Posted Sep 06 2009 10:23pm
Andy Abrahams Wilson receives award from Jury and town mayor

Andy Abrahams Wilson receives award from festival jury and town mayor

UNDER OUR SKIN was just awarded “Best Feature Film-Silver Award” at the 1st International Health Film Festival in Kos, Greece. The tiny island in the eastern Aegean sea was the home to Hippocrates, father of medicine. Over 80 films competed and were juried by industry professionals as well as physicians. It was another great triumph of recognition within the medical community of a disease too long ignored and a health system riddled with commercial conflicts. I was fortunate to be present to receive the award (a commemorative silver coin of Hippocrates and bust of the Greek goddess of health Hygieia), as my trip was graciously covered by the U.S. Embassy in Athens. The Q&A (at 2AM!) was especially contentious, with a few physicians in the audience asking challenging questions. I was very impressed by the Greeks’ natural and ancestral love of dialog and debate–and ability to genuinely listen to another viewpoint. This made it even more special and validating to be honored in the birthplace of medicine and the Hippocratic Oath, which reminds and challenges us some 2500 years later to do no harm to patients. One pledge stands out in particular as strikingly relevant in the Lyme disease arena:

“I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.”

And yet, Lyme-literate physicians (e.g. Dr. J. Jemsek and Dr. C. Jones ) continue to be persecuted for upholding this oath. On the contrary, many physicians do untold harm by denying Lyme patients accurate diagnosis and effective treatment, so often telling them that their problems are “all in their head” or, as in Mandy’s case , “There’s no medicine for someone like you.” May this award serve as another clarion call to return to the essence of medicine, in full humility and for the good of the patient. The film festival jury explained its award choice to UNDER OUR SKIN

“For advocating at the frontier of medicine. The film provides an activist challenge to the medical profession on ethical review standards, long term treatment and the necessary attentiveness to those who suffer from Lyme disease.”

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