It is acknowledged, as Dr Bittner asserts, that medical lectures, television news programs, and television commercials share several goals. However, the strategies required to achieve these goals may need to be quite different. Clearly, viewing the "Eyewitness News" or a laundry soap commercial at home is vastly different from taking pencil and paper to a lecture on the management of rheumatoid arthritis in the medical school.
Most obviously, the audience is different. Broadcasters presume that the home television viewer is relatively unmotivated, passive, and easily distracted. Therefore, the broadcaster's major goals are to capture the viewer's attention for a few moments and focus it on an easily understood theme. The themes change rapidly because the typical viewer is considered to have a short attention span. In contrast, the goal of the medical lecturer is to foster conceptual and factual understanding of highly complex material. It is intended to promote lifelong