Michael Breen

Profession: Physician

I am a physician, former full time "TV Doc" for 25 years for major market stations in Minneapolis and Chicago, and now head of my own medical marketing firm.

I received my training at Duke University Medical Center (AOA), briefly headed the ER at Fort Bragg, NC, then attended the Columbia University School of Journalism.

While my goal was to write and empower medical consumers, I shifted into TV journalism feeling that offered a way to reach more people.

I loved TV. Not so much the minor fame but the act of writing for images and developing the performing skills viewers take for granted. My great career delight was finding TV news was both creative and had its own fascinating aesthetic.

I had to leave, though, when I lost ownership of the stories I put on the air and political forces intervened.

Since 2002 I've run a medical marketing firm. At first it was designed to help top doctors gain recognition, become unique, and thus acquire some autonomy over insurers and hospitals. More recently we've also helped health systems transitioning to "value based" systems. My own feeling is this shift could be a key to restoring physician integrity...but only if doctors can adapt to change. 

My articles:

Doctors’ Obstacles: Executive Hubris, Computers…And Our Own Natures

This article looks at how medical education has selected personalities that have a particularly hard time dealing with the new business of medicine. It also parallels the almost identical decline I personally witnessed (and was similarly marginalized by) in TV more...


Physicians Are Low-Hanging Fruit. Here’s Why.

When my children were growing up, I advised them, "Don't choose any profession in which your worth is determined by knowing a body of information or using algorithmic thinking. If you do that, you're toast." more...


What’s The Precise Dollar Value Of Patient Loyalty?

Almost three decades ago I did a TV story about how a then fledgling company called United Healthcare was taking off in its home state of Minnesota. Doctors statewide had at first refused to join the insurers network convinced that their patients would never leave them more...


Replacing Doctors With Advanced Nurses…How Far Will It Go?

Primary Care Physicians in America are fast being replaced by nurses with advanced training. This article raises the questions of how far the trend will go...and how this will influence the future of physicians in primary practice. more...


Doctors Have A Great PR Story To Tell…But Who’ll Tell It?

A recent article entitled "Doctors: You have a PR problem" describes how the media typically portrays physicians as arrogant and money hungry. In addition physician advice is now routinely discarded in favor of that from bloggers, nurses, midwives, and holistic more...


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