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University of South Alabama College of Medicine graduate Dr. Edward Panacek (COM '88), was recently featured in the television show “Untold Stories of the ER,” a documentary/drama television series in which emergency medicine physicians tell about their most bizarre and puzzling cases.
All the cases are based on actual events, and they typically involve extraordinary cases and life-threatening injuries or conditions.
Dr. Panacek, an emergency medicine physician at University of California Davis Health System in Sacramento, Calif., said that he has been working with the show’s producers for a few years.
“When they were starting up the show, a friend of mine recommended me because he knew I had a lot of interesting and unusual stories,” he said. “I ended up doing two episodes for seasons two through four, and now they have contacted me again.”
Dr. Panacek also said he has worked with the show extensively as a technical advisor to help answer questions about appropriate drug doses, names, and pronunciations for the show’s script writers. He explained that often the doctors portray themselves and tell their stories with help from actors who re-enact scenes. Dr. Panacek said that for the first few episodes producers had an actor play him, but in recent shows he has been in front of the camera himself.
Dr. Panacek said the show’s producers have already contacted him for more stories, and they are getting ready for another season. “I’ve been able to give them some new ideas, and now that I am used to seeing myself on there I kind of enjoy the process,” he said. “I also have a better sense of what they are looking for as far as the entertainment side of it.”
Dr. Panacek explained that he has quickly gravitated toward emergency medicine because he likes the fast pace and atmosphere in the ER. He is board certified in internal and critical care medicine, as well as emergency medicine. He has also been named a “Hero of Emergency Medicine” by the American College of Emergency Physicians and served as the residency program director at UC Davis Health System for a decade.
He said he still visits USA from time to time, and he has a deep appreciation for the educational foundation he received at the USA College of Medicine.
“I have extremely fond memories of USA," he said. "I received an outstanding clinical practice education there with a lot of one-on-one attention from the faculty. You don’t get that at larger schools, and I really enjoyed my experiences there.”
Dr. Panacek will be featured in the ER Holiday Special “Santa Baby,” which premieres December 1st on TLC, and again on Discovery Fit & Health on December 15th. He will also be featured on TLC January 9th for the episode “Delusional Bride.”
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