Dear Diagnosis,

I am in France, just returning from the excellent Congrès du Collège des Humanités médicales.  Of course, I am always looking for diagnosis topics in the real world.  I saw this poster in a French pharmacy.  Dear diabetes….

This health promotion poster sticks out its tongue at an anthropomorphised diabetes.  “I will watch my blood sugar, and you won’t mess with my life!”  it rants.

What would the critical diagnosis scholar ask about this?  Well, two things.  She would start by questionning why and it what circumstances we treat diagnoses like people to whom we could send letters.  The only other case of this I have seen is the “F— Cancer!” campaign which also aggressively confronts the diagnosis as if it were a human foe.  The F— Cancer campaign targets a particular group.  Not just cancer patients, but antsy, probably young ones. The cursive letter to diabetes may be targetting older people.  Who knows?

But don’t overlook the little Roche logo in the top right hand corner, and the #jenparleàmonpharmacien in the bottom right.  This is an advertising poster, geared to generate business.

What diagnoses do you call by their first name?

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