"When the President is the Patient" compares the public image of U.S.
presidents with their private medical concerns. Based on the exhibit at
The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, it raises the political and
ethical issue of how much the public should know about the chief executive's
health. It asks the question "Do truths hidden from the public serve a
greater good, or should we know everything?"
exhibit demonstrates how politics has frequently dictated presidential
policy on revealing medical information, such as Dwight D. Eisenhower's
1955 heart attack, and John F. Kennedy's Addison's disease. It focuses
on real events in which the health of a sitting president has influenced,
or is suspected of having influenced, the course of history.