Misleading Medical Dramas

Grey’s Anatomy… House… General Hospital… Scrubs… Emily Owens M.D…

When I watched these shows, I was kind of surprised at the content too.  No, I’m not saying all of them are misleading but think about the difference in the realities of those people. Every T.V. show will obviously try to incorporate a little bit of drama to engage their audience but the main concern is that most of these shows convey incorrect messages about medicine. A lot of them, according to the podcast by Dr. Ryan & Allison Gray on medschoolhq.net, are just displaying medical inaccuracies. Now, I’m glad I know some things that aren’t true because I never want to go into medicine thinking that it will be a drama show in which I can show off.

If you think about it, the culture of medicine has changed profoundly from what it used to be 20 to 30 years ago. Earlier, there would be more male attendings as surgeons and most of the females would be nurses. Today, there are plenty of female attendings that are surgeons, thankfully! No, the field of medicine isn’t sexist! That was just somehow the norm at the time. Although it is somewhat ironic that the norms expressed a long time ago still exist on some of those medical dramas. (Cough Cough Dr. House…)

Now I won’t lie, I watched a couple of medical dramas too and thought they were fascinating because this one guy would get all the cool cases. For example, in House, Dr. House had the privilege of diagnosing all the special patients while all the other doctors just followed him around. It seemed that Dr. House specialized in everything, which is impossible to do. Today, there are so many specialties in which even a single doctor can not do all the diagnosing there is to be done. If a single doctor could specialize in everything, I can’t even imagine what the face of medicine would look like.

The point is, however, that changes like these encourage us to speed up the process of more changes, in terms of progress and innovation. From the time Dr. Micheal DeBakey was a surgical pioneer, to when Dr. Micheal Collins was an orthopedic surgeon, leading on to when Gabriel Weston became a surgeon, there has been nothing but change. That change was inevitable; and we, a.k.a., the younger generation, must make sure that change continues toward progress. The only way we can do that successfully, is if we take into account, the experiences of other physicians and try to learn from them. That is why, last year, I started reading a lot of memoirs of doctors, not because I wanted to show people that I was interested in the field, but because it was actually captivating. Yes, I am a completely normal teenager and I say books about medicine are captivating. The reason I say that is because, most of the books I read were very organized and well-written for an audience that extends farther beyond the realm of just medicine. For example, there was this one that was very inspiring, and I have mentioned this earlier as well. The book I am referring to is called,  Blue Collar Blue Scrubs by Dr. Micheal Collins and also, Hot Lights Cold Steel, which is sort of a continuation of the doctor’s life during residency.

Some other books I found interesting are:

  • Intern by Sandeep Jauhar
  • Direct Red by Gabriel Weston
  • The Orange Wire Problem and Other Tales from the Doctor’s Office by David Watts
  • Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • Proof of Heaven  by Eben Alexander

So it’s much better to focus on these enlightening books because I promise you, you will love what you read and you will love it more than watching medical dramas that are just a passivity.


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