Ways TV Shows Get Healthcare Wrong

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  • 14 Jul, 2022  |
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1 Ways TV Shows Get Healthcare Wrong

Are you a fan of television series like Grey's Anatomy or House? Or possibly M.A.S.H. from back in the day. If so, you may wonder or notice things about the show that don't seem very accurate to the real-life medical field.

While there have been many popular television shows over the years that feature doctors and other healthcare professionals, many of these center around the romantic lives of the people working in hospitals and dramatize what actually happens in the healthcare field.

So, while these television shows might be interesting and fascinating to watch, here are some of the main things they get wrong about doctors.

These shows ignore the rules and legalities of the profession

In a study about bioethics on medical dramas, researchers found that many of these series, House, in particular, didn't follow professional rules and laws. They noted that in the show, the main character himself would ignore patient consent for treatments.

On Grey's Anatomy, there were many instances of unprofessional behavior cited in a different study, which you can read more about from the BBC.

While these behaviors might be played up for dramatic impact, they would be unethical at best and dangerous at worst in real life, as patients' lives and autonomy would be on the line. You probably wouldn't want to actually be a patient at some of these famous fictional hospitals.

Many series make it seem like everyone can be revived through CPR

If you're a fan of medical dramas, you've probably seen multiple scenes where a patient is brought back from near death with either CPR or a defibrillator. But, while this might make for good television as there's a lot of suspense, tension, and then a payoff, this isn't usually how things go.

A patient can't stay alive for an extended period of time under these conditions, and the results don't always turn out so positive. So, while it might happen that way in real life, it's mostly exaggerated, according to some healthcare professionals.

They downplay how hard it is to become a doctor

While these shows might play up and sometimes exaggerate the number of wild tragedies that happen daily, they sometimes underestimate just how much work it takes to become a physician. While there might be multiple plane crashes and such, they don't go into the actual hard work of being a doctor or nurse.

Some of the people on these shows don't seem equipped to do the work, and the series rarely mentions how long it takes to become a physician, nor how hard it is to be at the top of the field. In fact, doctors and nurses even have to do continuing education courses in order to stay licensed.

There's an overemphasis on the personal lives of the professionals

Just like with any other workplace, people who work in the medical field do sometimes encounter drama at their job. However, almost every medical series overplays this fact. They make it seem as if people at hospitals only date and hang out with each other, but this is going to vary a lot.

Some doctor offices and hospitals might have people who are good friends or even date each other occasionally, but the majority of medical professionals have lives outside of their jobs. They don't always date each other.

As shows often illustrate, it's challenging to be at your best career-wise when so much of your focus is being drawn away to interpersonal dramas happening around you. This kind of environment wouldn't be the healthiest for the healthcare workers or the patients.

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