Most professionals aren’t exactly portrayed accurately on TV and movie dramas, and this goes especially for those in the medical realm. For many people, shows like Scrubs, ER, and Grey’s Anatomy are the only insight they have into the doctor world. However, most doctors will tell you that those shows don’t present a very good depiction of everyday life as a doctor. They’d be more likely to tell you the following:
Fact: Most of the rare medical conditions mentioned in these shows do exist.
Doctor shows, especially House, often feature episodes all about real-life, rare diseases that many have never heard of before, such as Guillain-Barr Syndrome. In fact, the episode that featured a young girl sick with this autoimmune disease helped save the life of a 19-year-old girl who also had the disease.
Fiction: These diseases are as common as a lot of shows would have you think.
TV shows love to feature episodes centered around a character with rare diseases, such as dissociative identity disorder (more commonly known as multi-personality disorder.) TV doctors often make it seem like such a disorder is rather common, when in reality, not even one percent of the world population has this disorder.
Fact: There is a lot of red tape in medical work.
The medical field is highly political—a lot more political than it seems on television. Doctors must do things by the book or risk facing malpractice suits that could ruin their careers. Most medical shows have a hospital administrator who is constantly berating the main character doctor for ignoring these guidelines.
Fiction: The red tape isn’t very difficult to get through.
Although the administrators scold the doctors on TV for their inappropriate behavior, they are often willing to look the other way. In the real world, these doctors would be facing a rigorous investigation, possibly facing forced resignation for the lines they’ve crossed. Real hospital administrators are not quite so forgiving.
Fact: Being a doctor is a risky business.
The old show Trauma: Life in the ER showed a fairly accurate depiction of the risks taken by emergency room doctors. These risks include being accidentally stabbed with patient needles and exposed to dangerous diseases, not to mention the blood and gore associated with the job.
Fiction: You can’t believe anything you hear on doctor shows.
In fact, you can believe several of the facts doled out. For example, in one episode of Grey’s Anatomy, an HIV positive pregnant woman discovers that despite common belief, there is a 98 percent chance that her baby will be born perfectly healthy. Also, certain episodes of ER focused on educating its viewers on HPV, including information on emergency contraception and rapid HIV testing. Just remember that though many of the facts given by fictional doctors are true, you should probably check them with a reputable source before spreading the word.
As you take a look at some of your favorite medical shows, pay careful attention—you just might learn something new.
Here at Fusion HealthCare Staffing, we know the medical field. Whether you’re an employer or a job seeker, give us a call at 855-537-8353 to discuss your medical staffing or work needs.