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What's the most accurate medical drama out there?

SHS_SpartanSHS_Spartan Registered User Posts: 943 Member
edited January 2007 in Careers in Medicine
I think it's Grey's Anatomy.

What do you think?
Post edited by SHS_Spartan on

Replies to: What's the most accurate medical drama out there?

  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Registered User Posts: 11,964 Senior Member
    Speaking as a medical student from a medical family, I can tell you with strong confidence that Scrubs is much more accurate than ER, which is much more accurate than Grey's, which is much more accurate than House.
  • 26e26e Registered User Posts: 2,420 Senior Member
    I agree completely. I was reading an old book on grad schools, and in the med section, some dean was say, "students need to know medicine is not 'Scrubs.'" Overall, though, the satire of our system is more realistic than the dramitisation to make everyone look good.

    When you go through training, you'll realise something every show is misleading about: Not every doctor and nurse can be a model!
  • RaspberrySmoothieRaspberrySmoothie Registered User Posts: 693 Member
    What exactly do you mean by "accurate"? The actual medicine? Because I don't think those medical shows keep dozens of doctors as advisors so that they feature episodes that are medically impossible. Or is it the drama/hospital politics you mean? Because that I understand...
  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Registered User Posts: 11,964 Senior Member
    The medicine -- particularly in House -- is absolutely awful. Diseases present incorrectly, are acquired in ridiculous ways, and are treated absurdly. Grey's has been known to invent diseases. In both shows, doctors cross specialties far too much -- House has been seen performing brain surgery, cardiac catheterization, etc. House's specialty -- "Diagnostic Medicine" -- is not even a real specialty. (The show actually discusses this late in the first season.)

    Even somebody with no medical training could, if paying close enough attention, catch holes in the diagnoses. House routinely has a crucial symptom early in the show which he completely forgets about by the time he comes around to actually making a diagnosis. Grey's will claim calmly that they want to prophylactically screen a baby for genetic defects and not five minutes later run screaming up and down the halls that they need to know the true mother or else the baby will die.

    And, yes, the politics are ridiculous. Attendings, with rare exceptions, would be fired for sleeping with interns. Interns do not perform complex surgeries. Panties do not get tacked onto bulletin boards. Physicians do not spit on each other to delay surgery, punch patients' parents to get their way, or visit a courtroom thrice in one day to swap custody of a child to the more cooperative parent.

    They keep medical advisors, sure, but nobody says they have to listen to them.

    I love all four shows and watch them devotedly. In fact, I like them in reverse order of their accuracy.
  • parabuzzleparabuzzle Registered User Posts: 123 Junior Member
    http://www.politedissent.com/ blogs on the in/accuracies of House, I don't know if there are things similar to this for the other shows.

    I'm a sucker for med shows. They're all inaccurate and will always be, but they're so much fun...
  • hubbellgardnerhubbellgardner Registered User Posts: 322 Member
    I also come from a medical family, and we like scrubs. My dad likes Dr. Kelso("I have met plenty of Dr. Kelso's in my career"). He can't stand House(rolls his eyes at most of the diagnoses) and as for Grey's anatomy-"just like a real hospital-clip a brain aneurysm one minute and deliver a baby the next-yes, very real...."
  • cameliasinensiscameliasinensis Registered User Posts: 2,294 Senior Member
    RaspberrySmoothie: Based on what I can remember from watching the DVD special features a while back (shut up, I'm a nerd), I'm pretty sure Scrubs has at least two actual doctors as medical advisors.
  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Registered User Posts: 11,964 Senior Member
    All these shows have medical advisors. How much control they wield -- and to what effect -- is what's variable.

    For example, if House were perfectly medically accurate, it would be much less interesting. Some of the scenes during neurosurgery can be fun and character-revealing, and for some random neurosurgeon to do them would greatly detract from the show, so they have House do it.

    Perfectly valid dramatic reasons. Just... not medically realistic.
  • SHS_SpartanSHS_Spartan Registered User Posts: 943 Member
    Which show is the most accurate depicting an intern's life or a doctor's life?

    Interns is Scrubs and Grey's Anatomy.
    I think ER involves doctors.
    And I'm not sure about House.

  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Registered User Posts: 11,964 Senior Member
    Again, since House is not a real specialty, that one goes right out the window. Officially, the three of them -- I believe -- are "fellows", but no fellowship involves breaking and entering, cardiac catheterization, putting up with a boss like House, spying on behalf of a pharmaceutical industry executive, lying to the police, torturing children, etc.

    Scrubs and Grey's both offer the important flaw of having attendings romantically involved with their interns, which causes problems for them but nothing like the problems they would actually experience. While Scrubs accurately describes the pay and hours (for example, the sequence where Janitor mocks the intern for making less money: "quite a bit" less), I actually rarely "feel" how tired JD and Elliot are supposed to be after working their eighty hour shift while watching the show. Turk, in particular, as a surgical resident, is supposed to be exhausted and brutalized all the time, and he still seems to have energy to portray World's Most Giant Doctor on a routine basis.
  • SHS_SpartanSHS_Spartan Registered User Posts: 943 Member
    haha thanks BDM...very well explained.
  • moralityjusticemoralityjustice Registered User Posts: 186 Junior Member
    Hugh Laurie has the sexiest American accent (his British is even more tantalizing). He stars in House MD, a great show compared to other knockoff medical dramas.
  • my$0.02my$0.02 Registered User Posts: 902 Member
    Practicing doctors say it's all garbage. Medical advisors or not, numerous factual errors are televised in every single show.

    As BDM pointed out, if these shows were accurate, they'd be boring.
  • UCLAriUCLAri Registered User Posts: 14,740 Senior Member
    House isn't meant to be realistic. It's meant to be entertaining...and it is.

    I personally hate Grey's Anatomy. Not only do I find it rather uninteresting, I find it to be medically uninteresting. House may not be realistic, but it's fun to watch.

    Scrubs is a blast though.

    Oh, and about putting up with House, my girlfriend has a boss at the Jules Stein Eye Center (UCLA) that makes House seem like a saint. It also doesn't hurt that Hugh Laurie is impressively fun to watch.
  • UCLAriUCLAri Registered User Posts: 14,740 Senior Member
    Oh, it just occurred to me that we're supposed to mention accuracy. In that case, it's M*A*S*H. Just because I say so. :p
This discussion has been closed.