Saturday, May 23, 2009

This hospital is broken

Hi. My name is Andy, and I have a problem.

I have two exams next week, and I've watched a helluva lot (too much) of Grey's Anatomy these last two days. I am what psychology theorist James Prochaska might call a "chronic contemplator" or, more accurately, a "behavioural procrastinator."

But personal problems aside, I can't help but apply my ever scrutinizing medical student eye to this addictive yet highly flawed television show. I'd like to preface this diatribe by letting you know that the thing I love most about Grey's is that it is a medical drama - emphasis on the drama. That's right. It's not particularly medical. That's okay.

That same lack of accuracy, however, also drives me up the wall. These people do not act like doctors! They pretend to, but they don't. Every taboo is broken - attendings abuse their power relationship to sleep with interns (and marry them!), physicians rant and rave to patients, and doctors provide treatment for their own friends! But that's okay too - that's the drama.

What's really killing me today is twofold:

Number One: Surgery is the world. What kind of hospital is this? Surgeons do everything. They man the ER. They administer chemo. They cut. They counsel. They're the one man band! What, does Seattle Grace Hospital suffer from an unusual shortage of medical oncologists?

Number Two: Every word out of a patient's mouth is golden. Because this is a drama, everybody's life is broken. I get that. So while they agonize and fight and act all conflicted and emo, along comes a patient. The patient invariable gives some deep and meaningful speech about how their own life works, and the doctor gets all watery eyed and realizes that this extremely timely and wise insight must be immediately applied to their own broken life! Sure, I understand that doctors are people too and they can learn neat things from their patients, but not every freaking episode... What, you can't solve your own problems, and there always happens to be a patient talking about the same issue you happen to be facing at the exact same time? Well la-dee-daa, since it came out of their mouth, you should definitely go apply that immediately.

/end rant


tammy said...

lol. watching scrubs has only increased my want of eventually becoming an md.

then again, scrubs is more accurate than grey's.

a_ndy said...

You know, one of the first things they told me when I got into medical school was that it's not like Grey's... or House... or Scrubs.