Have you ever watched a Medical TV show like Grey’s Anatomy or E.R. and it made you
want to become a doctor and live the life like the characters do in the show? Well, you aren’t the
only one. The shows make it look so easy and desirable to be a nurse or a doctor and put
patients’ lives into your hands. But after the show is over you have to remind yourself that not
everything you watch is a true accurate representation of what being a nurse or doctor in a
hospital is really like. Articles have even shown that people who have watched a show like
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ have had a big decision factor on why they want to become a part of the
medical field, for example . I decided that I wanted to find out what is actually accurate in a TV
show and what isn’t, and in this paper you will read about several sources that explain the
difference between the medical TV dramas and the real life drama that happens behind the doors
of a hospital. Throughout the paper it will focus on the research I have fun to find out what we
can learn from medical TV dramas.

Literature Review

“Every doctor makes mistakes but medicine's culture of denial keeps doctors from
talking about and learning from those mistakes.” Says Brian Goldman who is the talker of
Tedtalk and is an emergency room physician. (Brian Goldman 2010). These articles talk about
how the health system is based off of humans, and humans make mistakes. Instead of shunning
doctors when they make mistakes we should just tell them to learn from it and move on. If we
did more of that they wouldn’t be as afraid of admitting to their mistakes. Doctors are afraid of
making mistakes obviously because someone else’s life is in their hands and that they could lose

their job or be suspended without pay for this one mistake that they made.In Grey’s Anatomy and
other medical TV shows many of the characters make mistakes and they end up having
consequences but it makes them who they are as doctors and in the end they learn not to do it
again and move on. Having a job in the health profession can be very hard because they witness
a lot of death and can be responsible for those deaths which could haunt them. Hospitals offer
therapy sessions where the staff can go and vent, and take through their feelings. They also have
family and friends to lean on and get advice from.
We can all admit that watching a show like Grey’s Anatomy or house has made us
think about being a doctor once in our life, but we don’t actually know what is accurate or not. In
the article “Why Does It Take A Movie Robot To Show What Nurses Really Do” (Dunham 2014)
argues shows like ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ often complicate the viewers understanding of what really
happens in the hospital setting. Interns, for example, must follow the instruction of acting
doctors, and nurses can’t fire, openly criticize, or yell at doctors to start CPR. In Grey’s Anatomy
the residents do what they want to do but that isn’t the case. A resident is a medical graduate that
got a job to work in the hospital and is watched and practices their specialty. They have an intern
to look up to and guide them through their training. An intern is someone who is in their first
year residency. In contrast to popular medical Dramas group of doctors do get together and test
out their surgery skills to learn from each other though. From the article “What Doctors Can
Learn From Each other” groups of doctors get together and measure out their techniques and find
out what could improve their skills for their patients. I can compare this to all of the medical
shows I’ve watched because all of the characters grow off of each other and teach new skills to
one another. Shows may make it seem like all they deal with is drama and crazy life and death
situation but in reality staying away from diseases and injuries isn’t all that hard. Even though it

seems easy to stay away from diseases through this process doctors can learn how to prevent
illnesses from patients. In the two articles of ‘staying alive is an easy sell’ and ‘How to make
disease prevention an easier sell” in talks about how staying away from diseases is the best
option in the first place. Some in the medical profession have even switched their career after
witnessing so much. The article ‘staying alive is an easy sell” writer talks about how she
switched her career after she witnessed so many deaths from working in a hospital she figured
out that staying alive is mostly common sense besides if it’s formed on the inside like cancer for
an example. It’d be hard to have an interesting medical tv drama with no drama and just walk-in
doctor appointments.
Medical TV shows may always seem to be far-fetched in their episodes, but they can
focus on real life problems that people deal with in their day to day lives. In the last episode of
‘Nurse Jackie’ it ended with Jackie admitting that she had an addiction problem and had to go to
a detox program. The episode made an impact on people because an article was written about it.
The article “’Nurse Jackie’ (Eric diggings 2015) Ends as TV’s most honest depiction of
addiction” says that after seven seasons the show still does the best by outlining the struggles of
a high functioning addiction. In this instances medical tv shows can teach us and show us some
of the more serious struggles that people go through and that doctors don’t always save the
person in the end like it always seems in the shows. Another article “A New Show About Doctors
of Old” (Rath 2014) edition talks about how they want to bring something new to television and
teach us more about what it was like being a doctor back in the olden days. The show is based off
of all real events and is totally different than another “Grey’s Anatomy” show which I think will
teach people and give them a better insight on how it was before the 20th century.

I’m sure I’m not the only person who is curious about what a nurse who actually
works in the medical field thinks about shows like Grey’s anatomy and other medical TV shows.
Well, for one of my interviews I Invited Laurie McNeilly who is currently a Nurse and I asked
her several questions about how the medical shows compare to real life, and also how she
manages to get through the rough parts of her job. A few of the questions dealt with greys having
an accurate representation of what goes on in a hospital and also what are the differences. Laurie
explained that she had mixed opinions about greys but that it does use accurate medical
terminology and accurate methods of medical treatment. What isn’t accurate is the emotional
drama with other coworkers and how actively involved the cast is into the patient’s personal
lives. I also asked Laurie if watching medical shows made her want to pursue that career and she
said that watching the show made her fall in love with the idea of becoming a nurse even more,
and she isn’t the only one who feels that way. In the Article “Imaging Doctors: Medical Students
and the TV Medical Drama” the shows offer dramatic live-action tutorial cases. “They have the
advantage of presenting patient scenes in a more engaging way. “(Kevin Goodman)

Entering the Conversation
We all have watched a TV show like Greys Anatomy or the E.R. and wished that we were
the ones in the show. I know that I have wanted to be Meredith Grey from ‘Greys anatomy’ in
almost every show. I even considered working in college for a job in the medical field and
becoming a doctor. Watching a medical tv show you want to be a part of it and you also think
that what the actors are going through is what you actually would be dealing with. But I think
that it is important to know that not everything you watch is true and that going into the medical
field isn’t always going to be like a television show. The purpose for this paper is to propose an

idea to review board that explains how what we see on the shows and in real life isn’t what as
true as we think it is and I will also be asking a group of 35 people who have careers in the
medical field if a TV show increased their interest in pursue a job in the medical field. The
results will show weather medical tv shows has an effect in the decision making of making a
career in the medical profession.
After looking through all of the sources I found and the different articles interviewing
with new nurses about what is real versus fake in the hospital opposed to what is shown in shows
I want to propose to do a Tedtalk about what we can learn from medical TV shows and what is
real and fake. A lot of the people don’t really talk about what is correctly shown in a show or not,
they just care about what happens to their favorite character and get caught up with the drama of
the show that they forget that it isn’t reality. I think that a Tedtalk would be the best option to
present because the instructor would have enough time to talk about several medical TV shows
and how truly accurate they are to what actually happens in a hospital and what doesn’t. There is
no Tedtalk that exists right now that focuses on this topic which would be offering the audience
something different to learn and listen to. In the Tedtalk I think that it would be important to talk
about how people who want to become nurses are influenced through the medical shows that
they watch, and that everything that they see isn’t all accurate. I think that the instructor could
also talk about what we can learn from the shows like the environment in the hospital and how
stressful it is that other people’s lives are in your hands and that you are going to have to be a fast
thinker. I hope that the audience gains a sense of understanding about the difference from a
drama show and the reality of what doctors go through in the medical profession. Tedtalks have
done other talks like ‘What doctors can learn from each other’(Tedtalk) and ‘Doctors can make

mistakes’(Tedtalk) which is why I think it would be good for the research I have done on my
topic because it would catch a large audiences attention and get the message across.
My intended audience for the Tedtalk would be the age group of twenties and up
who are either in college or done with college and working in a hospital. The Tedtalk would
reach out to all males and females, and all diversities. I want these characteristics for my
intended audience because I think the message of the Tedtalk would best benefit people who are
working towards being in the medical field or people who actually have a career in the
profession and can connect what they witness every day to the shows. The materials that I would
use for the presentation would be a slideshow that is projected onto a large screen. The slideshow
would include information and then some videos from medical TV dramas scenes that would we
be able to compare and contrast from the show to real life. Starting off with a small group of
people to talk to and see what they think of the presentation and if they agree with what the
presentation says then in the future I hope to be able to expand the group size to a bigger group
to lecture.
Throughout this paper I have researched what we can learn from medical tv dramas,
because a lot of what they show isn’t what actually happens at the hospital. Hopefully that a TV
show doesn’t influence your career choice that much, because going into the medical field is a 68-year commitment to school. I found it necessary to do this research because a lot of the
medical tv drama shows are all somewhat alike which can lead you to believe that they are
showing an accurate representation to the medical field life. Even though I seem to be
disagreeing with all of the medical shows, I did say that they do have some things that are
accurate representation like dedicating all your time to the job and the terminology they use.

Also from my pervious sources like ‘Doctors make mistakes’(Tedtalk) and ‘Doctors can learn
from each other’ (Tedtalk) can also give an insight of what doctors actually go through and a
reminder that they are human also. People need to know more of what the medical field is like
and that is why I purposed my Tedtalk to be the best option to get the message across to a large
audience about what we can learn from medical drama TV shows.
Work Cited