What? They don’t represent reality?
Researchers from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, screened the popular medical dramas “Grey’s Anatomy,” “House,” “Private Practice” and “ER” to see if TV medical dramas were helping to educate the public about first aid and seizures.
The researchers found in 327 episodes screened, 59 seizures occurred. Fifty-one seizures took place in a hospital. Nearly all first aid was performed by nurses or doctors.
But the study found inappropriate practices such as holding the person down, trying to stop involuntary movements or putting something in the person’s mouth, occurred in 25 cases, or nearly 46 percent of the incidents.
Medical shows resemble real health care with real nurses and physicians in the same way that Chef Boyardee resembles real Italian food. In other words, you’re getting the Pablumized pop cultural interpretation of health care — and to put a kindly spin on it, it’s fictionalized.
I wonder how many people have self-treated themselves or treated their loved ones on the basis of what they saw on House, with predictably bad results. And I wonder too how long it will be before you see the inevitable disclaimers preceeding medical shows.