As pre-medical students it’s often hard to juggle our rigorous coursework, extracurricular activities, and keep up with our favorite television shows. But, if you have a break in between studying for your next genetics or organic chemistry exam, check out some of television’s most popular medical dramas!
1) Grey’s Anatomy (2005- )
This highly addictive show follows the lives of surgical interns and residents at the Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital in Seattle. Although highly dramatized, it gives a glimpse into the lives of surgical residents from their struggles as first year surgical interns, studying for board exams, applying for fellowships, and becoming attendants. It is TV’s most popular medical drama, but also the least accurate at portraying life working at a hospital according to real doctors. However, the show brings to light many relevant issues concerning healthcare, like physician-assisted suicide, organ donation, doctor-patient confidentiality and other ethical issues.
2) House M.D(2004-2012)
This series, often called the “Sherlock Holmes of Medicine,” centers on Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), an unconventional, arrogant, painkiller addicted medical genius, and his team of diagnosticians at the fictional Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey. Each episode follows the team in their attempt to diagnose and treat a patient as they face many difficulties. The diagnoses range from common to very rare diseases. If you are someone who would be interested in a medical detective type-of-story, this show is for you! But how accurate is it’s depiction of medicine? A monthly column called “Diagnosis”, written by Dr. Lisa Sanders who is a Yale internist for The New York Times Magazine, inspired the series. Sanders was one of three technical advisors for the show, she was called on by the show’s writers to check the medical accuracy of cases portrayed and to help them come up with potential cases to feature.
3) Scrubs (2001-2010)
Scrubs is a medical-comedy narrated by the main character, Dr. John Michael Dorian (Zach Braff) as he journeys through his medical residency. The fictional hospital he works at, Sacred Heart Hospital, is full of unpredictable patients and staff members that contribute to the fast-paced, slapstick humor of the series. Surprisingly, real doctors and medical students have decided Scrubs is the most accurate medical drama in terms of its portrayal of the real lives of doctors. For example, it doesn’t focus on the heroic things doctors do, but instead on how doctors and nurses handle ordinary cases. The show may feel like someone’s real-life experience, and that’s because it is; it is based on the life of Jonathan Doris, a cardiologist in Los Angeles, who is a college friend of the show’s creator.