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Duh Aficionado Magazine: Medical Shows On TV Are Not Real

A medical student and some faculty directors at the Johns Hopkins Medical School, one of the most prestigious medical schools in the country, spent an entire year putting together a report on how medical shows on TV are not realistic. For your health! From the Balitmore Sun (via WarmingGlow):

While there might be a lot to love in terms of storytelling when it comes to the medical dramas “Grey’s Anatomy” and “House,” don’t be fooled into thinking you are really learning anything about exemplery medical behavior or real-life ethical decision making by watching the successful prime-time series.

That’s one of the conclusions of a year-long analysis of the two series done by a medical student and faculty directors of the Johns Hopkins Berman Insitiutute of Bioethics, who found that the shows were “rife with ethical dilemmas and actions that often ran afoul of professional codes of conduct.”

Right. Interestingly enough, an informal poll of Grey’s Anatomy and House fans conducted in my imagination found that the number one reason people watched those shows was for their realistic depictions of professional codes of conduct. So this is a real wake up call for sure. Of course, subscribers to Duh Aficionado magazine might wonder whether or not the authors of the review were aware that their findings would end up stating the obvious:

The authors of the review, available online in the April issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics, say they were well aware that their findings would end up stating the obvious. But they nonetheless wanted to provide data that would shed light on the relationship of these depictions on the perceptions of viewers, both health professionals and the general public…

In analyzing the second seasons of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “House,” [Matthew] Czarny counted 179 depictions of bioethical issues, under 11 different topics, ranging from informed consent to organ-transplant eligibility to human experimentation.

Perfect. When you are going to state the obvious, it is important to TAKE YOUR TIME, UP TO A YEAR. And there is nothing more scientific and important than watching the second seasons and ONLY the second seasons of Grey’s Anatomy and House. If anything that is TOO scientific.

Relax, science.

But it also serves as a pleasant reminder that our nation’s leading medical scholars are still basing their avenues of inquiry off of what their student’s girlfriend had in her DVD collection. Thanks, Carol!

I’ve also got Firefly if you guys want to spend a year studying being a nerd.