Recently I was in Seattle for a memorial service. Not the happiest of occasions, but I saw family I hadn’t seen in years and visited a few Seattle sights, so the general mood of the trip was pleasant.
But as I wandered the wet streets, my mind traveled to the television show Grey’s Anatomy and its fictitious hospital, Seattle Grace.
Years ago, I weathered internship. I weathered residency. I even weathered pregnancy in my chief residency year.
But I never weathered anything like those Seattle Grace docs do.
Plane crashes, bus crushes, bombs in human bodies. And that’s the easy stuff. The real struggles come from their endless relationship woes. It’s enough to send pre-med students sprinting to their course catalogs for a quick change of major.
The Fiction of Grey’s Anatomy
- In the show, residents and attendings bump uglies as often as their scalpels cut skin. Sure, if my former fellow residents and I had done that, we would’ve ended up in a room with our attendings, too. One with a disciplinary board inside.
- As surgical residents and attendings, these folks have unlimited time for lunch, gossip, and work-hours sex. Cool.
- Fellows and young faculty now own the hospital and comprise its board. Yeeeeah, and I was my training hospital’s CEO.
- Residents and attendings interpret radiographic studies and pathology slides as if radiologists and pathologists were mere window dressing. Ohhhh, perhaps they trained under Dr. Gregory House, MD. That would explain the one-doc-does-all ability.
- Meredith, a surgical attending of only a couple years, has a sister five years her junior who is the new head of cardiothoracic surgery. To be mathematically possible, they would’ve had to start their training at the same time, and perhaps the youngest even sooner. So I guess she’s a heart surgeon prodigy? Good on you, youngster.
- The residents bark orders at nurses and other healthcare professionals as if the rest of the staff exists only to meet their needs. Good medicine requires good team work. Rounding without nursing input (or that of respiratory therapists, physical therapists, nutritionists, pharmacists…) risks mistakes. And dead patients.
It’s Fiction, Carrie
I know, I know, I get it. I’ve been known to weave some far-fetched tales of my own. I guess that’s why we enjoy it.
Well, that and because those Seattle Grace docs are all so dang pretty.
Do you watch any medical shows?
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