According to a new study, trauma patients’ expectations of what healthcare should look like are dramatically pumped up by what they see in their favorite medical drama series, Grey’s Anatomy.
However, the TV Show is not entirely accurate when it comes to facts. For instance, on screen, more patients that hit the ER land in the operating room as soon as they get there. Plus, more patients die in the OR in the show than in the real world.
The findings were published this week in Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open.
According to the research, while nearly 75% of trauma patients were taken to the operating room directly from the ED, in the real world, just 25% trauma patients’ condition require an immediate surgery.
Lead author Rosemarie O. Serrone noted that fictional patients had a 22% percent risk of dying in the operating room than real life patients (7%). One doctor noted that he and many of his colleagues don’t like to watch shows like Grey’s Anatomy because of the inaccuracies.
However, some docs would like to be as good looking as the series’ cast. Doctors confirmed that medical dramas can have a huge impact on patients’ expectations, but they also warned that the shows tend to get worse.
Grey’s Anatomy Has Its Share of Medical Inaccuracies
Such medical drama series are packed with inaccuracies because the producers lack the time and money to actually speak to medical professionals to see if the script is accurate, one researcher explained.
Nevertheless, not all doctors are soured by shows like Grey’s Anatomy and The Resident. Many trauma doctors have fond memories related to the series especially if they watched it with their family.
Serrone’s team watched 12 seasons (269 episodes) of Grey’s to spot the inaccuracies. They compared fictional characters to the data on real life patients from the National Trauma Databank Inpatient Sample.
Researchers also found that patients in the TV series were much younger than those in real life (31 years old versus 41 years old on average). Plus, fictional patients were more likely to be women (40% versus 30%).
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