I have a confession to make. Back when I was in college, I was big fan of medical dramas. I watched everything from House to Grey’s Anatomy to Scrubs, and I tuned in faithfully every week. I knew that these shows probably didn’t reflect the reality of working in a hospital, and I had some vague sense that the medicine was probably crap, but I didn’t really know any better. I enjoyed the (sometimes trashy) drama, the (sometimes half-baked) ethical dilemmas, and the (usually exaggerated) characters. It was all good fun, and with my growing interest in medicine as a career, I was naturally drawn to them.
For a while, during 1st and 2nd year, I continued to watch my favorites. It was even fun to play along with House, for example, and try to guess the diagnosis. It wasn’t until about half way through my 2nd year of medical school that I began to understand enough of the medicine for the utter wrong-ness of these kinds of shows to start grating on my nerves. At first, it was just the minor gripe here or there. Soon, I was ranting almost constantly throughout each episode. Finally, I just couldn’t take it anymore, and I had to categorically ban myself from any further medical drama consumption. But it didn’t stop there. Apparently, fake medicine pervades cop dramas, action flicks, war stories, and just about every other genre out there. Oh med school, how you’ve ruined a perfectly good way to waste my time!