I think it's safe to say that everyone has heard of Grey's Anatomy. The tv show prides itself on the accuracy of the medicine and the procedures. They even bring in real scrub nurses and surgeons to make the procedures look real. However, even with all these precautions, they still make mistakes that remind us that it is ficticious. While some of the misrepresentations on “Grey’s Anatomy” are understandable—after all, the show’s purpose is to entertain—the medical errors on the show are just astounding. I know that the show’s writers consult with physicians, so I cannot understand why there are so many medical misrepresentations on the show.
1. The Liver
We all know that Meredith loves tequila, it's her thing. However, in season six, Meredith donates part of her liver to her alcoholic father, Thatcher. With only a partial liver, you can't drink alcohol. Meredith continues to drink, a lot.
It seems like every 5 seconds someone is coding which requires CPR to be done until a crash cart arrives. When you're taught CPR, you're taught that the rhythm of your chest compressions is crucial. Sing Stayin' Alive in your head, and you're golden. However, sometimes the doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial are slower than snails. If you did that, your patient would die. During one of my clinical hours, there was a code blue because a patient stopped breathing for six seconds. According to protocols, the code must be called and every staff member in the hall must rush down to see what they can do. It was chaos.
3. Surgeons don't have that much to do with patient care
After surgery, you don't see your surgeon that much. They instruct post-op care to nurses, who are the ones that actually carry it out. Surgeons very rarely respond to codes, they simply don't have the time.
4. The one-doc-does-all complex
The surgeons seem to do it all, from reading scan to starting IVs. It's like nurses and radiologists don't even exist. A surgeon works with the radiologist to interpret scans, they don't interpret them themselves. Surgeons make up a small percentage of hospital staff. Where are the nurses, the CNAs, volunteers/candy stripers, lab techs, radiologists, therapists, medical assistants, etc?
Maggie is Meredith's sister who is 5 years younger. They both become head of departments at the same time. This is mathematically impossible. Simple thinking would tell you that Maggie should just now be starting her residency, not becoming the head of cardio at a major hospital.
6. The surgeons are rude
In order to have a well run hospital, you have to work as a team. If you're constantly barking at your inferiors, you aren't going to get along well. Rounding without the input of nurses, techs, and therapists risk mistakes. I do know one surgeon who isn't the nicest guy. But he's an extremely talented surgeon, and he knows it, so he's forgiven.
7. The constant dirty deeds
Let's just say if residents were actually bumping uglies in the on-call room all the time, they really would end in a room with attendings... there would also be a disciplinary board in there as well.
8. The LVAD
In one episode, a doctor named Izzie removed the LVAD connected to her boyfriend. She wanted to make him sicker so he can be moved to the top of the transplant list. If a doctor actually did what Izzie did, they could kiss their medical career goodbye. The first objective you must know when working in a hospital is to protect your patients. There's no way they would ever be allowed to practice medicine again. Their license would be pulled and they would possibly face jail time.
9. The catastrophic events
I don't know if they just have really bad luck, or what but its literally one in a trillion chance that a bomb, a shooting, a drowning, and a plane crash could happen to one hospital.
10. The board
The board is compromised of attendings and fellows who bought the hospital with the settlement they got from the plane crash... fellows... running the hospital... yeah right!
11. The competitiveness
On my first day of the Nursing Assistant program, the first thing my instructor said was, "look at your classmates. They're your family. They will be the one of the few people who knows what it's like to work in a hospital. Don't be competitive and don't stab each other in the back. Because there will be a time where you will need them." Admittedly, one classmate did attempt to stab me in the back. She chose the wrong person. I didn't watch all seasons of Game of Thrones and not learn anything. Other than her, I like my classmates. In an earlier season of Grey's Anatomy, Dr. Cristina Yang, a then surgical intern, tactlessly asks a dead patient’s wife for her husband’s organs just minutes after he died, so "another patient could get them." She actually just wanted to be the surgeon to do the removal procedure because whichever intern convinced the wife, got the surgery. If I did that, I would be pulled aside and given a stern warning to show some tact and compassion because the woman's husband just died.
12. Doctor code of silence
Dr. Shepherd mentioned this to George. I was annoyed that Dr. Shepherd who is supposed to be some great surgeon, would be okay with this. This actually does exist and some doctors follow it. However those doctors are scum to threaten someone's life in their most vulnerable state when they're the one who've been trusted to care for them. All because they can't own up to something they did. Once again, the first and foremost objective is protecting the patient. If anyone is attempting to ruin that, I will absolutely call them out. There's plenty of other people that will do the same.
13. DNR patients
One big thing that pissed me off was Christina attempting to save a DNR patient. If I did that, I would be looking at losing my job and would probably never be allowed to work in healthcare again.
14. HIPAA violations
In Grey's Anatomy, they have time to discuss patients over coffee. HIPAA prevents you from being able to talk about your patients. I get that hospital staff has days where the hospital really piles it on, and they need someone to talk to. But if you need to talk to then don't do it in public, talk to someone you trust and won't secretly record you and turn you into your boss, and give extremely general information.
15. George nearly kills someone
If this happened there would likely be a trial, he'd lose his license and can kiss his medical career goodbye.
16. Meredith rigs a clinical trial
Meredith cares too much. It's her fault and her strength. Actually, you'd lose your job and license. Possible jail time as well.
17. Interns perform illegal autopsy
Again you'd lose your job and license, you will probably be looking at jail time.
18. Interns scrubbing in for surgeries
It takes a very long time before the newbies are allowed to even touch a scalpel.
19. They always look perfect.
I don't know why Meredith and so many others leaves their hair down. I always tied my hair back because I was paranoid about it getting soaked with bodily fluids or being pulled by a violent patient. I didn't wear jewelry except my watch because I didn't want a violent patient to grab it.
20. An attending with an intern?
No way in hell. In fact attendings and interns rarely interact. And if you were to ask an attending something but you never went to your other superiors that are below them they will be extremely annoyed.
The reality of working in healthcare is that you will have days that are boring, days that are chaotic, you will have to talk to kids about death and old people about sex, patients that are a joy, patients that will cuss you out and punch you, patients that want to keep their medical information private but have nosy family members, moments that you cry with patients, answer questions about bodily fluids, give answers to stupid people, all while being under appreciated.
I tried watching it because I want to see more childfree characters in tv. I found out that a doctor on this show doesn't want kids. Instead of showing two abortions, I would've rather they show her attempt to get sterilized. oh my god. There's an episode where Christina gets stabbed with an icicle. Hahahahahaha it's like they're not even trying. I'm so glad I stopped watching.