Are All Those Doctor Shows Real?

Well, we know that not all TV is even remotely realistic, but we do know that hidden in every lie is a kernel of truth.

Let's roll through some common myths in Doctor shows and see if they hold true in the medical community or if they're just "made for television". It's hard to tell the difference, but if you think outside the box a little then you'll know what's real and what's fiction.

4 Common Myths We've Got to Grapple With:

1. All Doctors are LOADED!

False. Not all Doctors are flush with cash. They all have to negotiate their rates with the insurance company (or their rates are negotiated by their employer) and then a lot of those rates are not paid out because of insurance glitches. Plus, you have to get your patients to pay their part and that's hard to do because they may not be able to afford it, they may not be expecting it, or they simply don't want to pay. (That's why the need for people with business acumen is so key in medicine because someone has to deal with all those numbers.)

2. Doctors all have lots of free time to just hang out and talk shop.

False. You will get vacation time just like anyone else, but unless you are running your own practice that is thriving and has a "paid in full" rate of 99% then you can't just go jetting off at the drop of a hate because you feel like it. Now, this doesn't mean you'll be stuck at work 24/7, but there is something about the medical community that rewards crazy over-achievers.

3. All Doctors have enough time at work to do completely unprofessional and inappropriate stuff all the time.

False. You can just go and hook-up with one of your colleagues in the same spot almost everyday and you certainly can't broadcast to everyone you know that you're dating a nurse and then the next week you're dating some doctor and then the next week you're dating the coding girl down the hall. People are all entitled to have relationships, but they don't work the way they do on TV. Moreover, you can't let your relationships get in the way of you doing your job (the way they do on TV.) Just think of all the times you can see surgeons talking about their relationship problems while they're cutting open someone's chest. I know that that makes for really good TV, but that is so unrealistic that it's insane. Let me ask you a question: If you were having a quadruple bypass would you want the Surgeons to be non-chalantly discussing their wedding vows or their recent "escapades"? I didn't think so. Be careful what you wish for...that's all I'm saying.

4. All Doctors are dashing and good with words (because they teach you that in med school.)

Nope. False. No way baby! Just because you went to medical school that doesn't mean that you all of the sudden can recite Shakespeare at the drop of a hat or recite your wedding vows while performing a complex/4 hour surgery. Nope, everybody's different and everybody is different when it comes to words. If you're not the best "explainer" then you need to learn how to explain things to folks so they can understand them. This means you're going to have to work just as hard at that as you did at your medical education. All the resources in the world won't help your patients if they don't understand you.

Also, everybody has their own approach and the approach of most TV doctors is a little too forward. It just isn't that easy to tell someone's family that something bad has happened/is going on. I know they're "acting" like it's hard, but it still comes out "easy". Sensitivity is key in medicine and you're kind of "blunt" or "gruff" then you might want to check yourself on that because it may hit somebody's loved ones the wrong way.

For all the entertainment they provide we have to be careful to be realistic about what the professions in medicine provide. It's hard to imagine anything besides what we see on TV, but we have to keep ourselves in check or we'll get into it expecting one thing...and get something ENTIRELY different (and unpleasant in return.)

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