tv vs medicine

Medicalese 101: Code Blue: What is a code really like?

What are codes? - anon

Every hospital has “codes” that they will call over an intercom to alert employees to an emergency situation. For example, at my hospital, code red is fire, pink is a stolen baby, green is hazardous materials exposure, and gray is “code act a fool,” alerting security to come take care of some belligerent family members ;).

The designations vary from hospital to hospital, but almost universally a “code blue” stands for cardiac / respiratory arrest. The code blue is the most commonly called code, and thus often is shortened to just “a code”. When we say that a patient coded, this is what we mean. 

Real life codes are WAY different than on tv.

When a patient is found in cardiac arrest, the first responder immediately starts chest compressions and calls for help. A team will come into the patient’s room with a crash cart containing various medications, a defibrillator, intubation supplies, and a heart monitor. While chest compressions are being done, someone else will assess the patient’s airway and likely will start giving breaths by a bag.

You’ve seen this all on tv. What you don’t experience on tv is the simultaneously squishing and grinding sound of ribs cracking and rubbing against each other when CPR is done properly. They tend to gloss over the eternity that is the 2 minutes of chest compressions between every pulse check and epinephrine administration. You don’t experience the unmistakable smell of stomach contents as the patient vomits involuntarily and aspirates on their own gastric juices. They clean up codes on tv. They don’t want you to see a patient’s head flopping around with eyes rolled back or a nurse jam his hand into a patient’s crotch to try to find a central pulse. 

On tv they show you two shocks (even in asystole, when you’re not supposed to shock) and the patient miraculously recovers with full brain function. They don’t show a chaplain explaining to family members that the patient has died and the team is trying to bring them back. And they certainly don’t show the transfer to ICU, the intubating, the starting of pressors, or the eventual exam to declare someone brain dead. 

You see, only 11-35% of people who have cardiac arrest IN the hospital survive to discharge, and only 6-17% survive with good neurologic function (reported by he National Registry of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation). So yeah, we can bring people back. Sometimes. But most of the time their brains are gorked. Codes are violent, messy, and often unsuccessful. They do occasionally save lives, but when it comes to me, hey, don’t code me bro. 

anonymous asked:

Do you know any good videos(movies,docu,shows) that will motivate me and keep me interested in working hard to become a doctor, it doesn't specifically have to be med related but I would prefer it.

Aww yeeeeah you ready for this? (Note: not all will be motivational, but all will teach you something about medicine, ethics, or dealing with human beings). 

**available on Netflix. My faves in Bold.

  • **Scrubs
  • **Call the Midwife
  • **Intervention
  • **A Young Doctor’s Notebook & other Stories
  • TEDTalks Medicine
  • **Medicine Men Go Wild
  • **One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
  • The Doctor (1991)
  • W;t (or Wit)
  • Hopkins (2008)
  • **Philadelphia
  • **Awakenings
  • John Q
  • **Guzaarish (yeeeeah Bollywood!)
  • Dallas Buyer’s Club
  • **Something the Lord Made
  • **The Last King of Scotland 
  • Shine (1996)
  • Contagion
  • The American Nurse
  • A Beautiful Mind
  • Doctors’ Diaries (PBS 2009)
  • Antwone Fisher
  • The Business of Being Born
  • Pain, Pus, & Poison (BBC)
  • Cancer: The Emperor of all Maladies (PBS 2015)
  • A Walk to Beautiful 
  • Babies (2010)
  • Sybil
  • Rain Man
  • Mr. Jones
  • **National Geographic: Incredible Human Machine
  • **Extreme Bodies series
  • **Forgiving Dr. Mengele
  • Harvey (1950) (not technically medical, but I mean dude is hallucinating a giant bunny and who doesn’t love Jimmy Stewart?)
  • **My Name is Khan (also a reach, but the main character is autistic and it’s just an excellent movie so watch it plz)

Anyone got any other recommendations?

anonymous asked:

I want to start watching a medical show because I just wanted to see what I'm up for. I am pre-med but I don't really watch any at the moment. So any recommendations would be cool! Like are there any realistic or close enough shows out there?




But since you asked… 

If you want an accurate representation of the emotions that trainee doctors deal with with very minimal actual medicine, go with Scrubs. Except Season 9. It does not exist. 

If you want to watch people having sex in hospitals and actors pretending that they can practice every existing surgical specialty all at once, go with Grey’s Anatomy. 

If you choose to believe that all patients are complete mysteries that require a doctor in a non-existent made up specialty to diagnose them, or if you like doctors with horrific ethical standards, go with House.

If you want a great representation of struggles that pregnant ladies face or you like learning about mostly outdated medical techniques, or you love stories of spinster nuns and nurses who fall in love, go with Call the Midwife. 

If you want to see all the dramatic parts of medical training without the 90% of the time when it’s boring, go with Boston Med or NY Med.

Ahem, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s a list of some things that are sort of mediciney that you should watch for your pure entertainment. 

How Real is House MD?

Do you like shows such as House and Grey’s Anatomy or do you find them to be completely unrealistic?

I have never watched Grey’s Anatomy, but I have not heard great things about its realism.  However I have seen every episode of House, and I really loved the show before med school.  But since going to medical school I find more and more to dislike.

House is not anywhere near an accurate portrayal of real medicine.

You will not be doing your own lab tests.  You will not be allowed to do every single type of surgery (isn’t it amazing how they can go from doing cath’s one week to brain surgery the next?  How many residencies did they go through???).  And you won’t get to work on just one patient a week.  

Another thing that most medical shows fail to show is the amount of work a doctor does.  I am not just talking about patient load, but you never see these TV docs studying journal articles or text books for long hours.  They never have to type up patient notes in an EMR or come in on-call.  The parts of that they do show are usually dramatically set to music and in the form of a montage (like when doctors stay up all night reading to finally find the final clue to the case).  Trust me, I wish these parts of my life were a montage, but they are not.  They are long hours that you get little praise for.  

House does a much better job at scientific accuracy than most shows, but I honestly feel like most of the cases are easier than what you will see in real life.  Radiation poisoning sucks, but it is easier to detect and simpler (from a medication only point of view) to treat than a 60 year old patient on 10 different meds for 3 different diagnoses that is now having a new symptom.  In this case you have to tease out whether this is a new symptom for an old disease or a side effect or an entirely new disease.  This type of case probably won’t be solved in a week with a STAT rush on all the labs.

Real life cases also won’t be as dramatic with people coding left and right.  And real-life patients, more often than not, don’t have big secrets they are intentionally keeping from you.  I have found most patients to be too honest, especially when they think the information is pertinent to their health.  

House is a fun show.  I actually still watch it.  But it is completely unrealistic and it is in no way indicative of how doctors behave or how medicine is really practiced.


Did you watch scrubs? I just finished all 9 seasons and my respect for doctors and people in medicine increased by a ridiculous amount. I know it’s a TV show but do you think scrubs accurately portrays this career? I’ve heard scrubs was one of the most medically accurate TV shows. I know the day-to-day life they portray probably isn’t accurate but the emotions and the fulfillment associated with being a doctor is just so amazing. You know? I hope that made sense. What’s your opinion on this?

Do I love scrubs??

I absolutely love scrubs.  In fact I have seen all the seasons… multiple times.  It is my go to show when I have had a bad day, or when I need a break.

But how true to life it is, I don’t know.  I am still in medical school so I don’t know what residency is like.  I think that WayFaringMD has a few posts on this though.  However I can offer some broad insights into how it will compare.  (also I wanted to use these gifs I found a while back)

I imagine that for the most part you won’t have such a deep personal relationship with each patient.  I doubt you will take patients to the park, buy them comics, or spend a night off sitting with them while they died.  Though we would like to believe we can do theses things I don’t think internal med hospitalists really have the time for it.

I do think that you kind of form a family with your coworkers.  I know that has already happened with my med school classmates.  And like families you will fight with each other, grow with each other and share in triumphs and defeats.  Unlike families you will also probably hook up, which has also already happened with my med school class.  You may even find love.  Many of my physician friends found their significant others in med school or residency.

You will also spend the first couple years having no idea what you are doing.  Every time I have to see a patient I get nervous.  I read a review of scrubs once that said the reason it resonated with people is that everyone could relate to feeling like a fish out of water.  That is really how you feel when you first start medical school, and I imagine it is how residency feels. 

So is scrubs true to hospital life?  In aspects.  But you have to remember they leave out the mundane hours spent on studying, reading journal articles and filling out paperwork.  You see the highlights of relationships but not the real problems that sleeping with your coworkers creates.  It is a comedy and a drama and it plays those things up.  It leaves out what real life is, the day to day trials and tribulations.  In real medicine no one will be there to pat you on the back for each patient you help and no one will be interested in hearing every lesson you learn.  Unfortunately real medicine isn’t as glamorous as TV makes it out to be.  

Medical shows are good if they get you more jazzed about doing medicine.  Don’t let them be your reason for doing medicine though. 

premedbattle  asked:

On a scale of 1-10, how similar is Scrubs to a doctor's life?

A while back I gave House a 3 on the old 1-10 scale. I guess it’s time for Scrubs. 

Scrubs gets a 6

The similarities:

  • Intern year (AKA the first year of residency) is stressful in a thousand different ways. You begin to realize that you don’t know anything. You feel like your attendings are out to make you look like an idiot at all times. And you’re pretty sleep deprived. 

  • The patient stories and medicine presented on Scrubs are usually fairly accurate. For some blazing inaccuracies, check my TV vs. Reality tag.
  • The hierarchy system portrayed on Scrubs is pretty true to life. 

  • Elliot’s neurotic personality is pretty accurate when it comes to internists. 
  • The residents live in a crappy apartment and share costs because residents’ salaries are generally not great.

The differences:

  • Those guys have a LOT of free time while they’re in the hospital. Not sure where that comes from.
  • They don’t show the boring stuff like paperwork and dictations.
  • In what world do internal medicine interns and surgical interns become BFFs? 

  • We only see one class of residents for the first few years of the show. Where are the residents above and below JD’s class? And why aren’t there more than 3 attendings?
  • None of the patients ever seems to be surrounded by beeping monitors or a thousand IV pumps, even in the ICU. 
  • Most hospitals have more than 2 nurses and 1 janitor working in them. 

  • Most nurses don’t work ER, med/surg, AND ICU all at the same time.
  • And real doctors know which way the heart should be on a chest x-ray, dangit! 

I could go on and on and get real nitpicky, but I think this hits the big ones. 6 is a pretty good score. I would consider Scrubs to be the most accurate of all the TV medical shows out there. 

foxteel  asked:

On-topic question for you: if you could be "stuck" in any medical TV series, which would it be? BONUS, which character's role would you take?

Ugh, does it have to be a medical show? There really aren’t any medical shows that I just LOVE. 

If I have to pick someone, I’d be JD on Scrubs, because I already have internal dialogue, and I’m just as nerdy and neurotic as he is. And Turk would be a great best friend. 

If it could be quasi-medical, I’d pick the X-Files probably, and of course I’d be Scully if I had to take a role (she’s a doctor, so it totally counts, right?). But it would be better to be a random character so that I could be best friends with Scully. Yes, that’s better. 

Alternatively, I would be Dr. Saroyan on Bones. That way I could still be a doctor and be friends with Bones. Win-win. 

Who would you be?