Who doesn't love a TV show about doctors?

From daytime soap operas to comedy series to medical dramas and now reality TV, viewers love TV shows set in a hospital with a cast of fictional MDs and RNs. Ranker ranks House as the best medical drama on television (difficult to argue with that – it was brilliant) with Grey’s Anatomy placing 2nd and E.R. 3rd. I admit that my all-time favorite is M*A*S*H – I loved the quirky characters, the humor, the makeshift operating room.

The medical profession lends itself to television drama – people rushing to the hospital and doctors dealing with life-and-death situations. However, often it seems that medical TV shows  trade accuracy for drama to make the plot more interesting. While the plots may be based on real-life scenarios, doctor dramas are meant to entertain, not educate. However, the fact is that we learn about medicine from TV dramas.

The question that begs to be asked is: How realistic are popular medical dramas?

recent article in Forbes, referred to research in the 1990’s that compared survival rates of CPR on TV to the real-world. The popular TV shows at the time included ERChicago Hope, and Rescue 911. Their reported findings published in the New England Journal Of Medicine found that CPR succeeded more frequently on television than in the real world.This distortion can occur even with the input from consulting medical professionals.

In an interview on Grey’s Anatomy: Post Op Episode 4, executive producers, Fred Einesman and Zoanne Clack, explain that while they both have medical degrees, they rely on additional medical experts to make sure that the medicine is as close to real life as possible. While sometimes the medical procedures may seem incredible, some are based on real-world medical practice.

Do you watch Grey's Anatomy?

In a recent episode, a new story line was introduced around the Grey Sloan Surgical Innovation Contest. Drs. Alex Karev and Amelia Shepherd submit MRI-guided ultrasound ablation for the contest to treat a patient.

While the scenario is fiction, Insightec’s MR-guided focused ultrasound is real and being used today in leading medical institutions around the world to treat medication-refractory essential tremor – no scalpel in sight!

MR-guided focused ultrasound ablation.

That’s a mouthful. But hey we made it to prime-time. Pretty cool! Want to learn more? Click here to download information about Insightec’s award-winning technology.

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