I watch too many medical dramas on TV. They are often very entertaining, but horribly unrealistic. Of course the romance and rivalry is over-dramatized and they have at least one bigger than life case every episode, but that's not what makes it unrealistic. In real life, you hardly ever see the doctors. Nurses take your vitals, empty the hat in your toilet, give you your meds, and answer your call light when you're barfing at 4 a.m. You might be in the hospital for two days and never see a doctor until they are prepared to dismiss or diagnose you. And lots of times, you don't get diagnosed. What they really do is rule things out one by one, and if insurance won't pay for a certain test, then they stop looking and tell you that they haven't found anything conclusive and it's time to go home.
You almost never get a test right away. In the medical drama everything is do this or do that "stat", but unless and until you are actually coding, things are almost never "stat". We'll do this test or that test in a day or a week or a month and get the results back to you in a couple of weeks. And the doctors don't do those tests either. A tech who went to school to learn how to operate that expensive machinery does the test, and then, later a doctor, sometimes not even a doctor at that facility, reads the test.
Doctors also do not pursue finding the cause of your illness with a single minded passion. They rule out the most likely causes, jack you full of pain killers (if you are lucky) and send you off to figure life out on your own.
You know what I would like to see? A medical drama that tells it like it is. Show the nurses who work twelve hour shifts covered in vomit and trying to console a delusional screaming patient. Show the pharmacists who give out all of the medication (does anybody know anything about a hospital pharmacist? Cause I sure don't). Show the frustrated patients when they get home and are lying in bed suffering in pain and waiting for the weeks it will take them to get into a specialist. Show their frustration and heartbreak when, after all that waiting, the specialist can do nothing for them. Show the medical system the way it really is. That's enough drama to last a lifetime.
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