A Critical Review Of Grey’s Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy has been a hugely popular medical drama since its debut on American Broadcasting Company’s (ABC) in 2005. The television show centers on Meredith Grey, played in Ellen Pompeo’s role, and her journey from internship to residency to finally becoming an attending at Seattle Grace Hospital’s surgical department. Grey isn’t the only character on the show. Five other doctors are also interns and serve as attendings in various surgical specialties. Grey’s Anatomy’s episodes are filled with last-minute romance rendezvous, which results in many issues that wouldn’t be found in real hospitals. Grey’s Anatomy is criticized by many for being a poor television series. The main characters are either killed or lose their lives over time. However, there are some people who become so involved in the love lives of the characters that they become terribly saddened by the deaths or departures. Shonda Rhimes is a great executive producer and Grey’s storyline is fantastic. While opinions on Grey’s story line are varied, it is obvious that Grey’s dramatizes the doctor and medical representations. Grey’s Anatomy is a popular television series that has a compelling storyline. It is intense in parts, particularly in the first three seasons. However, the portrayals of doctors and medical cases are inaccurate and don’t accurately reflect what it is like to work in a hospital. Grey’s Anatomy is a show that I was initially interested in because it’s medical. I thought that the show would be a good example of what it’s like to work at a hospital, since I only heard good things. It was not medically consistent. However, I was wrong and ended up becoming involved in the lives of the characters and enjoying the show’s storyline. The first season of Grey’s Hospital was very entertaining. Grey fell in love with her surgeon, Patrick Dempsey, and became a married man. Seth Freilich reviews Grey’s season 1 and its fascinating storyline. Freilich says, “The medical plots quickly become totally absurd and the relationship drama, especially between Dr. McDreamy and Meredith, is completely drawn-out, and cheesy.” Freilich also discusses how, even though there is a lot of drama in relationships, there is something about this show that keeps them watching. Freilich ends his review with “… he says that despite its flaws, he enjoys the show’s content and looks forward to each new episode. Freilich agrees that some parts are a bit long, but I still enjoy it. He concludes his review by saying, “… I don’t mind any of its flaws and actively look forward to new episodes.” Duquette’s heart has stopped beating and he needs to be transplanted. Izzie falls hard for Denny and spends most of her day in Denny’s room visiting. This is something that isn’t possible in a hospital setting. Duquette’s surgeon begins to prepare a transplant heart, but drama ensues. It is possible that Duquette will never get the heart he needs. Stephens finally cuts the LVAD cable, which is what keeps Duquette alive. Stephens’s LVAD wire cutting is a great example of incorrect medical portrayal. The patient would have been imprisoned if a physician had deliberately cut their life line. Medical professionals cannot be attached to patients. Stephens and Duquette were thought to have been “dating” while Duquette was in hospital. In real life, it would be illegal to take care of a partner who is seriously ill. All season two viewers were excited for season three. Debi Enker from The Age, an Australian newspaper, believes Rhimes did an outstanding job in season two’s closing. Enker said that Rhimes’ big end does exactly the job it was meant to do. It leaves you wanting for more. Season two was extremely intense, and viewers were eager to see the third season. Season three didn’t have any major events, which I found a bit boring and ambiguous. But not all seasons are perfect. I believe Grey’s Anatomy was not diminished by this episode. Stephens inherits large sums of money from Duquette upon his death, as shown in season 3. This season continues the drama in relationships and bizarre medical cases. Season three’s most bizarre medical episode featured a patient with cancer who was receiving herbal enhancements which made her blood toxic. The surgeons were able to see the woman’s blood after they had opened her. They all collapsed. To finish the surgery, the doctors tried to use oxygen masks but ran out. The surgeons decided to take turns going into the operating rooms one by one, in increments of twenty seconds each while holding their breath. Another example of medical scenarios that are extremely unrealistic is this. Real operating rooms have other staff such as surgical technicians, scrub nurses and the anesthesia crew. These people cannot be seen, and patients who are unable to see an anesthesia team member will likely have serious complications. This season also saw a ferryboat crash. Alex Karev, an intern at the hospital, fell for Jane Doe, a pregnant woman who was amnesic. This is yet another example in which doctors are involved in patient lives. This is something that isn’t acceptable in a true hospital. Dustin Rowles (a Pajiba critic, an entertainment news source) believes that Grey’s Anatomy’s third season is its downfall. He said that while the high is over, he believes it’s not over yet. However, he says that he will continue to watch for rock bottom because a real desire to know what it looks like. It’s shale. I can see it from a distance. Rowles clearly has a point with this episode. I disagree. Grey’s season is not as entertaining as others. Grey’s Anatomy is filled with medical errors and incorrect portrayals of doctors throughout. An article published in The DO, an online medical news site, describes Grey’s Anatomy as a real-life hospital residency. Amanda Kirzner is a Doctor of Osteopathic medicine. She compares her medical school experience to Grey’s. Kirzner claimed that she “watched” the lives and work of both doctors and surgeons while she was a premed student. Although she was familiar with many of the doctor portrayals and cases, she says she realized that there were some discrepancies. She became a general surgical resident after realizing these discrepancies. Kirzner believes the show makes medical students very shocked to see an operating room and make their rotations through surgery. It also shows interns working in complex operations. This is a mistake. Her experience shows that interns who work in surgical services tend to care for the patients on their floor. They seldom see the OR’s interior and if they do it is usually to help with an emergency or a run-of the-mill case. Kirzner is not averse to Grey’s Anatomy, but believes it’s a fascinating show that shows what it’s like working in a hospital. Lily Martis’s article, “9 ways you job is different from Grey’s Anatomy”, features an interview with former CNN medical correspondent. Martis also wrote the book The Real Grey’s Anatomy. One of my biggest concerns was the length of time nurses spend caring about patients. Grey’s shows nurses rarely caring for patients. Holtz believes that nurses “essential to the provision of health care.” Grey’s Anatomy’s most hands-on procedures are performed by doctors. Nurses are more likely to have direct contact with patients than doctors in real life and can provide much more care. Kathy Stephens Williams, Registered Nurse, says that 99% of the things doctors do is what nurses do in actual life. It’s impossible to spend time in the patients’ rooms. Grey’s Anatomy’s season 2 episode, Denny Duquette and Izzie Stephans show doctors developing close relationships to their patients. Holtz reminds that while doctors may be checking on their patients, they are not spending as much time with them as nurses. Holtz asserts the nurses take care and the doctors give instructions. These errors remind us not to believe that everything on Grey’s Anatomy can be true. Grey’s Anatomy could be argued to be a terrible show due to its dramatic storyline and medical cases. Many viewers complain that the storyline repeats too often, and they stop watching it. Although everyone might disagree that Grey’s is a great television show, the Emmy Awards have been won five times since 2005. A lot of students studying in healthcare must remember medical terms and diseases. Many nurses I know have compared their studies to Grey’s Anatomy’s diagnoses. Although the show doesn’t depict the exact nature of hospital work, the doctors use the correct terminology. I’ve seen Grey’s from season one to three twice and the entire series once. The most fascinating seasons were one through three because I was able to see the interns grow from their first day at Seattle Grace Hospital. Grey’s Anatomy’s plot is the best. The show is still great, even though the dramatizations of medical cases and inaccurate portrayals of doctors aren’t perfect. The show is a drama about medical issues, so not everything will be real. Dr. Jordan Weinberg, Trauma Medical Director at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona, states that the show is not meant to educate. It’s entertainment. Weinberg’s sentiments are complete. Medical dramas should not be relied upon to provide accurate information. They should only provide entertainment content.


  • joshwright

    Josh Wright is a 34-year-old educational blogger and school teacher who has been working in the field for over a decade. He has written extensively on a variety of educational topics, and is passionate about helping others achieve their educational goals.

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