5 Things Medical Students can Learn from Medical Dramas

5 Things Medical Students can Learn from Medical Dramas

In the previous post I talked about some of the best medical dramas to watch. Some are critiqued to be unrealistic and unrepresentative of true healthcare – but what things can we learn from them?

There are a lot of issues in healthcare

In one way or another, these shows highlight the problems in healthcare, whether bluntly or through humour. Lack of resources, sexism, racism, how money comes into healthcare, mental health and hierarchy are just a few of the topics touched upon and are relevant to real life practice. There is no such thing as a perfect healthcare system!


Even the best doctors make mistakes

Doctors are humans too, and they don’t always get it right. There are many episodes of House where Dr House initially diagnoses and treats incorrectly, but this helps him to get the right diagnosis in the end. Although in real life it might not end as a happy ending like in the show, it is important to know that everyone make mistakes- we’re not robots!


Medicine is a lifestyle (and a rewarding one too)

In these TV shows, the medicine does not stop when the characters leave the hospital. Being a doctor isn’t a 9-5 thing, we all know that. We see how the characters go home after work but are still working on cases, researching, studying….it doesn’t stop. But it all allows them to make a difference to and save their patient’s lives, which is a feeling that never gets old.


Every day comes with a new challenge

The difficult decisions the doctors make on the show aren’t uncommon- every episode comes with some sort of dilemma. This reflects real life, as decision-making is a huge part of being a doctor. Of course, these decisions aren’t made alone- teamwork is crucial for making these choices, and we see that in the shows as well.


General medical knowledge

There are a lot of obscure cases in these shows, but actually, some of the cases are things that we might face as doctors! And it’s always a nice feeling when you’re watching and get the same diagnosis as the doctor, and know the treatment. It’s almost like revision….that’s what I tell myself, anyway.

Whether you’re watching to learn or not, there are lots of things to take away from medical dramas, even if they aren’t always the most realistic. At the least, it’s a form of entertainment, and perhaps might inspire you as well!    

About the Author

Hi, I’m Sumona and I’m a UCL medical student. I’m passionate about medical education and I hope that my posts are interesting and inspiring for you. Check out my personal blog for posts on travel, food and my experiences being a student in London!

Don’t forget to read Wednesday’s blog post on the Top 5 Medical Dramas not to miss!

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