Teaching Aspects of TV Medical Dramas Debatable

The familiar statement “turn off the TV and do your homework” may be outdated. A recent study found all medical students watch TV medical dramas. Educators, however, debate whether shows like “House” and “Grey’s Anatomy” are viable sources for medical learning.

According to the study “Medical and Nursing Students’ Television Viewing Habits: Potential Implications for Bioethics,” only 14 percent of students found the shows to be an “important” source of bioethics information. Comments from educators vary in opinion.

AMNews staffer, Kevin B. O’Reilly sums up the debate the medical teaching community is having on this subject in a Jan. 26 report.

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4 Responses to “Teaching Aspects of TV Medical Dramas Debatable”

  1. Christina says:

    I have to agree with the medical students. I am a medical coder for a busy FQHC and I find that watching shows such as House or Grays Anatomy inspire me. I now tend to dig a little deeper and find a better more accurate code for the patient.

    Beside, Hugh Laurie (House) is a great distraction from the everyday medical field.

  2. Colleen says:

    I find this interesting to know. I am a CPC with 20 years experience in the health care
    industry. I work full time as a coder/auditor and part time at our local community college
    as a coding/billing instructor. I suggest to my students each semester to watch these shows
    and attempt to code the cases (physician coding), if they can capture enough data.
    I am a loyal ER fan, and House will ease my feeling of loss when ER ends. These shows inspire
    me as well. I have considered requesting the writters to incorporate a coding segment in future
    episodes. I am sure House would love to get to know his coders?

  3. judi says:

    I always enjoy ER, and smile when a doctor is told to complete his or her paperwork. The discussions of medical ethics are interesting and give new ways of thinking about a problem. I tend to take the medical info with a grain of salt, however. I think it would be fun to see a doctor with poor documentation skills deal with coders–very smart coders who set him straight.

  4. Lisa says:

    “I am sure House would love to get to know his coders?”

    House would probably dismiss/mock his coders. Several times in watching House, I often find myself saying that his imaging won’t get paid because it’s not medically necessary (I do radiology billing) or I wonder which exact symptom they use to bill for it.
    Or a couple weeks ago, he wanted to do a brain biopsy to confirm MS…I said “Do an MRI first” and finally Cuddy said the same thing.

    I have to suspend my brain watching them sometimes, but they are very entertaining. I do enjoy watching Mystery Diagnosis on TLC or Discovery Health for the same reasons. I’ve actually come up with the diagnosis myself a couple times before they revealed it.

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