Media Science

How Good Are TV Doctors?

ER-doomedYou may be surprised that fictional hospitals on TV do not have a very good track record compared to real life. According to research by Amir Hetsroni, an Israeli professor of communications, your chances of survival are pretty slim if you are a patient on a medical drama. From Freakanomics website:

He and his students watched numerous episodes of ER, Chicago Hope, and Grey’s Anatomy, keeping detailed coding books on every patient – their race, approximate age, their malady, the treatment, and whether they lived or died. Their resulting paper was called “If You Must Be Hospitalized, Television Is not the Place.”

The study found that TV patients are nearly nine times more likely to die than actual patients.

You should check out the two Freakonomics episodes on healthcare.

How Many Doctors Does It Take to Start a Healthcare Revolution?

How Do We Know What Really Works in Healthcare?

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