Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Thank Goodness for Scrubs

Nearly everyone I tell I am a doctor asks almost immediately, “Is your life like Grey's Anatomy?”

It is annoying because 1) it isn’t, 2) I wish it was for the sake of (unrealistic) excitement, and 3) I hate Grey’s Anatomy.

Anyway, the conversation that follows usually goes like this:

Me: “No.”

Person: “Ha ha! So what is it like then?”

And this is where it gets a little annoying. It is difficult to explain to non-medical people what an internal medicine resident or internist does all day long. What I do is not that interesting, and I am sure the average layperson would be downright bored hearing a description of my day-to-day activities. (“I start the morning by reviewing labs on a computer. Then I walk from patient to patient asking them how they were last night. Then I spend the rest of the day struggling with the computer system trying to order a lab, paging consults who never call back, and occasionally doing some procedure that inevitably takes ages to set up for.”)

Non-medical people likely don’t understand the concept of rounding, the importance of ordering and following up labs, reviewing films with radiologists, and most importantly, how the time it takes to perform countless small tasks like these quickly adds up.

Surgeons have it easy here. They could simply say “I do surgery”, and everyone in the world would know what that means. Lucky bastards.

Enter Scrubs. This TV show has done a great job of capturing the realities of internal medicine residency and making it interesting. And because it is a popular show, many people are familiar with it.

I have therefore found the best response to “Is your life like Grey’s Anatomy?” is, “No, it’s actually like Scrubs.” People immediately understand.

Scrubs ... relieving doctors like me from painful conversations everyday.


tracy said...

Hee, "Scrubs"...so you actually spend the day joking around and doing musical numbers together and having bizarre fantasies? i think not. Well, maybe the fantasy part...like "get me the hell outta here..." ?
Believe me, i s t i l l think your life is better than mine...that siad, i will never know, as i am not in your shoes.
Still green with envy,

Ribeye of your Dreams said...

You have almost made me ashamed to admit this...I watch Grey's Anatomy, but only because I'm always at work when Scrubs comes on and I don't own a DVR/VCR or anyhting like that...

I liked Scrubs the few times I got to see it though...and I enjoy Grey's only because of the constant unrealistic situations and bickering.

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