Is House M.D. bad for medicine?

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A few days ago, we talked about how Scrubs was a relatively accurate portrayal of medical life.

Let’s talk about the other end of the spectrum, namely, Fox’s House M.D.

As an emergency physician notes, the doctors in the House-universe seem super-human. Indeed, “the docs on that show are not only walking encyclopedias of rare diseases, but they are also genetic specialists, nurses (all specialties), pharmacists, x-ray techs (who do CT and MRI), respiratory therapists, phlebotomists, social workers, abuse counselors, chaplains and private detectives.”

And, of course, I don’t know many physicians who go to their patient’s homes to look for “clues.”

But, before dismissing it as a television show, there are some repercussions that some doctors are seeing. For instance, there are few physicians who have in-depth knowledge of every specialty, as portrayed in House. Indeed, as the emergency physician honestly says, “I am pretty good with the common stuff especially if it has recently started. Once you get into chronic diseases or rarer conditions, then as much as I would like to stroke my ego, I am pretty lost.”

And tellingly, he adds, “Then I have to explain to them how, unlike House or ER, I am more akin to Scrubs.”

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