Is a Job As a Doctor Really Like The TV Shows?

Is a Job As a Doctor Really Like The TV Shows? | HealthSoul

Do you want us to start by answering the question? 

Sadly, life as a doctor isn’t anything like the TV shows. Sadly, most days, it’s anything but. Some elements are the same – but the reality is…life as a doctor is tricky. 

But there’s no denying they aren’t fun to watch. Medical dramas have held fans captive with their gripping portrayal of hospital life, intense pressure, complex relationships, and dramatic medical emergencies that seem to happen in every episode. 

Read on to learn how close to being like that it is. 

The Reality of Medical Emergencies

Although TV shows often portray a continuous parade of rare diseases and life-threatening situations, most physicians experience something completely different. 

Most doctors specializing in family medicine or pediatrics are busy all day long treating chronic illnesses, conducting regular health screenings for adults and children, and handling minor ailments. It’s not as exciting as, for example, hospital work. There, medical emergencies are more of a drama – it’s pretty close to being as serious (but not as dramatic) as the TV shows.

Staff Turnover and Recruitment Realities

You might not have the same friendship as Turk and JD in Scrubs.

One major area where reality diverges sharply from television series is the workplace environment. Have a rota with staff members that you don’t get on with, and the work vibe will be anything but scrubs.

The reality is – that hospitals have high staff turnover rates, given that a medical recruiter is more likely to fill the staffing gap. Travel nurses, for example, make up most of the money spent on nurse wages.

This ever-changing environment makes it tricky to build the deep and lasting friendships common in medical series. 

Long Hours and the Impact on Personal Life

The one thing they definitely do get right? The long hours. 

However, what they glamorize as a noble sacrifice can lead to significant personal and professional burnout. People working under these severe conditions still have time for personal affairs; on TV, work is usually their personal life. 

The depiction by most television medics of lunch breaks between patients at the café or hallways where impromptu consultations take place does not show the true nature of a physician’s busy day.

The Mundane Aspects of Healthcare

TV shows often overlook many ordinary aspects of healthcare. Paperwork, administrative duties, and insurance claims tend to consume the majority of a medical professional’s time – but that wouldn’t make for good TV, would it? In reality, however, these administrative tasks are vital and time-consuming; they usually take away from the direct patient care that most doctors say they would rather have been doing.

And now that everything has gone digital, it isn’t always easy to do. We’d say paperwork has become tricky.

Is that not to say you shouldn’t want a career as a doctor? Absolutely not! The TV dramas make it look more dramatic and fun to keep you watching – that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t have a good time as a doctor!