The Real Grey's Anatomy : A Behind-the-Scenes Look at thte Real Lives of Surgical Residents
A behind-the-scenes look at the real lives of surgical residents, from the author of The Medical Science of House, M.D.
Do surgeons talk about their sex lives while cutting a heart open? How do surgeons respond to death? How do they react when asked to save the life of an abuser, criminal, or addict?
Since its debut, the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy has asked such questions. With an emphasis on the personal lives of the surgical interns, residents, and attending physicians, the show has generated interest in how these professionals survive this rigorous educational program. How much of its drama is entertainment, and how much is accurate? Here, a medical journalist provides answers. He examines a group of new surgical residents in the Pacific Northwest as they tackle long hours, fascinating procedures, and emotional ups and downs that comprise the life of a student of surgery.
The overachievers on the hit TV show Grey's Anatomy stand on the shoulders of M.D.s from decades of medical dramas. But health journalist Holtz finds more than a kernel of truth in the ABC white-coat soaper and notes, "[O]ur attitudes and beliefs about surgery and medicine shift and adapt unconsciously" while we take in the fiction from Seattle Grace Hospital. What unfolds in the book is a Cliff's Notes for surgical residents: the grueling hours--a max of 80 a week; the weird operating flukes--a flame bizarrely ignites from the gas in a surgery patient's gut; the need to give good care even to bad people. The anecdotes, however, seem as likely to come from Grey's as from real life. On the struggle in treating ailing criminals, one resident confides, "I don't feel like my care was compromised by being aware that he was a criminal, but it definitely made me think about it." There's little new in these tales from the sick ward, but Holtz gives them all a Hollywood glow.
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January 04, 2010
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