10 Things I Learnt from Watching House, MD
Mention the TV show House, M. D. in the presence of a real doctor and a strange array of symptoms will manifest. Some will snort, others will begin to rave and foam at the mouth, while a small minority of subjects will employ a strange spitting gesture, similar to that employed by residents of Palm Beach on mention of the name ‘Madoff’. These poor medics are suffering from the delusion that this gritty, realistic show is not really an accurate depiction of their real job.
Of course, we non-medical experts know better. In fact, any sensible normal person will surely realize that nothing but House, MD should be screened in hospitals. The show would teach patients who are in for a simple tonsillectomy to watch out for early onset symptoms of Cushing’s, lupus or possibly even smallpox. Forewarned is forearmed! Watching it is a highly educational experience, in proof of which – here are 10 completely new facts about modern medicine that I learned from the show.
1. Never, ever go by the first diagnosis a doctor gives. It is inevitably wrong. If they say you have a cold and put you on a saline drip, be worried. You probably have leprosy.
2. In fact, the less likely it is that you have an ailment according to the textbook, the more likely it is that you have it once you reach hospital. Note: a whole new mathematics of probability is needed to cope with this.
3. It is clinically impossible for anyone to enter an MRI scanner without either a) having a fit or b) freaking out.
4. About 40 minutes into the any treatment a patient will probably develop skin lesions, allowing one member of staff to look horrified and yell ‘Oh my GOD, it’s NECROSIS!’
5. It takes 3 doctors to do a CAT scan. In fact, sometimes it takes 3 highly qualified doctors to change a colostomy bag.
5. Doctors work ridiculous hours. This is because they spend large amounts of time staring through windows at their patients.
6. Contrary to popular belief, there are very few nurses in hospitals. Fortunately, only one person ever gets sick at a time, and four doctors then swoop on them to provide24/7 care.
7. Medical specialisms are a myth. In reality, the same doctor will happily perform a brain biopsy, run an endoscopy, diagnose cancer and then go off to mend a broken arm. Their breaks are all spent in the biochem lab, running tests on their patients’ bodily fluids.
8. The only pain medication available to doctors in the US is hydrocodone. But Sherlock Holmes took opiates so it’s really a clever parallel and not silly at all.
9. Sometimes the only way to diagnose a patient is to break into their house and nick their stuff.
10. It is utterly impossible to be a good doctor and a well-adjusted human being.
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