Surgical Resident Breaks Down 49 Medical Scenes From Film & TV | WIRED

Annie Onishi, general surgery resident at Columbia University, takes a look at emergency room and operating room scenes from a variety of television shows and movies and breaks down how accurate they really are. Would the adrenaline scene from Pulp Fiction actually play out that way? Is all that medical jargon we hear in shows like Grey’s Anatomy and House true-to-life? Is removing a bullet really a cure-all for a gunshot wound?


3:12 The recommended dosage depends upon the make and model of the defibrillator. When used in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations, 200J is not an outdated dosage, and is not considered ineffective. According to the American Heart Association’s Guidelines for CPR & Emergency Cardiovascular Care, “it is reasonable to use the manufacturer’s recommended energy dose for the first shock. If this is not known, defibrillation at the maximal dose may be considered.”

5:23 We misidentified the type of worm in the Grey’s Anatomy episode. It was actually Ascaris lumbricoides, not Strongyloides

WIRED regrets the errors.

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Surgical Resident Breaks Down 49 Medical Scenes From Film & TV | WIRED


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29 thoughts on “Surgical Resident Breaks Down 49 Medical Scenes From Film & TV | WIRED”

  1. I'm glad there are people doing these videos. Maybe one day enough people will be educated enough to not stop me in the hallway and ask about their family member, whose name I haven't even heard, (because I'm not on his case); asking me how s/he is doing. Not to be mean. I just don't know how to answer it. I can't exactly stop my responsibilities to hunt down this person to give an update, either.

  2. one thing that has bothered me in almost all OR scenes is when the surgeon after all his scrubbing and wearing sterile gloves, in the middle of surgery they touch their unsterile masks to bring it down (prob the actor wants more sreen time). I dont know about the equipments in the US but here in India we dont use sterile masks and touching anything that is isnt sterilized while scrubbed in gets you kicked out of the OR

  3. Just throwing it out there, 200 J biphasic is accurate, 360 J monophasic is accurate, I think to say 200 J is no longer thought to be effective is not accurate

    Electrical Cardioversion
    Synchronized cardioversion is indicated for unstable patients with VT who have a pulse.
    Synchronized cardioversion should also be strongly considered in stable patients with VT as it is safe and both more effective and more rapid than chemical cardioversion.
    Dose: Biphasic 100 – 200 Joules (Monophasic 200 – 360 Joules)
    Unless patient in extremis, consider sedation /analgesia for procedure

    Otherwise cheers, fun video! – EM MD

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