What TV taught me: Hospital Edition


Most of the things I know about Hospitals I learned from t.v shows. Therefore, while waiting in the reception area at Groote Schuur hospital, I could not help but feel a strange anti-climax.

Shows like Scrubs, ER, Grey’s Anatomy and the like have conditioned me to believe that doctors are having sex in the on-call room, funny incidents occur during mundane surgeries, a group of interns are being tortured by their attending physician and that the atmosphere is much more lively – alas, this is not the case.

I blame t.v for a lot of my misconceptions. For instance, I always assumed that Hospitals had attractive doctors, patients and even janitors. Looking around this hospital, I cannot help but notice the lack of George Clooney look-a-likes.

The patients were not exactly swimsuit models either which, given the fact that hospitals are supposed to be for sick people, makes perfect sense in retrospect. It was wrong for me to assume that a hospital is a runway…but given the resources I have to draw from, this hardly seems like a ridiculous notion.

I guess the counter argument is that t.v (and film of course) is there to entertain us. The fact that a hospital in Days of our Lives and a hospital in real life are different should be a given. Not forgetting the fact that I am South African and that an American hospital could be a polar opposite to South African hospitals.

I don’t know whether the doctors here in S.A are called “attending physicians” or “residents”, I don’t know whether they call scrubs “scrubs” or something else, I don’t know if any of the medical references I learned on t.v is acceptable or even acknowledged here in S.A. (I should probably ask some of my friends who are studying medicine).

What I am ultimately getting to is this: hospitals in (South African) real life is nowhere near as exciting as hospitals in American t.v shows. But there is always the possibility that American hospitals are exactly the way we see them on t.v. When I find out I will let you know.

About the author: Dean is an aspiring filmmaker and screenwriter who once thought about becoming a doctor, but then he was like, “Wait, how many years of studying??” Also, he is a co-founder of BTG Lifestyle.

Dean Ravell

Aspiring writer/director. Fascinated with all kinds of film and just wants to be part of the wonderful world of cinema. #AlmostFamous


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