16 Things TV Doctors Always Get Wrong

All those crises! All those sirens! All that panic! Not to mention the miraculous, life-and-death rush, and heroics (just before the commercial break, of course) of all those TV nurses and doctors.

Usually decked-out in full or partial scrubs, they sure look like real nurses and doctors, don’t they? And, despite the frequent techno-jargon, they seem to have the buzz down properly. Whatever they’re saying, it’s almost impressive and, at least for us lowly lay people, kind of believable. With the remote in-hand, little do we know that a lot of times, TV doctors and nurses are wildly and weirdly fake and wrong.

Here are 16 common TV doctor tropes that just don’t work that way in real life:

1. Backward stethoscopes abound

It may look more doctor-ish backwards, and it certainly adds a look of hospital-ish urgency, but many TV and movie doctors and nurses are wearing their stethoscopes backwards. (The stethoscope is the one located just beside the open pocket filled with tongue depressors and a thermometer they never use.)

Real stethoscopes rely on an airtight seal in order to transmit body sounds from the patient. So the flat side that gets pressed onto the chest or back of the patient should hang on the doctor’s or nurse’s chest — not facing out toward the camera — for ease of use.

Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com
Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com
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