Losing Patients

I really enjoy GREY’S ANATOMY but for me, their big two-parter jumped the shark. A doctor was giving birth, a doctor’s husband was having brain surgery, a doctor (who previously had a brain tumor) had an apparent heart attack, and another doctor had her hand inside a patient who had a live bomb in his chest.

I think there should be a moratorium on doctor shows doing stories where their own doctors, and their families, become patients. Is there anybody left on GREY’S ANATOMY who hasn’t become a patient yet?  If so, they soon will be. The same thing happened on ER. Every doctor and nurse on that show has been treated in the trauma room for a medical emergency over the years. It’s tiresome and a cheap way to generate conflict…God knows, the GREY’S ANATOMY writers are talented enough to come up with stories that don’t make their doctors the patients.

That said, I must admit I’ve made Dr. Mark Sloan a patient at his hospital many times in my DIAGNOSIS MURDER scripts and books.  I figured if he’s going to be injured during an investigation, he might as well be treated at his own hospital.  Is that convenience or laziness? Oh, and come to think of it, I’ve made his son a patient, too. Mea Culpa.

3 thoughts on “Losing Patients”

  1. My memory could be really rusty, but as I recall, Dr. Sloan and his son were treated for relatively minor “in the line of duty” injuries. The treatment wasn’t the story, it was a by-product of the story. As a viewer, I see a distinct difference between what you’ve done and the earlier examples cited in your post.

  2. I only watched those episodes of Grey’s Anatomy because I was intrigued by the whole Code Black thing. Then I kept watching because Kyle Chandler was in it, but I was so mad about what happened to him. Maybe this little stint will get him another show or something. I miss watching him on Early Edition.
    I never really watched ER though. It never interested me, but sometimes you just have to get your doctors hurt because it allows you to know they experience more than just psychological and emotional pain. You get to see them go through a different kind of torture. Sometimes this makes the storyline interesting, but sometimes it just bogs it down and forces you to change the channel.
    As for the injuries inflincted on the characters on Diagnosis Murder they weren’t constantly the forefront of the storyline and it usually happened for a good reason or it was expected since Dr. Sloan did stick his nose in a few places he wasn’t supposed to and his friends followed. Then Steve was an officer so sometimes getting hurt is supposed to happen.
    In the end I think people should only get hurt if there’s a good reason or somehow slightly important to the plot. For some reason characters getting injured in any manner is becoming a staple on shows to attract viewers and give characters added emotional levels or something. I may be reading a lot into this stuff, but that’s just my observation of what I see on television. I’m not going to stop watching any of my shows because of this. I’m just not gonna watch some of the over dramatic, overdrawn and uncreative attempts to get viewers. Sounds slightly hypocritical, but I will admit I have yet to sit down and watch an episode of Desperate Housewives, 24, Prison Break or Las Vegas and I’m sure they do that kind of stuff all the time.


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