How “Grey’s Anatomy” Viewers Perceive Real-Life Doctors


After watching my first episode of ABC’s hit TV show Grey’s Anatomy, I was hooked. The show is written from the perspective of Meredith Grey, a surgical intern and the daughter of a famous surgeon at Seattle Grace Memorial Hospital. She struggles to balance whether she wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps or to be true to herself all while fulfilling the high demands of a surgical career with the challenges in her personal life. Grey’s Anatomy is famous for it’s life-saving close calls, risky surgeries, and complicated relationships between characters. The show highlights the fine line between personal and professional relationships. Whether a doctor was extremely emotionally invested in a patient or romantically involved with another member of the hospital staff, relationships always got messy in Grey’s Anatomy. The lifestyle of the main characters drew me in and kept me wanting more.

Although Grey’s Anatomy glamorized the life of doctors, specifically surgical residents, and was not one-hundred percent accurate all the time, I could not help but to see the reality that was portrayed. Grey’s Anatomy brought up subjects, such as organ donation, which is a decision everyone has to make during one’s lifetime; however, not many people truly think about the pros and cons of becoming an organ donor nor are they even willing to discuss it as an option. The series of episodes that focus on the character Denny Duquette and the progress he goes through while waiting on a heart transplant brings this issue to viewers’ minds.

This made me think, if Grey’s Anatomy can make viewers think about personal health decisions such as becoming an organ donor or not, does the show effect how viewers see healthcare professionals today? In a study completed by Brain Quick, he reports on research that explores the influences Grey’s Anatomy has on viewers’ organ donation beliefs and their willingness to discuss organ donation with family and friends.

Quick also reports from another source that due to the excessive close-calls and numerous risky surgeries that have ideal outcomes in Grey’s Anatomy, viewers of the drama generally assume all doctors, real-life and fictional, are just as courageous as the characters in Grey’s Anatomy. This can be good and bad. It is good because the public or at least the viewers of Grey’s Anatomy, regard doctors in a positive manner. However, the downside is that if this outlook is taken to an extreme level then, it can start to have negative effect by creating false hope for people in real-life medical situations.

Elena Strauman also reports on newer medical shows, like Grey’s Anatomy, as portraying doctors to possess strong interpersonal skills and physical attractiveness. These characteristics  bring a positive public perception of doctors. However, she also points out that modern medical dramas also include a large amount of uncertainty, mistakes, adultery, and arrogance, which could shake the public’s confidence in their real life physicians.

Even though I am very intrigued to see if there is a correlation between people who watch Grey’s Anatomy and how they perceive their real-life physicians, I currently have no plans to use this introduction and annotated bibliography as a starting point for a larger project.

Annotated Bibliography

Quick, Brian L. “Coverage of the Organ Donation Process on Grey’s Anatomy: The Story of Denny Duquette.” Clinical Transplantation 23.6 (2009): 788-793. Academic Search Premier. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.

In “Coverage of the Organ Donation Process on Grey’s Anatomy: The Story of Denny Duquette,” Brian Quick documents his research on the impact viewers of Grey’s Anatomy have on organ donation beliefs and their willingness to discuss organ donation with family and friends. The show Grey’s Anatomy portrays two larges myths about organ donation: the rich and famous can buy their way to the top of the waiting list and friends and family of medical professionals receive organs faster than other individuals. Research showed that loyal viewers of Grey’s Anatomy are less likely to believe the first myth compared to non-viewer. There was no difference between loyal viewers and non-views in respect to the second myth. Quick also notes that loyal viewer are much more likely to discuss organ donation with others than non-viewers.

Quick, Brian L. “The Effects of Viewing Grey’s Anatomy on Perceptions of Doctors and Patient Satisfaction.” Journal Of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 53.1 (2009): 38-55. Academic Search Premier. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.

In “The Effects of Viewing Grey’s Anatomy on Perceptions of Doctors and Patient Satisfaction,” Quick reports on how watching Grey’s Anatomy effects a patient’s view towards real-world doctors as being courageous. Quick concludes that people who watch considerable amounts of Grey’s Anatomy, perceive the show to be realistic, which leads to the belief that doctors are courageous due to extreme circumstances acted out in the show. This belief that all doctors are courageous leads viewers to be more satisfied with their real-world doctor.

Strauman, Elena, and Bethany Goodier. “Not Your Grandmother’s Doctor Show: A Review of Grey’s Anatomy, House, and Nip/Tuck.” Journal Of Medical Humanities 29.2 (2008): 127-131. Academic Search Premier. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.

In “Not Your Grandmother’s Doctor Show: A Review of Grey’s Anatomy, House, and Nip/Tuck” focuses on how the physician’s image has changed between the older medical TV shows such as Ben Casey and Dr. Kildare versus the newer ones like Grey’s Anatomy. Studies have shown that past fictional doctors have been more idealized while today’s shows focus more on the humanity of their main characters. By placing a large focus on the humanities, newer medical shows continue to bring a positive public perception of doctors. However, the newer medical dramas also include a large amount to uncertainty, mistakes, adultery, and arrogance could effect the public’s confidence in their real life physicians.

Grey’s Anatomy fits into the mold of the newer medical drama due to each of it’s episodes including a couple extraordinary medical cases, but these cases only help to draw parallels to the relationships among the characters. As the doctors care for their patients, they are forced to learn and solve their own personal issues.


Chuck Klosterman

The format of Chuck Klosterman’s visit to Lenoir-Rhyne was atypical from most of the authors who take part in the Visiting Writers Series. As soon as I entered P.E. Monroe Auditorium, I immediately knew this visit was going to be a little different because of the appearance of the stage. The stage was set with two chairs, a small table with a lamp and there were bookshelves behind the chairs. The fact that there were two chairs confused me because normally only the author speaks, leaving the need of the second chair a mystery. As the evening progressed, I learned that Chuck Klosterman was being interviewed, which normally takes place the next morning during convocation hour. He was being interviewed by the radio show, Charlotte Talks. This interview was scheduled to be aired the following morning (Friday, November 13, 2015) at nine o’clock.

Although the format of Chuck Klosterman’s visit was unusual, he talked about many of the same subjects as the other authors who take part in the Visiting Writers Series. They began the interview by pointing out the fact that Klosterman has a talent for seeing the world in a way the average person would not. He was able to use this talent to create a career where he writes about pop culture such as popular tv shows, music, and movies for various magazines, newspapers, and other various news platforms, as well as, publishing a couple books. He later explained his talent for linking unusual things together as natural. I think it is interesting to be able to see the world through Klosterman’s eyes for an evening.

Author Jeff Hobbs Visits Lenoir-Rhyne University

When Jeff Hobbs

Jeff Hobbs
Jeff Hobbs

walked up to the podium and began to speak, I initially thought he was reading an excerpt from his book. He spoke almost exactly as he wrote in the Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace. Hobbs began by stating general facts about Rob’s life such as, he was well liked by many, the unique role his parents played during his childhood and the area he was raised. For the first few minutes, I was bored. I felt as if Hobbs was just restating facts that are explained in the book. I was wanting to hear something new. I wanted to learn more about Rob. I wanted more incite into Hobbs’ opinion of Rob and Hobbs’ experience while writing the Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace.

Although I did not learn as much new information as I would have liked, I enjoyed listening to Hobbs’ voice as he spoke about a close friend. One thing that stuck out the most to me was when Hobbs commented on Rob’s handwriting. How it was feminine due to Rob using circles to dot his i’s. This is an example of something that does not come across as clearly when read in a book. I defiantly would not have made the connection that Rob’s father taught him to make sure his handwriting was neat, which is unexpected due to his absence throughout Rob’s life.

The Good, Bad, and Indifferent About College Roommates

Anna Altman’s New York Times blog post “A College Education Should Include Rooming With a Stranger,” explores the modern day approach that colleges and students are using to assign roommates to incoming freshmen. Ensuring that freshmen roommates get along is crucial for colleges because moving students from dorm to dorm is not only a headache, but extremely time consuming for students, resident assistants and resident directors. This can cause a student to drop out of college, resulting in the university losing money. The blog mentioned various apps such as RoomZoom and Roomidex that colleges are using to help students find the “perfect” roommate. Colleges are also supplying dorms with luxury items such as Tempur-Pedic mattresses to ensure students do not drop out. Other colleges are avoiding the roommate problems altogether and allowing freshmen to have their own rooms; however, this is a very expensive option. The blog largely focuses on the benefits of freshmen rooming with someone who is very different from them and how roommates effect each other’s lives. Roommates can affect each other’s study habits, alcohol consumption, weight, mood disorders, and participation in on-campus organizations. Altman reports on studies that have shown that anxious roommates can make others more anxious, but happy roommates do not necessarily make others happy (Altman).

Having to live in the same room as someone else is one of the biggest adjustments young adults have to make during their freshman year of college. Like myself, many students have never shared a room before, or if they did, it was most likely with a sibling. Living with someone who is unfamiliar is very stressful. However, living in an age of technology can ease some of the nerves that derive simply from the unknowns of living with someone new. Through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms, students are able to see into each other’s lives from the time roommate assignments are sent. Students can meet prior to move-in day to help make the process of moving in smoother. Social media allows roommates to already form a relationship before they are even on campus.

My roommate and I were paired by the university. She began just as a name on an email that contained my freshmen housing information. Then, we started messaging each other on Facebook. Facebook allowed my roommate and I to explore each individual’s interests. For instance she was able to see that I am very passionate about dance. After that, we met up for lunch so we could meet face to face before moving in. So far, I am very happy with my decision to have a random roommate my freshman year. We get along well, but we make sure to respect the fact that everyone needs time to themselves. I can definitely say that social media made meeting my roommate easier and would recommend incoming college freshmen to do the same.

The blog mentions having the “right kind of roommate;” it leads readers to infer that a roommate must have qualities that are different than the other roommate while still being able to relate to each other. These differences can be anything from varying socioeconomic classes to family backgrounds to religious beliefs. I think the “right kind of roommate” means something different for every person. My roommate and I have barely discussed these topics. We are more interested in adjusting to college life and making freshmen year a memorable one. Some people’s idea of  the “right kind of roommate” is to be best friends with their roommate, while others would prefer to only see their roommate a couple hours a day. I would say my roommate and I fall in the middle of this spectrum. We are friends and hang out sometimes but not on a regular basis. This type of friendship works for us.

The blog goes into great detail to explain how roommates affect other relationships on campus. For example, students are more likely to be friends with people who live on their hall or at least in the same building (Altman). To a certain extent, I would agree with this statement. The first week or so I lived in my dorm, my first friends were my roommate and other freshmen who lived on my hall. However, as classes began and campus organizations kicked into full gear, I met new people. I started to spend less time with the people on my hall and more time with my new friends. It’s not that I disliked the students who live on my floor, my new friends were just more in my comfort zone. I believe this scenario is more likely to happen at a small school like Lenoir-Rhyne University simply because there are less people living on campus. At a larger university, with class sizes being considerably larger, it is very unlikely that students know their classmates’ names, and an even smaller chance that classmates would form long-term friendships.

“A College Education Should Include Rooming With a Stranger” largely focuses on the benefits college freshmen have by rooming with someone who is very different from them and how roommates effect each others lives. From personal experience, I know that living with someone else is a hard adjustment. I also have learned that social media has the power to ease nerves and make meeting a roommate easier. Everyone has different expectations for a roommate; nevertheless, roommates can be the key to beginning a new social life at college. I believe there are more positives than negatives when trusting an university to pair people as freshman roommates. I strongly encourage all incoming freshmen to room with someone they have never met prior to college.

Works Cited

Altman, Anna. “A College Education Should Include Rooming With a Stranger.”        New York Times. 7 Sept. 2014. Web. 22 Sept. 2015

Jaki Shelton Green

After accepting her introduction at Lenoir-Rhyne’s Visiting Writers Series, Jaki Shelton Green commented about the lighting being too bright. When she said this I thought to myself, “Wow, this is going to be a long night.” Although I can not say that I particularly enjoyed the evening, it turned out to be not as bad as I initially thought.

She began by speaking about September 11th. She stated that if everyone had more tolerance for others, whether others are the same or different than oneself, maybe we would live in a world of peace. At the end of the night, she ended by encouraging everyone in the room to support who they are because all humanity matters. The way Jaki Shelton Green began and ended her performance says a lot about who she is as a person.

Jake Shelton Green then began to read a few of her poems, and between poems she would speak about growing up in North Carolina, something that is very relatable for me. She spoke about how in the South, everyone who was considered a friend came in the back door of people’s homes. Only police and salesmen came to the front door.

Another point she spoke about that was easily relatable to me was when she spoke about her past as a dancer. I danced for twelve years and studied various styles including ballet, tap, jazz, and modern. She said the body is her framework for her poetry. She listens to her body to see how her body would like for her poetry to look like on paper. This is the answer to a question that was asked in class, “Why does Jaki Shelton Green write her poems in all one stanza?” I was curious about this, and I understand why she would use her past as a dancer and incorporate it into her poetry. I love the way she unites these two forms of art.