Monday, May 02, 2005

Grey’s Anatomy: If Tomorrow Never Comes. A Resident’s Review

Welcome to my review of this week’s Grey’s Anatomy. The super-interns are back single-handedly saving Seattle.

Various interns are continuing their streak of developing “personal” relationships with their favorite Attending. This will surely get them in trouble, but hey, how much fun would it be if it didn’t? How inappropriate is inappropriate and who is to say it is inappropriate? In a hospital where interns talk down to Attendings and the medical hierarchy seems to have been reversed why point out ethics or other inconsequential arguments.

But, before I review a show I mostly like. Would the writers for the show please clarify the following points as it is beginning to interfere with my enjoyment of your show:

1. Please change the theme song, it sucks!
2. Who is Miranda? What is her exact status? Is she Chief Resident? Is she just a regular resident? How come she can talk down to Attendings?
3. One person does not a code make! Codes are called overhead and attended by at least 3 residents.
4. Finally, and most importantly. Surgery Residents and interns are supposed to be BITCHY! Take my word for it, they are. Actually, “Bitchy” is giving them a compliment! (I am looking at you Dr. Gray)

Now for our episode:

Subplot 1: Ms. Conners and the mysterious unidentified tumor.

Denial was the theme as this tumor was known to have been growing for the last 2 years while Ms. Conners was afraid to consult a physician. It continued to grow until it encircled large blood vessels and became extremely difficult to remove, eventually ending in her demise.

My friend Orac has blogged about the phenomenon of denial before and, personally testifying, denial where a cancerous growth is the concern often ends badly. I’ve heard her story before and it’s tragic every time.

In the end, she dies on the operating table due to a lack of blood supply (Unlikely in a real life situation since they knew there would be bleeding complications) after the surgeons nicked a major blood vessel. Dempsey runs a one man code while everyone stands around. Again, one man does not a code make!

And please, can we have a biopsy diagnosis. Since "mysterious, very rapidly growing, huge, freaky looking tumor" can’t go on a death certificate.

Plot 2: Mr. Lemangy, Parkinson’s Disease and DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation)

Exactly why were surgery resident taking care of a Parkinson’s disease complication I will never know. Why Neurology was never mentioned (or consulted) I will never know. Why spotlight a relatively unproven treatment of Parkinson’s to be a life saving procedure, well, this was done because it’s primetime television.

I suspect that many Neurologists are returning calls from various clients today asking about DBS. Although early trials are optimistic, with clinical benefit apparent in the majority of patients, the results of a large double blinded study have yet to be known. Currently, there is no such trial.

Meredith Gray enters and announces that the patient is willing to undergo the procedure if it is done immediately. Apparently, Dr. Shepard (played by Patrick Dempsey) can perform such complicated procedures at the drop of a hat. In real life, one would need an MRI as well as assorted other imaging to confirm the correct placement of the electrodes first. But, super-surgeon can do this on command as he heroically scrubs out of the tumor surgery and into the brain procedure.

All ends well and Dr. Gray happily walks Mr. Lemangy down the hall, dyskenisia free. Just the type of heartwarming moment that would make any REAL surgery resident VOMIT!

Dear Ellen Pompeo:
This viewer requests that you portray a surgery resident in the correct light. I would like to see more attitude, less smiling, maybe a tantrum or two about how nobody in the hospital does anything except you. You’re a surgery intern so please act like one

Plot 3: Mr. Harper:

Well, this plot really didn’t develop. No comment except one: If you are going to insert a plotline into the episode then let it develop!

Mr. Harper, I suspect you had a few scenes. I am sure you were lost in the final cut and are now staring up from the bottom end of some trash can inside the editing room.

Poor Mr. Harper, he survives the cardiac tamponade but was deceased from the final version of the episode.

In summary: Descent episode, you’ve had better. Still not quite early ER days but you’re slowly improving.