Monday, May 23, 2005

Grey's Anatomy, Who's Zoomin who: A Resident's Review

As I sat twitching while the writers managed, once again, to make a blunder out of what happens in real medicine I had a very illuminating thought. What if I stop considering Grey's Anatomy a medically oriented show and rather begin considering it as a world within itself, seperated from the world I live in.

I prefer to think of it as a spin-off from Desperate Housewives. I mean, what is the real difference? Everyone is sleeping with everyone.Its a sopa opera within itself. It's own imaginary world.

Shall we explore this world:

In Seattle Grace Hospital Surgery is the only residency. This is why Surgery must handle all medical issues. In Seattle Grace Hospital there is no medical hierarchy, there is no accountabiity, interns do Everything without supervision. Attendings sleep with interns, the staff sleeps with everyone and surgery interns are so friendly that they feel perfectly comfortable discussing masturbation, sex, and even strip naked, at every oppurtunity, in public. None of this has any consequence on their proffesional reputation. In the world of Grey's anatomy, when hearing hoofbeats, think Zebras. I love this world. Oh why can't the Mad House be in Seattle?

The season finale seemed more about the internal conflicts than about actual medicine. It was intended to make sure we come back when the super-six return for a second season.

1. Mr. Fragrin and the Cirrhosis.

In Cirrhosis of the liver scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue. Most commonly this happens as a result of alcoholism but other, more rare diseases, can cause it as well. Due to the decrease in productions of proteins by the liver Ascites often results, a condition where fluid accumulates in the peritoneal cavity, the abdomen. Yang and Izzy perform an abdominocentesis and the patient dies during the procedure. In order to prove that the death was not of their doing they perform an unauthorized autopsy.

Paging Surg-path intern you're needed in the morgue! (For the death of your own career).

These 'expert' pathologists discover that he had a condition also known to cause cirrhosis (much more rarely though) called Hemochromatosis. It is a genetic disease that causes excessive absorption of iron from food. This iron accumulates in the liver, pancreas, skin and heart and can cause Cirrhosis, Jaundice, Heart Failure and Diabetes (Often called 'Bronze Diabetes').

It's much more rare than alcoholism but we must think Zebras. For fun, I suggest attempting to perform your own unauthorized autopsy. I take no responsibilty for what happens.

2. Gonadal Hermaphrodism: A case of a man, Burke's best friend, who presented with hematuria (microscopic amounts of blood in the urine) that led to a cystoscopy. During the procedure a mass was found that was later diagnosed as an ovary.

The condition is a congenital defect that is present at birth. The genitalia are usually ambiguous and these children need surgery to correct the appearance. A finding such as this in a thirty year old male is unlikely in that he would have surely known about his condition.

The story gets more convoluted for drama, his wife is pregnant. His condition makes it impossible for the baby to be his and so Burke discovers the wife's infidelity, which he now must disclose. Talk about a bummer? how would you like to find out you have ovaries and a wife who cheats. Poor Burke doesn't know he's got a doozy coming his way next season!

Paging Surge-Psych!! Surge-Endocrinology! Surge-gyn!
Paging some sanity in an impossible world.

The story of Yang's pregnancy doesn't really continue. We are left to wait for next season.

As for Dempsey and Pompeo (Meredith), the last scene is a cliff hanger as Dempsey's wife spontaneously appears and says to Meredith:

"Hi, I'm Mrs. Shepard, and you must be the bimbo who's screwing my husband!"


I bet they're seperating, otherwise, why would Dempsey be sleeping in a trailor?

BTW Ms. Pompeo, my wife hates your eyebrows. Sorry, she made me put that in.
Until next season, this is the MMM signing off on my round-table of a mediocre medically oriented soap opera.