Monday, May 09, 2005

Grey’s Anatomy: The Self Destruct Button. A Resident’s Review

Oh my, where shall I begin?

It is not entirely out of the question that someone on the Grey’s Anatomy writing staff has been reading my blog. I'm sure they’ve read through my review of the last two episodes (here and here).

In fact, they’ve taken such a dislike to my criticism, however constructive and supportive I may be, that they have devised a simple but effective strategy to deal with it.

“We shall overwhelm the resident with multiple plotlines so that he shall be rendered incapacitated, unable to think, and furthermore, unable to offer any criticism”.

Oh Let Me Count The Ways: Everyone finds out about Dr. Grey and Dempsey/Dr. Shepard, Clair from overseas with an over neurotic mother and an unnecessary gastric bypass, little child (yes, we take care of peds too now, what you haven’t heard?) with the fascinating case of Rasmussen’s Encephalopathy, Masochist bullet man, Crazy swallow key boyfriend, dear alcoholic anesthesiologist, and the topper, Yang (YGMNS) is PREGNANT!.

Did you really believe this would work?

In what I have to say would be the best episode yet, the Producers/Directors/Writers have decided to incorporate seven, yes this number is correct, plotlines into one episode. Some were more developed than others, some more interesting, but all in all I was much more intrigued that usual.

Take it from the top Sam:

The Affair: The opening scene sets the tone as a naked (but well-covered) Meredith Gray awakens in bed next to her favorite brain surgeon. The roommates are intrigued by the romp’opalozza that took place during the night that they sneak a peek at the lovely lover leaving.

Oh what a tangled web we weave.

The affair quickly spreads throughout the hospital and looks like it will only get more interesting as the season goes on. It will get her in more trouble. You can bet your life on it!

Dr. Grey, still not doing surgery interns just right, is involved in probably the most interesting case of the night, the young girl who travels overseas to undergo an unnecessary gastric bypass operation. Still, as much as I love to look at Ellen Pompeo, and as much as I hate the way she plays a surgery intern, she did manage to have the best line of the night:

“Why do I keep hitting myself with a hammer? Because it feels so good when I stop”

Clair: This teen wanted so badly to live up to her mother’s expectations and staying thin that she went overseas to have a gastric bypass unnecessarily.

I found this plotline really interesting. A quick search on the net turned up no previous cases. I am sure any licensed physician, even in Mexico, would have lost his license had he performed such a surgery on this patient.

She goes on to develop complications and when it’s all over now suffers of short bowel syndrome. She will never be fat again, unfortunately, for people suffering of this condition that is the least of their problems.

Short Bowel Syndrome occurs in people who have had more than half of their intestines removed. The etiology is evident in the name in that the main problem is the fact that their intestines are too short and therefore unable to absorb enough, or the right kinds, of nutrients to sustain life. They often need injections, IV infusions, and more of the same to properly develop. The most common reason for short bowel was resection due to severe Crohn’s Disease (IBD). Over the years, surgery to treat Crohn’s became discouraged and is confined only to extremely severe cases. Therefore, Short Bowel Syndrome is now rare.

Overall, great Psychiatry case. Oh wait, no psychiatrist saw her, hmmmmmm…


This is a little child with Rasmussen’s Encephalitis.

Fear not, even I had to look this one up.

You can find more information on it here. Of course it’s rare, extremely rare. But hey let’s face it, diabetes is not all that exciting and this is prime time television.

Rasmussen's Encephalitis (RE) is a progressive inflammation of the part of the brain called the cerebral cortex, which is made up of a right and a left hemisphere. The disease starts at one site in one hemisphere and spreads to adjoining areas on the same side. Curiously, it does not spread to the other hemisphere. The inflammation leads to loss of nerve cells and scar formation and usually results in severe disability. Although RE is most often diagnosed in children under the age of 10 years, it can also start in adolescence and adulthood. It is a rare disorder and probably affects one person in every 500,000 to 1,000,000.
Here is what’s even rarer. They had the correct diagnosis, in the right patient, and here’s the big bang, they even performed the correct procedure. Will the writers please stand up and give yourself a big pat on the back…okay…stop! The story was then complicated by an alcohol impaired Anesthesiologist.
Substance abuse among physicians is well documented and has become a significant problem. In some reports rates of alcohol abuse among physicians is the same as the general population, whereas substance abuse rates are slightly higher than the general population. One of the main problems is ease of access. Anesthesiologists are especially at risk because of their ability to obtain controlled substances through their work. This has become such a significant problem in the specialty that some advocates are pushing for random drug testing.

All other plotlines: Masochist bullet man got what he deserved. Key swallow boyfriend needs more psychiatric help.

Psychiatry, what’s that?

And keep family members and all other close friends OUT of procedure rooms. You ask why? Don’t.

Miranda is a chief resident or a resident. I finally figured this out. I am confident saying this, I’m unsure why.

They’ve committed to making Dempsey the “Brain Specialist”. Not quite confining him to “Neurosurgeon” so that he can scrub in on practically anything and I can offer no criticism for this paradox. Very underhanded and devious. I love it!

Yang is Pregnant. Nice hook into next week’s show.

More “bitch” please Dr. Grey.

Overall, loved this episode. I must say you’re improving steadily. I will continue to comment on your performance of course, but I will be picky. I will choose only some plotlines to comment at length and others for one liners. That will be my counter-strategy. Whadaya gonna do now?