6 BS Medical Cliches Movies and Shows Need To Stop Using

We need 10cc of reality, STAT.
6 BS Medical Cliches Movies and Shows Need To Stop Using

We know by now that most real-world jobs shown on-screen in movies and TV aren't accurate, and medical stuff is no exception. Unfortunately, the bad part about lies is that we start to believe them once they get repeated enough,  like ...

Always Use Freud To Make A Psychological Point

TV shows and movies love to reference Freud's theories to the point you might even be using them without even realizing it. Remember when you suspect your boss bought that car to compensate for a small dick? You can thank Freud for that.

Photocreo Michal Bednarek/Shutterstock
Well, Freud and oil subsidies.

Freud's methods are still somewhat relevant, given that he's still taught at university levels around the world ... except if you are actually studying psychology. Mainly because mental science has proven that pretty much everything he ever said is wrong. Sure, Freud's ideas were a basis for many modern ones, but overall his methods are largely considered outdated, debunked, and replaced with far better ones to the point there's doubt it will ever be relevant again in medicine.

This doesn't stop characters on TV and films from referencing Freud's ideas, especially if they want to sound deep, regardless of countless scientific research on the contrary. For example, Woody Allen's so obsessed with Freud's psychoanalysis that he usually makes sure to shoehorn a scene reminding us he loves therapy. 

Even when he played an ant in that 90s CGI movie (the not Pixar one), they made sure to drop a scene where his character, a cartoon ant, is sitting on a couch while talking about his family traumas.

To summarize: Freud has aged about as well as this movie.

Another classic is using a "Freudian slip" like when Ross from Friends was marrying Emily, but instead of saying her name during the vows, he blurts out the name of his true love, Rachel.

Even a genius neurobiologist like Amy in the Big Bang Theory couldn't resist taking up the idea that women have penis envy completely seriously:

But using his ideas today would be like still relying on leeches for medicine. Sure, technically, it still exists, but slapping a bloodsucking worm on your infected Bulbasaur ass tattoo is pretty dumb when antibiotics are around.

Amnesia Changes A Person's Personality

On-screen, amnesia is just like deleting an app from your phone or restoring it to factory settings. Just hit someone in the head, and they will conveniently forget the exact memory you need them to like the killer's identity, or that their dog can talk, or that their talking dog is the killer. You can even restart their personalities to make them less or more of an asshole. 

Like how in Hancock, when Will Smith's character forgot his entire backstory, including why he is basically Superman because someone hit him on the head.

Which sounds a lot better than "The writers got bored with creating my backstory halfway through."

Except that in real life, amnesia is not selective of what memories get lost. In movies, people forget everything about their pasts while retaining their amazing god-like skills like being the world's deadliest shot or being able to always find free city parking. In real life, most patients remember their names and at least some parts of their history. Head blows aren't just magical reset buttons, and in fact, they aren't even the biggest causes of amnesia. You're much more likely to get some memory loss due to psychological trauma, a viral infection, or even alcoholism

But what about that part about amnesiac people basically becoming completely different people? ODragon Ball Z, Goku was basically a nasty child on his way to world domination until a head injury turned him into a hero pure enough to ride a magic cloud that is pickier than Thor's hammer.

We can't even imagine how many episodes it took to charge up to a hit with lasting effects for once.

It never happens because amnesic people always retain their personalities and self of identity intact. In other words, that douchebag that shares things on Facebook would still likely be sharing questionable memes if they could remember their password.

Waking Up From A Coma Is Just Like Waking Up From A Bad Dream

According to movies being in a coma is just like sleeping but longer and sexier, and it works exactly the same as it did with Sleeping Beauty, but with expensive hospital bills that will make you wish you had never woken up.

Walt Disney Pictures
Also, hopefully, with some better behavior out of your bedside visitors.

Even if the coma has lasts months or years, they are otherwise fine. And on the day that they inevitably wake up, they just need to put their shoes on, take a really long pee, and they are good to go as if nothing happened. Like Faith from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, who had been in a coma for a year, only had to deal with having some dull makeup but otherwise was able to just wake up and bounce.

"Get all these tubes out of me; I'm supposed to be at a softball game right now."

It's also a great excuse to have a character out of commission without them actually being dead until they can negotiate an actor's paycheck, or as a way for them to suddenly wake in a weird situation like a zombie apocalypse.

We guess zombies must really not care much for stationary lunch for this same scene to happen twice.

In reality, comas aren't like sleeping at all. For one, patients aren't just still as if they were playing dead. During a coma, patients often move as if they were awake and often randomly smile, open their eyes, or seem to want to speak. Waking from one isn't a picnic either, and you won't be able to just go home. Remember all those years a coma patient did literally nothing? 

They come back with a vengeance as all that inactivity will cause huge damage to the body like muscular atrophy or other nasty intellectual aide effects that will require a lot of rehabilitation. You would be lucky if you could stand up on your own, and certainly wouldn't be able to fight zombies as if nothing had happened, as Rick does in The Walking Dead

And that's without even getting into all the psychological trauma that will cause missing huge chunks of your life.

You Need To Suck The Venom Out Of A Bite Victim

Snake bites are bad. Shocking, we know, luckily, thanks to movies, everyone also knows what to do to cure them. Simply suck on the wound like a confused vampire, spit the venom out, and the victim will be just fine. But you also have to quickly apply a tourniquet to stop the venom from spreading. Simple, right? Like when, and this might be hard to believe, someone got bitten by a snake on a plane in the movie Snakes On A Plane. The first thing a woman tries to save a kid's life by sucking the venom of a kid's arm to save his life:

Even Red Dead Redemption, a video game praised for its realistic portrayal of animals, shows its protagonist saving his dog's life by, you guessed it, sucking the venom out.

This is safe for work, but, like, use headphones. You don't want just the audio out of context.

Kids shows aren't exempt from this idea either, like how in Disney's Lion Guard, one of Simba's son friends gets bitten by a snake and everyone's first reaction is to suck the venom out.

Now, this method could technically work in real life ... assuming you're sucking as fast as a horny Flash, but otherwise, you're just licking someone for no reason. Which will do squat to prevent someone from dying because a snake's venom spreads ridiculously fast that by the point you even open your mouth, it's already too late to just suck it out.

If anything, you would be making things worse because licking and sucking the wound is more likely to cause an infection and damage both nerves and blood vessels. As for using a tourniquet? That's trash, too, because you're concentrating the venom into a small area and could just result in someone losing an arm or a leg. The correct answer for what to do is the most boring one: just go to the doctor. The good news is that your snakes are very unlikely to use venom on a human because the venom doesn't come cheap, so even if a snake attacks you, the bite could be a "dry bite" with no venom at all, meaning the snake couldn't even find you worthy of wasting poisoning on.

Childbirth Is A Race Against The Clock Horror Movie

According to Hollywood, the instant a woman's water breaks basically begins a quick countdown for a kicking baby-bomb ready to blow out of her uterus. But contrary to what shows like Desperate Housewives, Modern Family, or Sex And The City would like to believe ...

... water breaking is so uncommon to actually signaling the start of labor that around 90% begin without them. Most women have them broken for them in the hospital or when they are already giving birth. The next step is then showing the parents forced to rush to the hospital with the crazed urgency of stoned college kids running to McDonald's when McRib is back.

In reality, births are very lengthy, and it can take several hours for the baby to be ready to be born, and that's not even counting the procedure itself, which could add several more. 

20th Television
"She's having contractions!  Quick, get her to a hospital in ... 8-12 hours?  Seriously?"

Organ Donations And Transplants Are Evil

 If there is a profession that TV usually trusts blindly is doctors ... Unless it's about organ transplants. Then doctors become even shadier than the worst drug cartels with shows like Grey's Anatomy constantly portraying them as vultures that are continually lusting for their patients' organs. Even when doctors aren't involved, things can get nasty, like when a woman in Grey's Anatomy donated a kidney to a boyfriend that just dumped her and didn't even bother to call her back.

But isn't there a list or something? Doctors cheat on those all the time. Then there is the organ market like in The Resident where patients need to deal with their local Organ Broker to have a chance at life, which is portrayed as being something completely normal like tipping a barista at your local coffee/kidney shop.

Doctors are shown as being so cold that doctor House had to attempt to convince an evil committee of doctors to allow a patient to get a heart transplant.

The process is horrifying to the point Netflix even created a horror series based on organ donations, and overall shows have scared a lot of people from donating organs

Except that's all complete bullshit. Organ donations are highly regulated in the United States, and selling organs or giving preferential priority to the rich and famous would land doctors in jail if they were ever caught. In fact, any attempt to give money, or anything for that matter, is against federal law.

Doctors aren't even allowed to even think about organ donation, even if you've registered as an organ donor, and they are obligated to save the patient's life. Finding matches for organs and tissues is a very tightly and regulated process that involves a national computer system and many criteria that aren't just decided by one sexy bad boy doctor, no matter how smoldering their glare is. 

Abraham is a Mexican lawyer, say hi to him on Twitter here. He also has the best sister ever and he dares you to check out her YouTube channel here

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