Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Only on TV: You’re Always 100% Right- But Not This Time!

In the real world, we often prize the opinions of experts. Their opinion is especially sought after if they seem to be right most of the time. On television, opinions of people who are regularly shown to be absolutely correct are often ignored if the person is considered ‘quirky’.

Even abrasive doctors who save lives can get ignored despite their nearly perfect past diagnoses. After all, why take the risk of curing a deathly ill patient with a diagnosis from a doctor who is rarely wrong? He’s sometimes a jerk! Certainly the grieving family will be comforted with the knowledge that their loved one might have been saved, but the treatment was summarily rejected because it came from a doctor that the others dislike.

An extreme version of this instance occurred on ABC’s The Good Doctor. The lead doctor has autism, which makes his colleagues regularly disregard his diagnoses and berate him in front of patients. On one episode, a sick girl was misdiagnosed by his colleagues and sent home. In the middle of the night, he figured out the real diagnoses and went to the girl’s house to tell her parents that theyneeded to get her to the hospital immediately. The parents, who allegedly cared about their daughter, instead berated the doctor and said that they wouldn’t take their daughter in for emergency surgery- but would be going to the hospital the next morning to get him fired. Of course, the daughter starts exhibiting the very symptoms the doctor pointed out and gets rushed to the hospital just in the nick of time.

In the real world, even if they questioned the sanity of the doctor showing up at midnight, good parents would have immediately rushed their child to the hospital on the off chance that the doctor was right. Only on TV would parents ignore the doctor’s advice just because he was strange.