Current Media Shapes Our Future


Medical students can be set on certain paths due to influences such as current media. Photo provided by University of Nottingham.


Through social media and pop culture, various TV shows and movies have gained popularity among teenage groups, including the students at FHS. Many of these shows portray a specific occupation as the basis of the plot line such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Criminal Minds” and “Making a Murderer.” Although these shows do not show the reality of the true occupations, they can lead to a gaining of interest in a certain job.

Through the 366 episodes in 16 seasons, adding up to about 14,640 minutes (given each episode is about 40 minutes), I have spent over 10 entire days watching medical show Grey’s Anatomy. Although the show has varied plot lines covering more than purely medical cases, it has increased my interest in the medical field leading to more research. Not only am I discovering the flaws within the TV show, but I am also seeing my possibilities to continue on to a medical path. Researching colleges with good medical programs along with the possibilities for nursing school or my masters degree is already on my radar. Without the media outlets such as Netflix, it is unlikely that I would have gained interest in this area. With neither of my parents having a medical profession, it is difficult to understand just exactly what it means to be a nurse or work in a hospital from them. 

The influence of TV shows is relatively new as platforms to put TV shows are more readily available now than ever. Our parents’ generation grew up without Netflix and Hulu, leading them to be influenced to choose careers by different factors, such as the occupations of family. 

The TV shows also help marginalized groups see people like them in leadership positions. Miranda Bailey in “Grey’s Anatomy” becomes the Chief of Surgery in later seasons after she is an attending. Meredith Grey, Maggie Pierce, Amelia Shepherd and many other women are also the head of their specialty. Seeing women as head surgeons gives more encouragement for women to not be held back from jobs because of stereotypes. 

Although TV shows do not always show the reality of occupations, they are influencing the students of today towards jobs that they might have not considered before.