I am always surprised when I read a novel, see a movie, or watch a TV drama about what little research authors or directors have done when medical characters or information is included. Of particular concern is that some teenagers and college students decide to become doctors because of the "glamour" they see portrayed on the screen or in books. Seeing a glamourous young woman doctor in high heels and wearing designer clothes just isn't the real world. I am sure there are some physicians in fields, such as psychiatry, who can dress like that, but if you are a doctor working in an emergency room, the operating room or seeing countless patients each day, that isn't the life of a real doctor.
My other concern about the impression young people can get is that doctors make great amounts of money. Yes, there are plastic surgeons and cardiac surgeons who do make far too much money. Pediatricians and psychiatrists are at the bottom of the money made made unless they accept only cash or bill enormous false amounts to Medicare or Medicaid. I once had a doctor friend, who worked as an investigator for Medi-Cal in California, ask me if a pediatrician could make $100,000 in one year by billing Medi-Cal. That would be impossible, I told him, unless the man was cheating. Unfortunately, that seems to happen a lot these days. I sat next to a teenager at the luncheon for my son when he graduated from medical school and asked the youth what he wanted to be. He quickly answered "I want to be a doctor and make a lot of money." We had a long talk and I understand he now works on Wall Street. I am so glad he is not another greedy doctor. I recently had a woman skin doctor say she needed one hundred dollars before she would remove a benign lesion. Her doctor father would have been appalled. I did not pay the money, but went elsewhere.