Doctor series

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Doctor series are television series that depict the everyday life of doctors , nurses , medical assistants and patients working in doctors ' offices or hospitals . Typical for doctor series are interpersonal conflicts between doctors or hospital staff and the patient, and in more recent series also the use of medical terminology .


Form and staging

In contrast to soap operas, there is usually no infinite plot in doctor series. Each episode is mostly self-contained, but often moves with a linear level of action. Cliffhangers are also rarely used, which are used to leave the plot open by means of a particularly dramatic event at the end of an episode so that the viewer gets the appropriate introduction to the next episode. Each episode deals with a certain topic (which can differ from character to character), but the plot is mostly based on the previous episode only to a certain extent.

Doctor's series also differ from soap operas in terms of narrative speed . While in soap operas it is important that the viewer can still follow the plot even if he has missed a few episodes, this is not a decisive criterion for the popularity of a series with hospital series, since at the beginning of an episode there is usually a small flashback in form a clip is shown or the actions (important for the relevant narrative strands) are briefly discussed again at the beginning of the episode.

Doctor series (like other TV series) cannot be precisely determined in terms of the narrative speed. Some series (for example Emergency Room ) deal with several narrative threads per episode, which usually end at the same time. This can be up to 18 storylines that run parallel to each other and create a hectic atmosphere. Other series (such as Scrubs ) tend to focus on a few storylines, although not all characters are always present and have an actual role in the episode. For example, a main line is created that revolves around the main character, from whose point of view hospital life is portrayed, i.e. the narrative perspective always starts from the main character, regardless of whether he or she plays in the episode or a certain scene or not. The other strands form a network, without which the main strand would not function. The main character also often takes a stand at the end of the episode and draws a conclusion from the plot of the previous episode.

A doctor series is usually broadcast weekly at the same time on the same day of the week. Unlike soap operas, which follow a very slow narrative pace, the action of US hospital series usually takes place within one shift . This means that it begins at the beginning of the shift and ends at the end of the shift. Since doctors' shifts sometimes last more than 48 hours, the plot is very condensed.


The topics of doctor series are mostly interpersonal problems between doctors and nursing staff , working relationships between senior physicians, assistant physicians and chief physicians as well as conflicts with patients and their relatives. The focus of the plot is often dying as a result of murder , suicide , rape , fights , dangerous diseases and / or harmless diseases that have not been treated for a long time and now pose a serious risk.

Often times, the plot revolves around a medical specialty such as surgery , pediatrics, or intensive care medicine . Different types of characters can often be found in series (e.g. the nerd, the failure, the honest, the macho ). Political, religious and ethical issues such as racism , discrimination , religious freedom , euthanasia , palliative medicine, etc. also play a major role.

Doctors and surgeons are not always in the foreground of a series of doctors. There are also series in which the main characters are nurses or nursing students. The focus of doctor series is usually either the concrete medical procedure and the ethical problem as well as the interpersonal dimensions or the main focus is on the comedic area.

Examples of doctor and hospital series

German series

German doctor and hospital series are usually produced in a similarly uncomplicated format as soap operas , but they are still very popular. They represent (more or less realistically) everyday life within a German hospital. One of the most successful German hospital series is The Black Forest Clinic and, from the present, the Saxon Clinic .

American series

US hospital series are usually produced in an elaborate format and are usually very popular. They depict everyday life within a US hospital (which is very different from that of German hospitals).

Series from other countries


Critics criticize the lack of reference to reality in doctor series. Viewers would either be deterred or, in an emergency, tempted to act wrongly in order to emulate their series heroes. Since many medical measures do not correspond in hospital series of the reality and many diseases often incorrectly diagnosed would and treated advise critics from getting attach medical and hospital series too much importance.

A successful series includes hectic and the most spectacular medical interventions possible, but laypeople in particular should not learn any medical tricks from the heroes of the respective hospital series. In addition, the "everyday occurrences", especially in the US hospital series, frighten many viewers, so that if they should ever have to go to a hospital they would be particularly afraid of leaving themselves in the hands of the doctors.

A US study also found that consumers of such series see themselves and those around them as much more at risk of disease than usual. This significantly reduces the quality of life.


Individual evidence

  1. Hafenkrankenhaus on
  2. Heartbeat - the rescuers on
  3. [1]
  4. [2]
  5. Question of the week on Sü "Do doctor series make you sick?"
  6. ^ Criticism of hospital series in the Deutsches Ärzteblatt
  7. Criticism of hospital series in the Süddeutsche Zeitung ( memento of the original from April 26, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. Article Doctor series fans have too high expectations from Welt Online
  9. Techniker Krankenkasse: Doctor series have an effect on patient expectations  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  10. Doctor's series could make you afraid of surgery Article at Spiegel Online
  11. ^ Study (abstract): Beyond Materialism: The Role of Health-Related Beliefs in the Relationship Between Television Viewing and Life Satisfaction Among College Students