How Grey’s Anatomy Fooled Me into Thinking I Had Cancer

A Conversation on the Uses of Empathy and Misinformation in Medical Dramas

  • Neil Wary Stanford Undergraduate


It’s often hard to distinguish between fact and opinion, especially in today’s age of media. This becomes a controversial topic once the media disperses information that could potentially be harmful to the public, particularly involving medicine. In this essay, a patient case is used as motivation to understand the complex relationship between medical misinformation in the media and empathy. Following is a discussion of how misinformation and empathy work with the human mind, and how medical dramas use them to their advantage. Then, Grey’s Anatomy is used as a case study to see how the show implements empathy and misinformation. Finally, an analysis of the positives and negatives of the medical drama is presented along with suggestions of how to improve medical dramas – particularly looking at possible outcomes for positive change in this medium of communication. keywords: empathy, medical misinformation, Grey’s Anatomy, health communication, medical drama
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