Fox’s The Resident: Everything Stereotypically Bad About Hospitals (Part 1/2)

Seems like this television season there have been quite a few new medical dramas hitting the airwaves. I’ve done a four part series on The Good Doctor (Part 1, Part 2Part 3, and Part 4) and 9-1-1. Newest onto the small screen is Fox’s The Resident.

It will make you hate hospitals and everything about them.

There are a few that say to me, “Why try and correct all this misinformation? Most people know it’s not factual.” It might actually surprise you how many people view what they see on television as real and true. The recent demise of crock pots everywhere after an episode This Is Us led the company to release a statement about their safety.

The Resident highlights every horrible hospital stereotype . . . literally on the planet. This is pretty amazing for a show to do in one hour.  The show centers around two residents: the senior resident Dr. Conrad Hawkins and a new bright and shiny resident, Dr. Devon Pravesh. One big problem . . . it’s not even clear what type of residents they are.

Hawkins is the gunslinger. The medical doctor who knows everything under the sun and bucks corruption (and common sense) at every possible turn. He is brash, arrogant, and needs a few classes in mentoring and bedside manner. Well, not just him, but really the entire cast of doctors from the senior attending with tremors who shouldn’t be doing surgery anymore to the wicked smart surgical resident who, in a room full of people (and on the fly by no less) states to a family that the result of their loved ones surgery was “Prescott’s dead.”


I don’t even like this show a little bit. As it stands now, I personally find nothing redeeming about it. Not only medically, but socially as well.

Here is just a short list to get us started on what’s wrong with The Resident.

An open appendectomy. Appendectomies are mostly done laparoscopically. In this patient, it’s even commented that it hasn’t ruptured so it should be the easiest of all appendectomies. However, this patient has a heinously large incision and the attending physician (the one with the horrible hand tremors) nicks an artery and the patient dies.

A short surgical code. It is true that surgeons don’t like deaths to occur in the actual OR. Considering that, the surgical code (compared to a medical code later) is laughingly short. Like big shrugs around the room after a few minutes— golly gee, our patient is dead.  Not sure how we treat hemorrhage.

The cover-up. I can’t say with one-hundred percent certainty that no bad medical outcome is hidden, but I will say that the climate is definitely supporting the truth coming out in the hospital setting. In this television episode, it’s plainly clear that this attending surgeon has a reputation for bad outcomes and the staff has been covering this up for a while. After the patient dies, they develop “the story” to cover up the surgeon’s negligence. Hands down, this puts too many careers at risk and most people aren’t willing to take that chance. This is beyond “playing along”. Most hospitals have corporate compliance hotlines where concerns can be left anonymously. Honestly, it would increase the tension of this television show to have someone trying to expose him.

Next post, we’ll continue our discussion on the medical inaccuracies of The Resident.


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