Overused tropes in hospital dramas

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This survey from goo Ranking took a look at what things often happen in hospital dramas.

I’m not sure how well the word “tropes” is known; Google tells me it is “a significant or recurrent theme; a motif”, but I am most familiar with it through the web site TV Tropes, a site that takes an often humorous look (and a too-often over-obsessive look) at themes that pop up in popular media; here is their take on number 1, Miracles Occur, or as they entitle it Unexplained Recovery.

No hospital pictures to hand, so instead here’s blood-typed towels

Blood type towel

Ranking result

Q: What tropes do you often find in hospital dramas? (Sample size=500, multiple answer)

Rank
 
Votes
1
Miracles occur
142
2
The doctors are all young and attractive
129
3
Everyone tends to head for the hospital roof
117
4
The place falls into chaos as a big accident delivers lots of patients
110
5
The lead doctor is a lone wolf
105
6
Incidents occur within the hospital
92
7
A patient croaks out his final words and soon croaks it
92
8=
The female doctors wear high heels
86
8=
Doctors tend to get passionate about one particular patient’s treatment
86
8=
There’s lots of coughing up of blood
86
11
All the women in the hospital have perfect hair and makeup
85
12
Their make up is still perfect at the end of their shift
82
13
There’s a lot of towels drying on the hospital roof
78
14=
There’s a doctor traumatised by a mistake at an operation in the past
75
14=
There’s a patient who refuses to go under the knife
75
16
The hospital boss is of poor character
74
17
There is an over-confident doctor
72
18
All the staff gather to see a patient discharged
70
19
The same doctors and nurses are on duty day and night
69
20
There is a new doctor with no desire for the job
68
21
Doctors get called to work for emergencies on their days off
67
22
Blood flies during operations
66
23
There is a patient who pulls out their own drip
62
24
A patient who looks OK actually has a serious illness
61
25=
There is a clumsy nurse
59
25=
There is a patient who has been hospitalised for a long time
59
27
The doctors have excessively bad blood between them
58
28=
It’s supposed to be a new-born infant, but the kid is surprisingly large
57
28=
The doctor is just an intern, but they play a key role in an operation
57
30=
The doctors themselves go down with an illness
56
30=
A doctor meets with a family member who has had an accident and has been rushed to hosptial
56
32
An intern cannot stand the sight of blood
55
33
The matron is strict
54
34
A patient disappears
52
35
There’s an argument in the operating theatre
51
36
There’s a lot of doctor-nurse couples
50
37=
Patients recover surprisingly quickly
49
37=
Doctors get called just as they are about to take a nap
49
39
A parent who has lost their child gets in a doctor’s face
48
40
Even though they are a ward nurse, they also participate in operations, out-patients
46
41=
There’s a girly-girl nurse
44
41=
Before putting on his whites the doctor is unnecessarily bare-chested
44
43
There’s rivalry between nurse factions
42
44
The doctor doesn’t wear a mask during operations
40
45
The atmosphere is tense before promotions are announced
38
46
There tends to be operation image training
37
47
Differing from reality, heart massage is gentle
36
48
The doctor’s bit on the side is a nurse
28
49
The doctor falls in love with a patient
26

Demographics

goo Rankings asked iBRIDGE’s Research Plus to conduct this survey, where on the 13th of September 2017 500 members, 50:50 male and female and aged between 20 and 39 years old, of their monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographics were given.

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