Television shows and movies are often seen as sources of inspiration for their viewers. Whether it’s keeping up with Dr. Meredith Grey, the namesake character of the longest-running medical drama on television, “Grey’s Anatomy,” or rooting for Dr. Shaun Murphy in “The Good Doctor,” there’s no doubt medical-centered television shows and movies are popular categories in entertainment.
However, the common occurrence within these major medical dramas is seemingly the lack of any osteopathic physicians (DOs).
“I am unashamed to say that I love TV — especially medical dramas,” said Weston Grant, a first-year medical student at the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM). “I’ve known I’ve wanted to be a doctor since sixth grade, and those shows — while highly fictionalized — have inspired me along the way, in the context of medicine.”
In an effort to balance the scales, Student Doctor Grant — with the support of ICOM’s Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) Chapter — wrote a proposal advocating for osteopathic representation in the entertainment industry.
“Now, watching these shows as a DO student, I’ve started to realize that there aren’t any characters who are DOs — they’re all MDs,” Grant said.
With 114,425 practicing osteopathic physicians currently in the U.S., according to the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), DOs are projected to represent more than 20 percent of all practicing physicians by 2020. Grant says medical dramas should be representative of the field.
Student Doctor Grant’s proposal, Resolution: S-19-16, was approved by SOMA’s House of Delegates on March 4, 2019, and now moves on to the AOA.