According to every single medical drama there is (except maybe the Flying Doctors, because that’s pretty ‘80s and I’m too young to remember that), here are some hard and fast rules about medical treatment:
If an illness can’t be diagnosed by “doing bloods” or ordering a bajillion scans, then the only test left to try will be a lumbar puncture. Patients always need lumbar punctures. I can’t stress this enough people. Doesn’t matter if they have a broken arm, they will need a lumbar puncture.
If you are a young doctor on your first shift, for some reason you will be required to perform a dangerously complex and experimental operation, with no supervision. Probably during a blackout or infectious diseases scare. You’ll likely pull it off, especially if you are a good-looking young doctor, but you’ll have the surly head surgeon to deal with later (but don't worry, they'll probably be secretly in love with you).
If you are a young doctor on your first shift, it will probably be a 63-hour straight shift, with no sleeping and crisis after crisis after dramatic crisis. You’re likely to sneak in a quick nap in the café after turning off your pager. At which time, all patients under your care will simultaneously develop massive ‘complications’ and die before you can get back to the ward.
The only time you’ll see a gay patient in a hospital is when they are being treated for AIDS. Gays never ever get any other kind of illness.
All nurses at some stage will be required to “go beyond their authority” under circumstances of extreme pressure (blackout or infectious diseases scare – or possibly even stuck in a lift with a patient on the way to urgent surgery) and perform an emergency tracheotomy using a pocket-knife and a Bic pen with the insides pulled out.
If a patient is homeless/in an abusive relationship/mentally ill, “social services” won’t be able to help and you’ll have to take them into your own home, with disastrous consequences, solely for the purposes of developing your character and learning a lesson about trust and naivety.
You’ll be surprised by the number of times you’ll discover, through testing, that a patient’s parents aren’t the biological parents, and have been lying to their son/daughter for years and years. No matter what illness the patient has, you’ll have to break the news regarding their lying parents to them in dramatic circumstances for them to have any chance of recovery.
Chances are that dramatic irony will eventually determine your fate, and you’ll end up dying of some horrific disease, just to prove that even doctors are humans too.
I don’t understand why medical students need to undergo 17 years of intensive training. It’s all there on TV.