Author: Sara Habibipour
Lately, I’ve been watching several medical documentaries on Youtube, and they’re just so inspiring and really make me want to enter the medical field more. No, I’m not talking about Grey’s Anatomy or those kinds of medical shows. Rather, real life documentaries of what goes on inside a hospital. Some of them are longer, and some are shorter. But, all of them are informative and educational, and I highly recommend that you watch them. And the best part is, all of these can be found for FREE on Youtube!
1. Making Rounds: Medical Education Documentary Film by Mount Sinai Health System
If you only had to watch one of these documentaries, make sure it’s this one. This film was life-changing. It really opened my eyes to the importance of maintaining some of the traditional physical examination techniques even though we live in an age of technology.
The film follows around two very wise and experienced cardiologists as they cared for critically-ill heart patients in the Cardiac Care Unit at The Mount Sinai Hospital, while also teaching residents and fellows their techniques. They teach that simply listening to patients at the bedside remains medicine’s most indispensable tool over any technology.
This film helps preserve the disappearing art and science of how to examine and diagnose patients at the bedside for future generations of physicians.
In this film you actually get to see what goes on inside the hospital, and you witness full interactions between the doctors and the patients.
I really urge you to watch this documentary. It’s so, so interesting! I could watch it over and over again (and I have)!
2. The Four Years of Medical School
If you’re wondering if medical school is the right path for you, then you should watch this documentary. It follows around 6 Loma Linda University School of Medicine Students throughout their daily lives. It shows what the classes are like, what their daily lives are like, and their paths to residency.
If you’re wondering the timing of events during medical school, for example when to take standardized tests and when you apply to residency, this is also a good documentary for you to watch!
3. Mission Critical | Inside the ICU
This medical documentary was filmed in the Royal Gwent Hospital last summer, in South Wales. They are actually just starting to put out more episodes, so there are going to be several more episodes of this series coming out soon (in fact, a couple more just came out this week)!
This documentary films the hospital's most critically ill patients, and captures how things can turn for the worst at any instance. It also captures one of the hardest parts about being a doctor: telling people that their loved ones may not survive.
This film follows around several patients in the ICU and the outcomes of their medical treatment, as well as the doctors and nurses trying to keep these patients alive.
You should definitely watch this film if you want to see what the operations of a pre-COVID ICU look like, especially if you are interested in being a critical care specialist.
4. Junior Doctor Diaries
This medical documentary is also filmed in the UK, and again there are several different episodes, each highlighting a different junior doctor (or resident, as we call them in the US). The episode I’ve linked above is particularly about what happens in the pediatric emergency room, so if you’re interested in pediatrics, I highly recommend you watch it!
Other episodes focus more on geriatrics, surgery, and other fields, but I recommend that you watch all of them regardless of what specialty you are interested in. I personally like these documentaries because they really show what doctor-patient interactions are like, and they don’t sugarcoat the difficult conversations which doctors often face.
5. On the Frontlines at a NY Hospital Full of Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients
This is a shorter documentary, so if you only have a few minutes to relax and watch a video, then watch this one! It was posted back in April when New York was facing more coronavirus cases, but it is still relevant and interesting to see what happens in the ICU during a pandemic.
It also shows a little bit of how being a doctor affects your family life, especially during a pandemic. This video really helps you understand what hospitals are currently facing, and I think it’s an important video that everyone who wants to be a doctor should watch. It’s definitely not glamorous all the time, and this video highlights that side.