‘Grey’s Anatomy’: The One Medical Error The Show Makes Is a Massive Mistake

In the world of TV medical dramas, Grey’s Anatomy is possibly the most iconic. The show, which is one of the longest-running medical dramas in television history, has been around since 2005 and continues to earn scores of fans, year after year.

With long-running series regulars like Ellen Pompeo helming the show, it seems likely that Grey’s Anatomy will remain a mainstay for years to come. In spite of its immense popularity, the show has made some pretty major mistakes — including one that anyone with a basic knowledge of medical procedures would be able to spot. 

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ has earned critical acclaim

Grey’s Anatomy debuted on television in March 2005, and immediately, television history was changed forever. The show centers around the doctors and staff of the fictional Grey and Sloan Memorial Hospital in Seattle.

Grey’s Anatomy not only featured many intense scenes of surgeries and medical processes but is focused on the personal lives of the doctors and residents, as well. 

The cast has changed many times over the course of the years. While some cast members have gone on to achieve even greater fame after Grey’s Anatomy, such as Patrick Dempsey, others have suffered from bad press, and to this day, their work on Grey’s Anatomy remains the peak of their career.

Ellen Pompeo, who plays Dr. Meredith Grey, has been on the show since the very beginning, and today, is one of the highest-paid TV actresses. 

How realistic is ‘Grey’s Anatomy’?

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on 'Grey's Anatomy' Season 15 "We Didn't Start the Fire"
Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Eric McCandless via Getty Images

Grey’s Anatomy has received a lot of critical praise over the years, with reporters praising the show for the writing and the character development. In terms of realism, however, Grey’s Anatomy does leave something to be desired.

While many viewers might find the medically-focused scenes to be very true-to-life, doctors and medical professionals have stated that the show isn’t actually very realistic. They claim Grey’s Anatomy often misrepresents what it is like to be a physician at a hospital.

In addition, although showrunners often refer to a real-life medical team when coming up with the plot points and cases that the show’s doctors deal with, sources state that one hospital simply wouldn’t deal with the high volume of unusual cases that they do in the show.

Still, fans love the high level of drama in Grey’s Anatomy, and even if it isn’t the most realistic medical drama around, it is undoubtedly one of the most popular. 

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ made a major medical error


‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Is Grey Sloan Memorial a Real Hospital? Yes and No

Out of all the years that Grey’s Anatomy has been on the air, one particular storyline has become notorious for being medically inaccurate. During one episode, a patient named Sylvia is admitted to the hospital, requiring urgent medical attention due to a fork being stuck in her neck.

While the story of how she got the fork in her neck might be hilarious enough, the fact remained that Meredith Grey had to get the fork out of her neck with no damage to the rest of Sylvia’s neck and throat area. Dr. Grey orders an MRI, which was likely an immediate red flag to any medical professional watching the episode.

Since an MRI machine is basically a large magnet, in real life, the fork would have been pulled out of Sylvia’s neck, causing significant damage and putting her in danger. The episode has become famous among Grey‘s fans, not only for the singularity of the incident that caused the fork in the neck but for the unlikely MRI ordered by Meredith Grey.