Watching ‘ER’ Might Have Actually Saved Real Lives, According to Science

The tv show ER was one of the most popular in recent history, with fans still streaming re-runs to this day. The medical drama was created by Michael Crichton, and to say that viewers couldn’t get enough is somewhat of an understatement.

The show ran for 15 seasons from 1994 to 2009, and most fans would agree that it somehow got better and more intense as time went on.

The show is successful for many reasons, and many people are well-aware that it helped launch the career of several famous actors and actresses, including Noah Wyle and George Clooney, and also hosted many guest stars over the years. Fans will remember seeing Mena Suvari, Kristin Davis, and many more as they made appearances before becoming household names.

The premise of ER, as we know, is to show the life of hospital workers as they balance their careers and personal issues, and the medical storylines were so well performed. So much that science now says that watching ER might have actually saved some lives in real life. 

The premise of the ‘ER’ TV show

Noah Wyle as Doctor John Carter
Noah Wyle as Doctor John Carter | Patrick Ecclesine/NBCU Photo Bank

As the name would suggest, ER was a medical drama that took place in the fictional County General Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, where viewers got an in-depth look at the many doctors, nurses, and other important healthcare workers as they navigated each unpredictable day in the emergency department.

Naturally, we were treated to a close view of the personal side of things with plenty of drama, romance, and more. The show won many awards over its 15-year run, and with the talented cast and great storylines, we can’t say that is much of a surprise.

Actors such as Susan Lewis, John Carter, and Carol Hathaway were part of the cast of ER, and each person who appeared on the show, whether the role was big or small, made some sort of impact that will never be forgotten. 

Some of the most remembered ‘ER’ storylines

RELATED: ‘ER’: Why Noah Wyle Filmed an Entire Episode Wearing an Actual IV

The show was memorable, to say the least, and definitely set the bar high for any show that followed. So, what were some most iconic storylines that millions of fans love to watch over and over again?

No one can forget Season 12 when prisoners elaborately escape the hospital when they drug their doctor in order to get out. There was also the time that Dr. Mark Greene, portrayed by Anthony Edwards dies of brain cancer, and also when Doug Ross and Carol Hathaway realized after many years that their relationship was mean to be.

During the 15 seasons, fans got to watch the characters experience happiness, heartbreak, and much more. We saw births, deaths, and other unforgettable things that could only happen on a show as iconic as ER

Watching the ‘ER’ TV show might have saved real lives

How is it that a scripted television series can possibly be responsible for saving lives in real life? Science indicates that is exactly the case with ER, and it really does make sense.

According to Mental Floss, research shows that the show portrayed medical issues that were similar to those that people may have been actually experiencing.

A woman discovered that she was suffering from a brain tumor after watching Dr. Greene’s tongue do the same as hers did when his tumor returned — it went out to the side. Luckily, this caused her to seek medical attention, and the issue was caught early enough that she was able to survive.

That’s not the only thing that happened, since a study concluded that episodes of ER  “increased awareness” of HPV and contraception and that an episode about the issue of obesity may have caused viewers to be over 60% more likely to eat healthier and change bad habits.

How wonderful that a source of entertainment was responsible for saving lives as well.