Book Review: House, M.D. vs. Reality

Whether you can’t get enough of the hit television series House or are interested in how the show compares to real doctors and staff, Holtz’s new book fills the bill. Using examples from a number of episodes, the author looks at the real world cases that provided inspiration along with an analysis of how doctors, hospital and procedures differ from the fictional accounts. Particular attention is paid to personal issues including drug abuse by medical staff and the culture that enables the abusers to get away with their behavior despite measures taken by administration to address the problem. Holtz presents an interesting examination of the show’s impressive impact on its audience both from the perspective of real doctors and nurses as well as from the layperson.

One of the more thoughtful lines in the book pertains to the illusion that the doctor always knows best when in fact, while they may know medicine best that doesn’t necessarily mean they know what is best for the patient. This well presented, thoughtful look at the differences between a fictional drama and the real deal is both entertaining and educational. Readers need not be House fans to appreciate the author’s insights while gaining a certain amount of understanding into all the work that goes on behind the cameras.


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