Cardiac Arrest

No, not the medical event. This is the 1990’s TV show, Cardiac Arrest, produced by the BBC. I’d never heard of it before today, when I stumbled across a mention of it elsewhere on the internet. It depicts the working life of junior doctors, and it is cynical, dark and frighteningly accurate. I clicked on the link to watch a clip or maybe half an episode, and ended up watching the entire first series in one sitting. Cardiac Arrest Yes, it is dated. Yes, working hours have improved. No, we don’t overdose people on morphine on purpose, and no the dividing line between doctors and nurses is not always so confrontational. The essence of the programme, though, is a dead ringer. I watched the familiar scenarios, characters, conversations, bureaucracy, presentations unfold over and over again throughout each episode (see if there are any junior doctors out there who haven’t had a visceral reaction to bleeping sounds when not at work). No wonder that doctors consistently vote for it as the most accurate medical drama of all time. Without further ado, I urge you move past the dated intro and give it a glance.

I watched the entire first series. Then I immediately wrote this post. Then I immediately went and purchased the entire 3-series boxed set off Amazon.

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2 responses to “Cardiac Arrest

  1. This was on TV the year before I started medical school. I badly wanted to be Helen Baxendale. It’s fantastic, I think Green Wing captures the occasional insanity of hospital medicine quite well too.

  2. I’ve never watched Green Wing – people do keep telling me to so perhaps I should. I’ve also heard that ‘Bodies’ (written by the same guy who wrote Cardiac Arrest) is suitably dark and cynical so may need to give that a glance as well.

    And, to be fair, Helen Baxendale in this series is pretty awesome. Icy cool, highly competent, and with a strong sense of justice behind the deep dark cynicism. She’d be the person I’d chose to be out of the characters in series one, without hesitation!

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