Fans of medical dramas like Grey’s Anatomy may become scared of being treated at a teaching hospital after seeing all the dramatic events taking place at Grey-Sloan Memorial. A dose of reality is necessary to dispel the misconceptions that have developed due to scriptwriters needing to keep the action going. Research consistently shows that teaching hospitals provide higher-quality care than many of their non-teaching counterparts. They also appear to be more effective at treating complex conditions. To learn more about one particular teaching medical center, see Lahey Hospital on LinkedIn.

At these facilities, recent medical school graduates complete their first-year internships and their residencies. They learn and practice under the supervision and guidance of experienced mentors. This is how a recent graduate becomes a surgeon, for instance. Watching, participating in and finally being the lead surgeon during operations are essential steps to proficiency. All these steps take place as experienced surgeons keep watch, provide suggestions and promptly take over if necessary.

Why are teaching hospitals commonly considered the most premier medical facilities? There are several factors involved. Research has found that death rates due to cardiac arrest, heart failure and pneumonia are all lower at these types of hospitals. These hospitals also are more likely to have organ transplant centers. Lahey, as just on example, includes liver and kidney transplant comprehensive care, as well as stem cell transplants.

Teaching hospitals tend to be very involved in biomedical research, and that aspect often attracts some of the best and brightest doctors in the country and even the world. Because of the sheer numbers of interns and resident staff members, patients may receive more attention and monitoring. The relatively large number of doctors hovering around may make some patients a little nervous, especially when they know the youngest doctors are inexperienced. However, that large staff and their eagerness to learn is a positive factor. The experienced doctors appear to be more knowledgeable about recent developments and lesser-known information in their field of specialty, probably because they know they will face questions from interns and residents. All these staff members put forth their inquisitive minds and search for solutions when answers seem completely out of reach.