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Myths About 5 Professions We Keep Believing Thanks to Movies

Movies and TV shows centered around different professions often become viewers’ favorites. They can easily transfer us to a noisy office of a law firm, a hospital full of patients in need of a talented doctor’s help, or right onto the beach where brave and beautiful lifeguards are always ready to save lives. But sometimes the images these movies and TV series create are way too far from the reality that people doing these jobs actually face.

We at Bright Side tried to find out how well movies and TV shows present 5 professions and what myths they’ve created.

Lawyers

Movie and TV show creators like to present characters and events far more dramatically than they are in real life, to make them more engaging for the audience. The TV show Suits centered on the world of lawyers and court is no exception and, instead of tons of paperwork, it is full of dramatic dialogues. But even if we separate drama from facts, there are quite a few things that Suits seems to get wrong about the job of a lawyer:

  • Mike and Rachel are often seen searching for information in printed books, in the library. However, according to real-life lawyers, research methods have changed, and now you can find all the necessary information on the internet.
  • Even law firm partners sometimes have smaller offices than paralegal Rachel does. In real life paralegals usually occupy smaller offices in the middle of the building, while first-year associates are given offices that are a decent size.
  • The Suits characters always look dazzling, almost like Hollywood stars on the red carpet. They are always young and glowing. In reality, the job of a lawyer is too time-consuming to look like a supermodel all the time.
  • In reality, hardly any serious law firm would put its business at risk to cover up Mike’s lie. But that’s the drama that the whole story spins around, right?

Doctors

It’s probably hard to find a person who has never watched a show about doctors. There are plenty of TV doctors we all know well: Dr. Gregory House, Dr. Meredith Grey, Dr. John Carter, you name it. But do real-life doctors make the same decisions? Probably not, and here’s why:

  • No real doctor is a “Jack of all trades” and they can’t cure all health issues imaginable. TV doctors, however, are often seen performing a handful of different duties all on their own: admitting patients in the hospital, doing all the tests, giving injections, and reading their scan images.
  • Real doctors spend a lot of time working on their computers, making phone calls, and filling out paperwork.
  • Scenes, where TV doctors are performing CPR, are very dramatic and they are meant to keep us on the edge of our seats. But in reality, CPR is not that simple. It can require many more actions than are usually shown on screen and, unfortunately, can often not work at all.
  • Hospital hierarchy is often broken when it comes to TV shows, but this is not how things work in real life. Violating hierarchy and arguing with colleagues in front of patients is not what one will usually see in a real hospital.

Police officers

Another popular TV show category is about police work, especially if there’s an ingenious civil consultant involved. But, just like in other profession-related shows, their characters often do things that real police officers would hardly ever do:

  • You can’t really find all the information about a person by simply typing their name into a police computer. Chances are, there are many people with the same name, and it takes much more time to figure out who the person you are looking for is.
  • TV police officers come back to their duties right after brutal incidents, while in real life they would have to prepare and file reports.
  • We often see TV detectives arguing over who’s case this is, but things are different in real life. Different law enforcement agencies usually work well together and don’t get into heated debates.
  • “The lab” can’t always figure things out within a couple of hours. Working with DNA evidence can sometimes take weeks and months. Besides, lab specialists don’t take part in each and every case because of limited budgets.

Archaeologists

Movies about Indiana Jones did much to romanticize the job of an archaeologist. A bold adventurer blazing their trail somewhere in the jungle, who fights day and night to recover precious historic artifacts. But how accurate is this image of an archaeologist? There are some things that Indiana Jones related movies get wrong about this profession:

  • Real archaeologists don’t just grab random artifacts and place them in museums. Sites are excavated for certain reasons, and researches are funded not just because archaeologists want some adventure, but because they want to learn more about how people lived in a certain area and at a certain period of time.
  • The work of a real archaeologist is not just site excavations, but a lot of lab work. For every hour they spend on-site, they usually spend about 3-4 hours systematizing and documenting the things they found.
  • In his fictional world, Indiana Jones often breaks the rules of ethics when it comes to treating artifacts and local people, which is not how professional archaeologists behave.

Lifeguards

Shows about lifeguards, like Baywatch, for example, engage the viewers with beautiful pictures of sunlit beaches and blue waves. Young and gorgeous, TV lifeguards are staring into the distance to find someone whose life they’ll save today. In reality, however, the job of a lifeguard is a bit different from what we see on screen:

  • Just like the representatives of any other profession, not all lifeguards look like supermodels. In many countries, they also have a special uniform which often differs from the clothes they wear on screen. A lifeguard’s uniform lets people easily identify them in the crowd when their help is needed. Nowadays, beaches and public pools are crowded by people wearing all sorts of bright clothes, so just a red bathing suit may often not be enough to make a lifeguard noticeable.
  • Lifeguards cooperate with police when it is necessary, but they are not law enforcement agencies. In shows and movies, however, we often see them taking the law into their hands and rounding up people on the beach.
  • Some lifeguard teams may also include trained rescue dogs. Just like people, they take part in patrolling the beaches and saving lives. Rescue dogs can often be seen on seas, rivers, and lakes in European countries.

Is there a movie or a show about your profession? How realistic is it?

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