Many hours of watching medical TV shows is associated with greater medical knowledge

Ronald Chow, Jaclyn Viehweger, Kehinde Kazeem Kanmodi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Television (TV) is a popular and effective media in the formation of behaviours, beliefs and emotions. Watching TV is a main hobby in people's lives, and has become an increasingly more common hobby for children nowadays as opposed to several decades ago. However, while many studies have reported the negative effects, there have been little to no studies investigating whether a positive effect may exist. The aim of this study was to determine whether individuals who watch medical dramas are generally more knowledgeable about medicine than those who do not watch medical dramas. This was a cross-sectional survey of adolescents and young adults using an e-questionnaire. The questionnaire had four sections - a consent form, demographics of respondents, TV show(s) respondents watched and assessment of medical knowledge. Questionnaires were circulated to the international community, with a focus on respondents in Canada, the US and Nigeria. Responses were analysed using statistical analysis software. Between August and December 2017, a total of 746 consenting respondents completed the questionnaire. The average knowledge score of all respondents on medical terminologies was 6.80 out of 10. For respondents who had a history of watching medical TV shows, they were more knowledgeable than those without such a history (p = 0.0008). Additionally, those who watched more than one season of TV were more knowledgeable than those who had watched less than one season (p < 0.0001). The results suggest that people who have a history of watching TV shows are more knowledgeable than those without such a history, and also that those who watch more hours of medical TV shows are more knowledgeable than those who watch only a few hours. Future studies could investigate whether medical TV shows causes higher knowledge (as this study suggests association), and to ultimately determine whether it can be an essential component of increasing medical knowledge of the population, and in turn, patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20180026
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Issue number1
Early online date8 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston 2018.


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