Are real doctors having sex in hospital boom closets?

We watch several network medical shows and find that they have three things in common: (1) Concerned doctors sitting up all night with critically ill patients, (2) Rarely used medical procedures that nobody’s insurance would pay for, and (3) doctors and nurses who can’t keep their hands off each other.

Typically, two of the characters will go for weeks obviously interested in each other while desperately striving to keep things professional and avoid having to go to human resources and submit a consent form stating that they are intimate. Then, one night after a tough day in the E.R. and the O.R., the two people are walking down a darkened hallway talking about the emotions of the day when, SUDDENLY, their eyes lock into a mutual “come whither” look and they go nuts.

They find a broom closet or a medical supply room or an unused room, careen into it, and rip off each other’s clothes with an urgency that surpasses all understanding. Nobody mentions birth control or how spouses might react to their desires. All that’s missing is the music from “Unchained Melody.”

I wonder whether this kind of thing happens in “real life” hospitals. When I’ve been a patient, I seldom have the sense that doctors and nurses and orderlies stopping by my room to make life and death decisions about me have arrived fresh from the broom closet. But I see how they look at each other. While I’m likely to say almost anything, I have yet to look at the staff members assembled around my bed and say, “I’m curious how many of you are screwing each other and billing those hours to my Medicare account.”

That question would probably ensure that I’d die during the night due to a massive fentanyl overdose. Or a fall down an open elevator shaft.

I’m sure real doctors and nurses have “needs” and that savvy medical show producers want to portray those needs accurately while giving viewers a few minutes’ respite from the blood. But sex in a rush: is that for real or for dramatic effect?

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell

Publisher: Thomas-Jacob Publishing

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