Sept. 25, 2017 — In an emergency room walled in on three sides, a group of physicians hovers over a body. David Hall, M.D. ’13, a fifth-year UF College of Medicine general surgery resident, performs chest compressions, vigorously attempting to circulate blood throughout the patient’s body. He pumps and pumps until a nearby voice yells, “Cut!”
This summer, Hall served as the medical consultant for the popular ABC drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” and his duties included working on and off camera. In addition to acting as an emergency physician in the 14th season premiere that will air Sept. 28, Hall worked in the writers’ room to ensure medical and surgical procedures were realistically presented.
“My goal is to ensure that shows like ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ accurately portray surgery to the broader audience and to use the show as a way to disseminate medical knowledge to millions of viewers,” Hall said.
Hall had never seen an episode of “Grey’s” before starting this role. He was alerted to the medical consultant position by former UF general surgery residency program coordinator Michele Silver, who sent him the application with a note attached: “You’d be perfect for this.” The “Grey’s Anatomy” medical communications fellowship for surgical residents is offered each season, and residents work at Prospect Studios in Los Feliz, Los Angeles 24 to 40 hours a week for three to six months.
It all begins with a script. Hall, 30, from Fort Lauderdale, used his own experiences as a surgical resident and what he learned as a medical student at the UF College of Medicine to come up with scenarios that remain fresh within the drama’s nearly 300-episode history. Hall’s writing team included three former physicians, two former scrub nurses who help on the set, and outside consultants who review scripts related to their area of expertise.