5 Reasons Why I Wouldn’t Want HOUSE To Be My Doctor

House Hugh Laurie

If you’ve ever watched HOUSE, you know that whatever his flaws, House and his team will do whatever it takes to find the right diagnosis and save their patient. His track record is impressive and his reputation-as a doctor, not a human being-is almost unimpeachable.

Setting all that aside, though, House is not the only talented diagnostician around and he has some real drawbacks. His self-involvement is legendary, his bedside manner is non-existent, and his methods are often bizarre at best or illegal at worst. Below I list the five reasons why, when I collapse at my laptop, I won’t ask the ambulance driver to go to Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital.


House Search

If I’m sick enough to warrant a visit to House and have him be remotely interested in my case, chances are I’m weak, exhausted, and limp as a noodle. I’m also probably terrified because I have no idea what’s wrong with me.

For my doctor to then accuse me of lying because my answers to medical history questions don’t inspire him seems downright cruel and since I don’t have the benefit of television writers, there’s no way I could verbally spar with him.

Worse, I don’t want Taub pawing through my underwear drawer or Foreman passing judgment on the leftovers in my fridge. I certainly have no desire to become the catalyst for Chase to discover something about himself as he reads my e-mail.


House Dying

We all know the House formula. House or a member of the team decides the patient has (insert disease of your choice except lupus because it’s never lupus) and begins treatment. The patient gets worse and one member of the team glares while another winces. House furrows his brow or crinkles his eye and says, “Well, we’d better figure it out fast because he’s dying.” And-commercial. Lather, rinse, and repeat at least twice more later in the show.

That formula is terrific for a television show because it builds suspense and draws viewers into the medical mystery. It’s not so great for the patient who almost dies at least twice. What if I’m one of the ten patients House treats where one of his colleagues doesn’t make a random comment that finally leads House to the right diagnosis?


House test

NPR did a great article on how much it costs to pay House a visit. Misdiagnosing at least twice doesn’t come cheap, you know. Don’t get me wrong: I want a doctor to save my life and I have great (relatively speaking) health insurance, but there’s no way it would cover the fifty plus procedures House usually requests.

Even if I could afford that kind of care, do I really want ginormous needles stuck in me/my head cut open/an autopsy performed on me while I’m alive when I know darn well that the first three ideas House and crew have are wrong, anyway? Not so much, thanks.


House hazmat

“Bizarre is good! Common has hundreds of explanations. Bizarre has hardly any.” With very few exceptions, patients don’t interest House; puzzles do. While the team more or less cares about how I’m feeling, House only wants to fit my symptoms into a disease and I wouldn’t even see him until something in my case triggered his curiosity. Worse, that something would be an eyeball popping out of its socket, blood pouring out of at least two orifices, or a piece of lung I coughed up.

When I finally do see House, I’ll wish I hadn’t because not only would I know he’s only there because there’s a much better than average chance I’m dying, but he’ll be callous, condescending, and cruel. Good times.


House drugs

As great a doctor as House is, with his addiction and psychological issues, the man is always going to be a ticking time bomb. He has given himself migraines, taken LSD to combat the symptoms of said migraines, and stuck a knife in an electrical socket to prove dead is dead. He regularly uses patients as barometers of his own sanity and belittles them for feeling differently than he does all while working through his issue of the week.

Now he’s broken up with Cuddy and back on Vicodin, so I think calling him a loose cannon would be an understatement. Excuse me while I step far away from the doctor drama and look for treatment elsewhere.


So there you have it: the five reasons I, despite his incredible ability to diagnose and treat patients, wouldn’t want House to be my doctor. I’ll happily stick to watching him torture other unsuspecting patients, thank you very much.

What are your reasons for not wanting House on your case? Alternatively, why would you be the first one to camp out at his office hoping he’ll take you on as a patient? Let me know in the comments.

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