Doctor-Nurse Relationship : Four Ways The Mindy Project is Out of Line

NursingJanuary 29, 2014

No one watches The Mindy Project for its realistic portrayal of the doctor-nurse relationship, or really, for a realistic portrayal of any relationship. We watch the show because it is written well and it is laugh out loud funny with its blend of wit, sarcasm and slapstick humor. As long as we are on the subject, let's look at how The Mindy Project fails to portray a realistic doctor-nurse relationship and the real work of nurses, in general.

1. Ok Dr. Lahiri, you have a good heart, and you're a nice person. But what were you thinking when you hired Morgan Tookers? Morgan is an excellent source of comic relief, but he can't be taken seriously as a registered nurse. Plus, with his shady past, how could he even pass the background check he had to take to become licensed? Nurses are professionals, and they have to hold themselves to certain standards. Let's just say that Morgan doesn't fit these standards. OB nurses work with women in vulnerable stages of their lives, and ex-convicts don't really fit in with that mold. We should also not forget how he broke into her apartment and how she sexually harassed him, just to name a few signs of an unhealthy doctor-nurse relationship.

2. "Nurse" Beverly was fired by Mindy for being surly, lazy and unethical. While this is okay, a doctor should not retain a nurse who is exhibiting shady behaviors like hiding blood samples and not showing up for work. However, shortly thereafter, because of an "ageism suit," they rehired her as the receptionist. This would never happen in a real setting.

3. Thirdly, what do these nurses do? Do they take phone calls or file paperwork? They never actually interact with patients, which is a good thing in Morgan's case. To be fair, it's a pretty rare occurrence that doctors interact with the patients, as the show focuses on Mindy's romantic relationship issues. In a real OB practice, medical assistants would do most of the vitals and paperwork, and registered nurses would be monitoring patients in the hospital.

4. The show never discussed the credentials of the Deslaurier midwives. However, the nurses of the petition seem to take offense on the grounds that they are certified nurse midwives. If that's the case, then The Mindy Project is way out of line, treating them like they are nothing but quacks and charlatans trying to put OBs out of practice. Real certified nurse midwives are professionals who work in conjunction with OBs, and they are employed in hospitals and private practices.

The truth is that The Mindy Project's portrayal of nurses has got some RN's up in arms. They have even started an online petition on to request that the creators of the show change the way that the nurses are portrayed. Morgan's character, as well as the feud with the midwives, are especially upsetting to these individuals.

Nurses are professionals who take care of patients with knowledge and skill, and we have the wherewithal to recognize that this is a show produced purely for entertainment that does not detract from our profession in any way. So, keep it coming Mindy. We hope you will keep us laughing week after week.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons