Major: Economics

Advisor: Professor Todd Yarbrough, Ph.D

Document Type



Does the prominence of medical Television Shows impact people’s decision to pursue a medical career?

We are constantly told that the things we see in media and entertainment influences how we think about things, but not much research has been done regarding its ability to impact major life choices such as career choice. This paper investigates this by examining the causal relationship between television and interest in the pursuit of a medical career. An ordinary least squares model, created using time series data over the last 24 years, tested specifically the effect of the number and quality of medical television shows both on the rate of change in medical school applications for men and women and the proportion of female applicants. This study found that while medical tv shows don’t have a statistically significant impact on application rates for men or women, female-driven shows cause a larger proportion of the applicant pool to be female.

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