|House (also known as House, M.D.) is an American television medical drama that debuted on the Fox network on November 16, 2004. The show's central character is Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), an unconventional and misanthropic medical genius who heads a team of diagnosticians at the fictional Princeton‑Plainsboro Teaching Hospital (PPTH) in New Jersey. |
House often clashes with his fellow physicians, including his own diagnostic team, because many of his hypotheses about patients' illnesses are based on subtle or controversial insights. His flouting of hospital rules and procedures frequently runs him afoul of his boss (and, later, girlfriend), hospital administrator and Dean of Medicine Dr. Lisa Cuddy. House's only true friend is Dr. James Wilson, head of the Department of Oncology.
Most episodes revolve around the diagnosis of a primary patient and start with a pre-credit sequence set outside the hospital, showing events leading up to the onset of the patient's symptoms. The typical episode follows the team in their attempts to diagnose and treat the patient's illness, attempts that often fail until the patient's condition is critical. House's department usually only treats patients that have already been to other doctors but have failed to receive an accurate diagnosis yet. House habitually rejects cases that he does not find interesting. The storylines tend to focus on House's unconventional medical theories and practices, and the other characters' reactions to them, rather than on the intricate details of the treatments.
The team employs the differential diagnosis method, with House guiding the deliberations. Using a whiteboard, House writes down and eliminates possible etiologies with a marker. The patient is typically misdiagnosed during the episode and treated with medications accordingly. This usually causes further complications, but eventually helps House and his team diagnose the patient correctly, as the nature of the complications often provides valuable new evidence. House tends to arrive at the correct diagnosis seemingly out of the blue, often inspired by a passing remark made by another character. Diagnoses range from relatively common to very rare diseases.
House maintains high viewer ratings, House was the most watched television program in the world in 2008.
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