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Medical Aspect in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU);How accurate is the medicine in Marvel Films?

Updated: Jun 18, 2022

By Ummar Mohammad

May 20, 2022


[Photo credit:]

With the perpetual cycle of the entertainment industry, movies have become synonymous with representation and what is perceived in society. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is no exception. We all know that the stunts and the life and death scenarios are exaggerated but to what extent? Although the intended message behind films is concentrated on entertaining the audience, subtle influences can go a long way with the individual. Medicine is an ultrafine process that is no easy feat to study and practice. What is portrayed in the entertainment industry essentially butchers such procedures. But at the end of the day, one could say this is all entertainment, and having something to be made 100% accurate would be highly unfeasible.

All MCU films, at one point, incorporate an aspect of medicine, be it a life-saving surgery or simply a character getting injured. The most notable film of the MCU related to medicine would probably be Dr. Strange (it’s in the name). He transitions from a neurosurgeon into a fully-fledged wizard; we get glimpses of his life prior to his transmogrification. There are a few blunders (perhaps made by the scriptwriter), such as when the doctor speeds precariously on a cliff ledge whilst reviewing a patient’s record. It is rather bizarre seeing a doctor act so recklessly with no justification. Following his accident, he undergoes physiotherapy with a dodgy procedure. Some parts of the surgery were also inaccurate. Dr. Strange did not wear a mask when trying to extract a bullet from the medulla, and Dr. Christie Palmer incorrectly handled needles during pneumothorax treatment. Dr. Strange somehow manages to diagnose himself, without any medical equipment, with cardiac tamponade. Dr. Palmer also incorrectly administers deliberators too.

Most of us know about Tony Stark’s origin story, whereby shrapnel from an explosion leads to him having an arc reactor embedded in his chest. It’s pretty surprising that he even survived the predicament in Afghanistan, considering how a doctor managed to save his life with chloroform in highly unsanitary conditions. Chloroform is highly damaging to the body, even when inhaled for a short period of time. Considering the conditions (no painkillers in the ‘surgery’), it would make sense to use it. But it takes at least five minutes to knock someone out with said chloroform.

References Conlin, D. (2021, December 24). Doctor Breaks Down The Medical Inaccuracies Of The MCU Films. Game Rant; GameRant.

‌Potier, L. (2020, May 12). Dr. Strange’s Medical Errors Prove Nobody Was a Good Doctor. ScreenRant; Screen Rant.

Mike, D. (2021). Doctor Reacts To Marvel Medical Scenes (MCU) [YouTube Video]. In YouTube.

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