Parents' Guide to

Diagnosis X

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Medical docudrama has hokey re-enactments.

TV TLC Drama 2007
Diagnosis X Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

In one episode, Dr. Charles Rocamboli struggles to pinpoint the cause for a young woman's dizziness and onslaught of violent head and eye pain. When an MRI shows lesions on her brain, he regretfully informs her that she's suffering from multiple sclerosis and starts drug therapy, only to discover from her negative reaction to the medication that his diagnosis was incorrect. Going back to square one, he hits upon syphilis as the cause -- stirring up plenty of ill will between the patient and her new husband -- before discovering that he was wrong that time, too. Along the way, Dr. Rocamboli talks openly about the frustration and guilt he felt in not being able to nail down some answers for his worried patient. He also discusses the inherent pressure to be perfect as a doctor, explains the competitiveness that exists in medical school and residencies, and sings the blues about being disliked by an overseeing physician.

Diagnosis X offers viewers intriguing medical dilemmas and allows them to puzzle their way through the clues to a diagnosis along with the doctors. The series may also open viewers' eyes to medical professionals' true humanness, since they're often incorrectly assumed to be infallible. On those two counts, the show has some merit. But on entertainment value, it comes up short, mainly because of its unique format. Falling somewhere between the pulse-quickening drama of ER and the tense realism of Surgery Saved My Life, this part-drama, part-documentary series often comes across as a little on the hokey side, which does the doctors a disservice. (The second-rate actors who back the docs up don't help matters much.)

TV Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate