Dr. G: Medical Examiner TV Poster Image

Dr. G: Medical Examiner



Forensic series is bloody without being violent.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

When causes of death turn out to be vice-related, the dangers of said vices are clearly explained.


No actual autopsies or body parts are shown on screen -- corpses are portrayed by actors. Occasional stock photos of organs are used for explanations or diagrams. Dr. G usually has real blood all over her apron. Other footage shows blood being rinsed off equipment, etc.

Not applicable
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Alcohol and other drugs can be the cause of death in some patients. Neither are presented in any kind of glamorous light.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although no graphic violence or medical procedures are shown on screen during this show about forensic pathology, they're discussed in detail and could prove traumatic for young teens and tweens. The pathologist at the center of the show frequently has real blood on her apron, and there's plenty of footage of blood being rinsed off/away, but all bodies are played by actors. Alcohol and drugs come up as causes of death in some cases.

What's the story?

DR. G: MEDICAL EXAMINER focuses on the real-life work of Dr. Jan Garavaglia, a Florida-based forensic pathologist. Each episode investigates a different unexplained death, which Dr. G solves using what the show's producers call "cutting-edge forensic science and technology" but what usually amounts to your basic trial-and-error method.

Is it any good?


While occasionally intriguing, the show falls short -- it's stuck trying to be appropriate for children and families while remaining entertaining for adults. On the one hand, the show's producers are extremely careful to blur out any footage of organs, autopsies, or even cadavers when they might be visible on an operating table. Every shot of Dr. G performing any kind of procedure is staged with actors, with the word "dramatization" prominently splashed across the screen. The show's creators seem to want to make sure that you know that you and your family are in no way seeing actual dead bodies.

At the same time, there are lots of stylized shots of blood being rinsed off tables, into drains, and dripping down the legs and wheels of gurneys. And the show doesn't shy away from talking about violence. In one episode, for example, the narrator questions whether a patient's mysterious death could have been the result of a rape/murder, and Dr. G. frankly discusses the methods she uses to determine such facts. These kinds of gory details may be of prurient interest to adult audiences, but the show is visually over-sanitized to the point of being dull. On the other hand, these same gory details, even though not shown on screen, could be too intense for young viewers. The perfect demographic for a show like Dr. G is probably a teen with strong interests in health and science. Beyond that, most viewers will likely either find the show too boring or too scary.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what makes this show (and others like it) appealing. Are the crimes discussed on shows like this one more or less upsetting than the ones on fictional shows like CSI? Why? What audience do you think the show is trying to attract? Does it succeed?

TV details

Premiere date:July 22, 2004
Cast:Jan Garavaglia
Networks:Discovery Health Channel, TLC
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

This review of Dr. G: Medical Examiner was written by

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Teen, 16 years old Written byCSM Screen Name... February 15, 2010
Dr. G is a very clean show, the worst portions being in how some of the people died, whether it was related to substance abuse, suicide, murder, or some freak happening. At worst, a parent or older sibling may have to explain what an anatomical term is [seldom a sexual part; usually something along the lines of aorta]. Dr. G herself is a very positive role model, a working mother who promotes living healthy in a myriad of ways from exercise, avoiding substance abuse, and eating healthy to simply getting enough sleep or going to your doctor regularly. My younger brothers watch it frequently and find it some of the best non-cartoon programming available aside from Mystery Diagnosis.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old May 7, 2011

A great medical show for teens and adults!

This is a great forensic show! I am sure that teens and adults will like it! 11 and 12 year olds can watch it too, but not anybody smaller than 11. The show has some blood. But no actual violence. In some cases, the deaths are due to drugs and alcohol.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 6 year old Written bytmj2037c January 1, 2010

needs parental supervision

it is gruesome...it is death, but it is real life ...which kids needs to be exposed to some...not every day or forced, but exposed to. my 6 yr old has watched some...and nothing is shown


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