Need a study break? Check out some of these public health-adjacent movies and TV episodes!

By: Erin Anderson – Epidemiology

While some are a bit ~questionable~ in terms of accuracy, here are some of my personal favorites:

Parks & Recreation – Netflix

Season 4, Episode 17: Campaign Shake-Up

An unlikely office-mate solves a challenging problem.


Season 5, Episode 4: Sex Education

Leslie gets in trouble with her initiative to teach safe sex to senior citizens.


Madam Secretary – Netflix

Season 2, Episode 19: Desperate Remedies

Efforts to negotiate the release of the Nigerian schoolgirls take a serious turn when the Marburg Virus infects the emissary sent to secure their return.


Season 5, Episode 17: The Common Defense

Daisy and her daughter are caught up in a measles outbreak.

Did someone say herd immunity?


Erin Brockovich

An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply.




Healthcare professionals, government officials and everyday people find themselves in the midst of a worldwide epidemic as the CDC works to find a cure.

Can you say R0?



Containment – Netflix

The series follows an epidemic that breaks out in Atlanta, leaving the large city quarantined and those stuck on the inside fighting for their lives.



The Hot Zone – National Geographic

In 1989, the Ebola virus appears in chimpanzees in a research lab in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and there is no known cure; a U.S. Army scientist puts her life on the line to head off an outbreak before it spreads to the human population.



Dallas Buyers Club – Netflix

In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is diagnosed with the disease.



The Office – Netflix

Season 5, Episodes 14: Stress Relief (part 1)

Dwight’s too-realistic fire alarm gives Stanley a heart attack.


Season 9, Episode 10: Lice

Pam causes a lice outbreak but lets Meredith take the blame.



And the Band Played On

The story of the discovery of the AIDS epidemic, and the political infighting of the scientific community hampering the early fight with it.

Featuring Saul Rubinek as Dean Curran!




Army doctors struggle to find a cure for a deadly virus spreading throughout a California town that was brought to America by an African monkey.



The Walking Dead – Netflix

Season 1, Episode 5: TS-19

The survivors gain access to the CDC in the hope of a safe haven.

Look familiar? It should—it’s right down the road!



Did I miss any? Comment with your favorites below!


*synopses taken from

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