Grey’s Anatomy Math


Season 5 of Grey’s Anatomy starts tonight, and the big question out there is, “Will there be any math on the show this year?” Because there was in Season 3. Remember how Izzie Stevens got a check for $8,700,000? Seven Episodes later, in Episode 11 (“Six Days — Part I”), Izzie still has the check on the front of her fridge, and the psychiatrist won’t clear her for surgery until she deposits it. But Izzie has gotten to know a patient who is going to have her spine straightened and she really wants to scrub in, so she confronts Miranda Bailey and tries to convince her. The scene ends with this : Dr. Bailey: Did you deposit the check? Izzie: It’s my money. I should get to do what I want with it. Dr. Bailey: You get a 5% return on a 6-month CD? Izzie: (says nothing) Dr. Bailey: In the time we’ve been standing here you could’ve just made 400 dollars. When Bailey made that last remark, they’d been standing there for 29 seconds. So what is the actual value of the interest Izzie would have earned during that conversation? CDs generally seem to have interest compounded monthly, although if Izzie had only recently deposited the check the interest wouldn’t have had time to compound yet so we can ignore that. During the first month, assuming 5% annual interest, Izzie would earn $8,700,000(0.05/12)≈$36,250 in interest. If there were 30 days in the month, that amounts to $1208.33 per day (not “thousands of dollars a day in interest” as mentioned earlier in the episode — the interest rate would need to be about 8.3% for that kind of yield). There are 86,400 seconds in a day, so that $1208.33/day translates to just about 1.4¢/minutesecond, which only amounts to 40.6¢ in 29 seconds. Dang, Bailey was way off. I guess, “In the time we’ve been standing here you could’ve just made 41 cents” doesn’t quite pack the same punch.


2 Responses to “Grey’s Anatomy Math”

  1. Noah Gurley Says:

    The amount per minute should be $0.84 rather the $1.4 because $1208.33/24 hours = $50.35 per hour/ 60 minutes = $0.84 per minute

  2. Ξ Says:

    Dang – I used the wrong word there! I meant 1.4 cents per second (not 1.4 cents per minute), but it’s still about 41 cents for the 29 seconds, matching your 84 cents per minute.

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