Today’s paramedics increasingly come from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds. They are well educated, highly skilled professionals who provide care in many contexts outside of the ambulance.1,2 It is important to promote a contemporary shared understanding of paramedicine as we continue to evolve from our historical public safety roots and embrace our role as valued members of the healthcare system.1,3 Mass media impacts and shapes people’s perceptions of images that it portrays, which is increasingly relevant given how media-aware and technologically literate today’s audiences are. Portrayals of professions and occupations in the media can present accurate – and not so accurate – images which are perceived by the public. Evidence in nursing, for example, suggests that negative media portrayals and stereotyping has impacted recruitment, professional relationships, and even violence against nurses.4 In this editorial we will briefly reflect on portrayals of paramedics in television (TV) dramas and movies, reality TV shows, news media, and images created using artificial intelligence (AI). We will then discuss some potential implications of such portrayals that paramedics need to consider, reflect on, and address. Overall, we propose the need to convey more accurate and balanced representations of the professional work of paramedics in the media, and for paramedics themselves to improve the public understanding of their qualifications, roles, and abilities.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/27536386241244786