Right now, there are more concurrently-running medical dramas on television than ever before. With newcomers like The Resident and The Good Doctor rounding out the choices, it’s hard to know which medical drama to devote your time to. (What? “All of them” isn’t an acceptable choice?)
So if you’re dying for an ongoing medical series to sink your teeth into, try these on for size. To make the decision easier, we’ve included notes pertaining to the uniqueness of each show.
Code Black – CBS
What it’s about: Based on a 2014 documentary of the same name, this CBS medical drama (now on its 3rd season) is about an overworked and overcrowded emergency room in Los Angeles County, and stars veterans Marcia Gay Harden, Luis Guzman, and Rob Lowe.
What sets it apart: The breakneck pace and chaos of the medical action in this show is honestly the most realistic I’ve seen, expertly matching the claustrophobic feel of the documentary.
The Resident – Hulu/DirecTV Now/Fox/Yahoo View
What it’s about: Dr. Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry), internist, is part hotshot, part idealist. In a hospital full of egomaniacs, Hawkins and his colleagues (Emily VanCamp, Manish Dayal, Shaunette Renée Wilson) are forced to put their best intentions aside in order to follow the party line.
What sets it apart: Unlike most medical series, this show’s primary drama is focused on medical politics: from turning away patients who can’t pay to over-treating patients to turn a higher profit, and covering up medical mistakes. And sometimes, Conrad takes his shirt off.
Grey’s Anatomy – Netflix/Hulu
What it’s about: Grey’s Anatomy follows the show’s titular character, Meredith Grey, as she transitions from surgical intern to attending physician. Meredith’s mentors, family, colleagues, and friends make up the rest of this world, which is as much about human drama as it is about medical drama.
What sets it apart: I’m not saying that on-call hookups and unexpected accidents and explosions are exclusive to Grey’s, but this show has done it the best and the longest. (After next season, it will have tied ER for longest-running medical drama.)
The Good Doctor – Hulu/DirecTV Now/ABC
What it’s about: Based on a 2013 South Korean drama series, The Good Doctor stars Freddie Highmore as an autistic surgical resident at a hospital in San Jose, California who is struggling to prove his surgical skills are more important than his interpersonal shortcomings.
What sets it apart: Having a lead character on a network show not only portrayed as autistic but also a surgeon, is certainly a first. Freddie Highmore earned a Golden Globe nomination for his character Dr. Shaun Murphy.
Chicago Med – Hulu
What it’s about: Set in the same universe as Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D., Chicago Med is set at one hospital and follows all of the doctors, nurses, and the staff there. Starring Oliver Platt, Colin Donnell, Vaya DaCosta, and Nick Gehlfuss, the show is in its third season.
What sets it apart: If you’re a “Chicago series” fan, one great thing about Chicago Med is the almost guaranteed opportunity for epic crossover episodes.