Just like cops and lawyers, doctors have been prescribing entertainment for years. The medical drama is a staple of TV. Viewers have been tuning in for heart-stopping emergencies almost as long as there has been television. Ranging from procedural drama (House), to soap opera (General Hospital), and even sitcom (Scrubs), hospitals and doctor's offices have played host to some of the most gripping and memorable television moments in history.
Today's crop of medical melodramas are carrying the banner for the genre and there's no shortage of organ donors on screens right this minute. In fact, the following crop of medical dramas might be one of the strongest ever. Here's 10 medical dramas under the knife right now.
10 GENERAL HOSPITAL
Not only the longest running medical drama on the list, General Hospital is also one of the longest running American soap operas ever. Day time viewers have been checking in since 1963 when the show began and are still watching today.
Over the years hundreds of patients have come and gone, including some famous faces. James Franco and Elizabeth Taylor are just a couple of the more notable names.
GH might not be the freshest show on the list but it sure deserves some praise for longevity.
This long running medical soap comes from across the pond. Much like General Hospital, this show has been on the air for sometime and is still saving lives to this day. Casualty first appeared on US screens in 1998, although it's been running in the UK since 1986, and has spawned numerous spin-offs.
Casualty rates a mention here simply for its longevity, at least if any of the cast need a new hip they won't be too far from medical assistance.
Not strictly a medical drama, 9-1-1 follows the lives of first responders. Exploring the drama and experiences of paramedics, along with police and firefighters as they balance their lives and careers. A procedural drama from creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Tim Minear and starring Angela Basset, this show has the clout and the medical jargon to be included in the top 10.
9-1-1 premiered in January 2018 and has just been renewed for a third season.
7 THE NIGHT SHIFT
Originally running from 2014-2017, before its untimely cancellation, The Night Shift has been picked up and can now be found streaming on Netflix. Set in the Memorial Hospital in San Antonio, the premise of The Night Shift is somewhat self-explanatory. The show follows the lives of the staff of a late night emergency room, portraying their experiences with all kinds of night life. But takes a more interesting turn as we learn the three central characters all have a connected past. They were all in the military. Now, these midnight medics are not only contending with the heightened levels of crazy that come with working at the E.R. during the small hours of the morning, they're also dealing with PTSD and past traumas. It's also nice to see Scott Wolf back in action.
6 CHICAGO MED
The third instalment in creator Dick Wolf's Chicago franchise, Chicago Med, takes a close look at the lives of Gaffney Chicago Medical Center's finest doctors and nurses. Of course, the majority of the action happens in the emergency room, while the majority of the drama is derived from their intertwined personal connections.
The most exciting element of CM is the possibility for cross overs with Wolf's other Chicago ventures: Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D, and Chicago Justice. That's a lot of procedural drama for one city.
5 NEW AMSTERDAM
Based on a the novel Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital by Eric Manheimer, New Amsterdam sees recently instated medical director Dr. Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) trying to resuscitate a faded and fading public hospital, in order to rejuvinetae and provide excellent care for patients. Premiering in September of 2018, it was just recently renewed for a second season on NBC.
While according to critics, the show has struggled to break new ground in the genre, it's refreshing to see new faces and new stories from the medical profession.
4 THE GOOD DOCTOR
After spending some time at the Bates motel, Freddie Highmore has slipped on a white jacket and stethoscope, to play an autistic, savant in The Good Doctor. Recently renewed for a third season, TGD is set in San Jose and sees Highmore's Dr. Shawn Murphy struggling to hold onto his surgical residency as he contents with issues from his past and his autism. He does however, have a photographic memory which I'm sure is helpful when cramming for those medical exams or performing complicated surgery.
The Good Doctor has a fresh and intriguing premise, adding a layer of mental health awareness to the usual medical proceedings.
3 THE RESIDENT
The Resident takes a more bureaucratic look at the medical world, seen through the staff at Chastain Park Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Tackling issues such as medical ethics and malpractice, The Resident gives an insight into what goes one beyond the emergency room.
Premiering in January 2018 and renewed for a third season in March, The Resident is a welcome addition with a fresh twist.
2 GREY'S ANATOMY
No medical drama in recent years has quite captured the public's attention or held a space in the pop culture landscape quite like Grey's Anatomy. As of February this year Grey's will be the longest running American prime time medical drama, at 15 seasons and no signs of slowing down, and since its premier in 2005 has remained critically acclaimed and a ratings juggernaut.
The show follows Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and the staff at Seattle Grace Hospital as they deal with their lives and careers as medical professionals. The show has launched the careers of Pompeo, Katherine Heigl and Sandra Oh and is notable for its diverse cast of characters.
Yes, this is a cheeky entry as E.R. officially finished up in 2009. However, after years of absence, in January of 2018 the award winning show finally landing on streaming platform Hulu and is available for bingeing right now. And honestly, let's hope it remains available forever.
E.R. was created by Michael Crichton and made names like George Clooney, Noah Wylde, Maura Tierney, and Julianna Margulies household names. Over its 15 year run the show won 116 awards in total and will live on as an example of what medical dramas can and ought to be.