Grey’s Anatomy has become the longest-running medical drama in history as it crossed the 15-season mark this year and has been renewed for a 16th season as well. The show has fans from three decades’ worth of generations as older and newer fans flock in to discover the series.
However, there are several other options for medical dramas out there, and the medical drama genre has seen shows that precede Grey’s Anatomy as well. If you want something different, but in the same territory as Grey’s Anatomy, it’s worth branching out and finding other options to further satisfy your medical drama needs.
Let’s start off with Private Practice, the most obvious choice. Those who love Grey’s Anatomy will no doubt be familiar with this show considering it’s set in the same universe. Still, Private Practice didn’t get the same kind of audience Grey’s Anatomy did and that might be because people aren’t fully aware of it.
It’s a great option, though, because Private Practice offers a more intimate setting; fewer main characters mean more substance in storylines. That’s exactly what you can expect here, with the show swerving the clustered feeling Grey’s Anatomy sometimes has with its abundance of characters. A more casual trip to L.A. might just be what you need.
Here’s an option for those viewers who are fans of the actors on this show; Doctor Who fans can find Freema Agyeman, The Blacklist fans have Ryan Eggold, and the entire Indian fanbase has legendary actor Anupam Kher.
The show is also something new to explore as New Amsterdam has only just started, which means you can follow the lives of these characters on a weekly basis and dive into another fandom. The premise involves Eggold’s character as he looks to reform the hospital he’s working in and defy bureaucracy. It’s a great option for those who have had their fill of Grey’s Anatomy and are looking for a new hospital to call their medical drama home.
Although Royal Pains was marketed as a comedy, there was a lot more drama in it than jokes. Mark Feuerstein finally fit the home run in his career – after a plethora of failed sitcoms – by starring as a doctor who treats upper-class patients.
The drama aspect here comes in due to the morally ambiguous nature of the patients the main character is treating. A lot of the elite patients are pretty hard to like, so it’s interesting to watch how the main character tackles these issues and retains his integrity.
If you thought the life of doctors was the only thing interesting about medical dramas, then you were grossly mistaken; Nurse Jackie defies the usual doctor tropes by presenting the challenges of a nurse.
Edie Falco is again in supreme form as she portrays the titular character in a show whose dark comedy could very well be considered full-on drama. The show also dived in further into dramatic territory in later years and the main character’s struggles with addiction provided much of the inner conflicts. Nurse Jackie is a fine option for you if you’ve had too much of doctor-centric stories and want to see what it’s like for the support staff as well.
For those in love with the CW shows like Jane the Virgin or even superhero dramas like The Flash, they’ll have a great time watching the doctor life play out in Hart of Dixie.
Like every other teen-centric drama, this one also has a lot of relationship issues that the main character goes through, only with a more youthful angst injected. Grey’s Anatomy might not be very relatable to the younger audience, so Hart of Dixie should hit make you feel right at home if younger issues are your thing. The premise involves a young doctor who sacrifices her heart specialty practice to become a general practitioner in a small town.
Part of the enormous Chicago franchise, Chicago Med accompanies Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Chicago Justice and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit in the universe it is set in.
But make no mistake, the show doesn’t rely on these other shows to make it relevant as it stands on its own right. Unlike Grey’s Anatomy, a bulk of which is about relationship issues, Chicago Med plays it straighter by focusing on the medical cases. It even has diversity in the form of other fields of medicine such as psychology – an episode of the show was so popular, non-fans mistook it for a documentary about sociopathic cases.
Way Before Grey’s Anatomy made you think shared universes were cool, St. Elsewhere did it first as it was set alongside Hill Street Blues. The show debuted in 1982, and was a springboard platform many future stars.
You might think “Denzel Washington, Mark Harmon on the same show, Doth my eyes deceive me?” But that’s a fact because St. Elsewhere had a ginormous cast. It was the show which introduced intertwining medical cases overlapping dramatic tension. Considering the genre has been going strong almost four decades since St. Elsewhere started, the there’s no doubt the show was a pioneer for the medical drama stage. You should check it out to see where the roots for the genre originated.
House, M.D. was the talk of the town in the late-2000s; it seemed to be the first time where a doctor looked like he hated the patients he was treating. House, M.D. featured the titular character, a misanthrope whose dependence on pain medication only slightly hid the fact that he was deeply pained inside.
It had a large star cast, but the main character always took centerstage, and rightfully so as his development from a man so completely done with life and all its norms to someone who finally gave self-happiness a shot is a treat to watch. Besides, every time House tore through the rest of the characters with his sarcastic jibes was pure gold.
You’ve definitely noticed how Meredith has never really been happy during all her years on Grey’s Anatomy, which was a shame as she spent her younger days sulking for the most part. The Good Doctor gives us a charming young man who’s happy to be of service.
It’s also groundbreaking by featuring the main character to have autism; this makes it a lovely representation for those with disabilities. The main character is also very likable, making the experience of watching him tackling medical cases a satisfying one as you always get the sense he’ll save the day.
Finally, we get to the show you might have thought would be on this list before you started reading. ER was the show on the tip of every medical drama fan’s tongue before Grey’s Anatomy exploded into popularity.
Grey’s Anatomy’s style is heavily influenced by ER, which combined both relationship drama with medical cases. It also had an ensemble cast which was ever-changing. You’ll enjoy ER without any doubt if you love Grey’s Anatomy as it’ll be a nice contrast from the modern medical show with one that is set in the 1990s to 2000s. Add in the fact that there a number of actors who have become even bigger stars today, and there’s certainly a lot of intrigue.