Most primetime medical dramas aren’t entirely accurate, but that’s not why we love them. Still, Chicago Med and Grey’s Anatomy fans are curious about how realistic they are and if Chicago Med takes the cake for being the most reliable.
This should be said before we begin: Doctors who can hook up with patients or remove bombs from their chest cavities should not be consulted for medical advice.
It is hard not to wonder how these two shows stack against one another. They don’t compete with each other. Chicago Med airs on Wednesdays on NBC, and Grey’s Anatomy still has a Thursday night home on ABC.
They haven’t even been on-air the same amount of time, with Grey’s surpassing Chicago Med by several years. They are both in the same genre so let’s get this out of the way.
Both ‘Chicago Med’ (and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’) have medical advisors.
Even if every storyline on both Grey’s Anatomy and Chicago Med isn’t realistic, both shows have medical experts onsite to weigh in on different cases. Grey’s Anatomy even has a character named BokHee, who scrubs in on surgeries, and is a nurse in real life too.
There have been multiple official medical advisors for Grey’s Anatomy over the years.
The same goes for Chicago Med. It features actors who play doctors and a doctor who is now an actor. Dr. Oren Gottfried, a neurosurgeon at Duke University in real life, landed a role on Chicago Med, and he helps behind the scenes too.
“I helped with the script, writing the outlines, [and] the breaking new medical stories,” he told WRAL in May 2021. “But I’ve also just found it fascinating to be involved in every level in production.”
But is ‘Chicago Med’ more realistic than ‘Grey’s Anatomy’?
When it comes down to it, it’s hard to say for sure if Chicago Med is more accurate than Grey’s Anatomy and vice versa. According to TV Insider, however, Chicago Med is more realistic.
According to the outlet, the writers of Chicago Med only included cases that had been published. There aren’t many outrageous medical stories that haven’t happened in real life.
Dr. Hope Jackson, who once worked as a medical advisor on the set of Grey’s Anatomy, might disagree that Chicago Med has the upper hand here. She told the University of Washington School of Medicine that she was instrumental in helping to ensure storylines and medical cases in the show were accurate.
I wish I were a doctor, so I knew how accurate greys anatomy and Chicago med were
— CLO🧚🏻 (@chlo_orme) August 4, 2021
“I spent most of my time in the writers’ room and on set working with other medical advisors,” she said. “I’d get asked questions about the script to make sure the medical references were accurate. I helped the actors pronounce the medical terminology correctly and assisted the set advisors with making sure the stage looked like an operating room.”
She said that like Chicago Med, Grey’s Anatomy makes an effort to determine if certain medical cases had occurred in real life. Dr. Jackson would then investigate those cases to discover the truth.
OK, so perhaps there are fewer on-call makeout sessions at real hospitals. The likelihood of doctors falling for patients is very low. But Grey’s Anatomy has made an effort over the years. However, the latter might be a bit more realistic when it comes to how it stacks up against Chicago Med. McDreamy lovers, we are sorry.