5 Common Storylines Across TV Medical Dramas

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ABC/Kelsey McNeal; Elizabeth Sisson/NBC

Pretty much all medical dramas have at least a few things in common: hospital hookups in on-call rooms and closets, doctors and nurses put in extreme situations, and similar, dramatic, and sometimes unbelievable medical cases.

Here, we examine the medical overlap across current dramas Grey’s Anatomy, Chicago Med, New Amsterdam, and The Good Doctor.

Cyber Attack

While ransomware isn’t a storyline limited to the medical field — in 2017, NCIS also featured an episode with it — both Chicago Med and Grey’s Anatomy saw their hospitals under attack the same year. It wasn’t surprising — there’s plenty of story to mine from it, considering how reliant everyone has become on computers. Even charts are on tablets!

Hostage Situations

Both Grey’s Anatomy and Chicago Med have seen their doctors under the threat of a shooter in the hospital with a personal vendetta. On Grey’s, the then-Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital saw multiple doctors shot in the Season 6 finale by a man who targeted Derek. On Med, a young man refuses to let the mother of his child give the baby up for adoption and holds the ED hostage.

<>The Good Doctor (ABC/Jeff Weddell)

The Inability to Feel Pain

It’s a very real condition. “Some [cases] do seem so outlandish, but the fact is they’re really medical truth,” The Good Doctor lead medical consultant, Dr. Oren Gottfried, told TV Insider. On that ABC drama, it resulted in the patient losing her hand, while on Grey’s Anatomy, a kid with the condition had internal injuries after demonstrating her “superpowers.”

Bring the Doctors to the Inmates

When the patients can’t be brought to the doctors, they go to the patients. Not only does this often put the dramas’ main characters in possibly dangerous situations, but it allows them to do good outside of the hospital walls. Grey’s took its doctors to the prison floor of a hospital, Chicago Med provided psychiatric care in jail, and New Amsterdam took its doctors to Rikers to check out a worrisome situation.

New Amsterdam (Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

Safe Injection Sites

Helen just put her job at risk — and was stripped of her titles as a result of a subsequent arrest — to help her patient, albeit illegally, on New Amsterdam. And Med is going to tackle that as “a prominent storyline in the second part” of Season 5. “We are going to be dealing with safe injection sites and so that’s a new thing and it’s something that is controversial with doctors,” executive producer Diane Frolov told TV Insider.