Most primetime medical dramas aren't completely accurate, but that's not why we love them. Still, fans of both Chicago Med and Grey's Anatomy are curious about how realistic they are and if Chicago Med takes the cake for being the most reliable.
We should preface this by saying you should never take medical advice from a show where the doctors hook up with patients and remove bombs from chest cavities.
That being said, it's hard not to wonder how these two shows stack up against each other. They aren't exactly in competition with one another. 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. Regardless, they're both in the same genre, so let's break this down.
'Chicago Med' and 'Grey's Anatomy' both have medical advisors on staff.
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 by the name of 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. The show features actors who play doctors, but also a doctor who now acts. 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 certain if Chicago Med is more accurate than Grey's Anatomy and vice versa. According to TV Insider, however, Chicago Med is more realistic.
The outlet reported that the show's writers only include cases in the show which have already been published. As in, there are no outlandish medical stories that haven't already 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 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 really looked like an operating room."
She said that like Chicago Med, Grey's Anatomy makes an effort to find out if certain medical cases had occurred in real life. Dr. Jackson would then research those cases to find that out.
Okay, so maybe there are much fewer on-call room makeout sessions in real hospitals. And the probability of doctors falling in love with patients is probably pretty low. But Grey's Anatomy has made an effort over the years. When it comes to how it stacks up against Chicago Med, however, the latter might just be a bit more realistic. Sorry, McDreamy fans.