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Chicago Med Versus Grey's Anatomy: Which Is More Accurate?

While no one should base health care decisions on the exploits depicted on popular TV shows like "Chicago Med" or "Grey's Anatomy," it's interesting to speculate on just how authentic these series are when it comes to representing factual medical procedures and outcomes. As a general proposition, however, it's safe to say that medical dramas tend to overstep the bounds on a regular basis when it comes to portraying real-world medicine. 

As noted by St. George University Medical School, these fan-favorite series often require a healthy dose of viewer skepticism. For instance, TV doctors are often seen handling a wide range of procedures on multiple patients when the truth is that specialists and other pros, like physicians' assistants and nurse practitioners, would actually be called on in these cases to apply their individual expertise.

Considering medical dramas' tendency to bend the truth everywhere from the examining room to the operating theater, does "Chicago Med" or "Grey's Anatomy" give its viewers the most accurate picture of medicine as it's actually practiced?

Chicago Med beats Grey's Anatomy when it comes medical accuracy

As part of the "One Chicago" slate of shows on NBC, "Chicago Med" has followed the hectic lives of the docs and nurses at the fictional Chicago Gaffney Medical Center since 2015. For its part, "Grey's Anatomy" has been on the air since 2005, making it the longest-running primetime medical drama in TV history (via Forbes). But, for these two shows, longevity doesn't necessarily equal veracity.

While both series have medical advisors to offer guidance to the writers and actors (per Distractify), when it comes to mirroring medical reality, popular YouTube personality Dr. Mike Varshavski has a clear winner in mind. "I know ['Grey's Anatomy' is] the most popular medical drama of all time ... it's just not medically accurate," he told Men's Health. But, when it came to "Chicago Fire," he had quite a different opinion. "I couldn't find almost anything medically wrong with it," Dr. Varshavski noted.

Likewise, according to Insider, medical experts who rated TV dramas for medical accuracy gave "Grey's Anatomy" a score of 4 out of 10, while "Chicago Med" netted an impressive 7 out of 10. 

So, while both shows deliver on the promise of hospital-based thrills and drama, "Chicago Med" scores top honors when it comes to telling it like it is — medically speaking.