Symptoms: feeling blah and lost. Diagnosis: TV-induced confusion. Prescription: A dose of Chicago Med.
Season 1 of medical drama Chicago Med (2015- current) is available on internet streaming service ShowMax. It’s a sibling show to actiondriven dramas Chicago Fire (2012current) and Chicago PD (2014- current), produced under the guidance of Dick Wolf, creator of the Law & Order franchise (1990- current). So as well as being fun to binge on, Chicago Med is rewarding to casual viewers. “You don’t need to have seen the one to understand the one you’re watching,” says showrunner Andrew Schneider. Here’s why we’re prescribing it:
Chicago Med’s Gaffney Chicago Medical Center is a new facility and that means they can choose from the best of the best. The staff is driven to compete and succeed, but working handin-hand moulds them into a family, complete with loads of sibling rivalry…
• THE “PARENTS”
Chief Of Services: Sharon Goodwin (S Epathta M er k er son)i san urs e-turned-administrator who must balance protecting the doctors and the hospital.
Chief Of Psychiatry: Dr Daniel Charles (Oliver Platt) has three ex-wives, four children and a problem with his admin. He’s like the “dad” to Sharon’s “mom”. • THE “KIDS”
Head Of ER: nurse Maggie Lockwood (Marlyne Barrett) is like the big sister in charge. When she says jump, the doctors jump, no questions asked.
Chief ER Resident: Dr Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) is a grumpy ex plastic surgeon. His brother Jay (Jesse Lee Soffer) is a Chicago PD character.
Trauma Surgery Fellow: Dr Connor Rhodes (Colin Donnell) is old money, handsome, brilliant and mysterious, which makes Dr Halstead so jealous!
Paediatric Emergency Medicine: Dr Natalie Manning (Torrey DeVitto) is Halstead’s best buddy. She starts the series as a widow and hugely pregnant. ER Resident, Infectious Diseases: Dr Ethan Choi’s (Brian Tee) no nonsense attitude comes from his Navy background.
Emergency Nurse: April Sexton (Yaya DaCosta) wanted to be a doctor but had financial issues. She is Chicago Fire character Kelly Severide’s ( Taylor Kinney) childhood pal.
• THE “BABY” Dr Sarah Reese (Rachel DiPillo) is a fourth-year medical student who’s still trying to decide which field of medicine she will specialise in.
MONEY, POWER, MEDICINE
Aside from the doctors’ personal drama, the action in Chicago Med is driven by what Andrew calls the “social or political or financial implications” of treatment. “Medicine is constantly evolving and the cost is constantly evolving. Biomedicine is now raising ethical issues and the ability of doctors to keep people alive – those cases make you ask questions,” he explains. For example… • In episode 1, clients of a surrogate mom have a contract that gives them the power to choose between her life and their baby’s. • In episode 8, Dr Charles films a child patient without her family’s consent to make sense of her medical history. • In episode 9, Dr Halstead defies a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order to save a cancer patient so that he can enrol her in a new clinical trial.
From left: Sharon, WiIl, Ethan Natalie, Daniel and Connor. Front: April and Sarah. Nurse Maggie.