Can You Name All These TV Medical Dramas?

By: Olivia Cantor
Image: Fox

About This Quiz

Nothing's more universal than a medical drama. Imagine the storylines you can see, hear and feel from people whose lives witness life-or-death decisions and situations. Any country in the world can understand medical-related dilemmas. This universality is why medical-themed TV shows get more popular as decades pass.

During the 1950s and 1960s, U.S. medical shows often focused on a singular character. That lead is usually a doctor and a male one, too. Media scholars also point out that these shows always featured white doctors. 

But as time passed, we witnessed cast changes in medical TV shows. Not only do we see male doctors in the lead, but there are also women-led narratives now, too. We can now see a mix of ethnicities portrayed in these dramas, so progress has been made there as well. And it's not only the doctors or surgeons who get top billing; there are even shows focused on interns, nurses and midwives and other medical jobs rarely highlighted in commercial pop culture.

With all these innovations and updates, do you think you can guess the correct title of the medical TV show presented here via images? Don't flatline on this one, OK? If you're all prepped, proceed with the procedure!

Showrunner Shonda Rhimes jump-started the long-running "Grey's Anatomy," which premiered back in 2013. If you're wondering about that title, it's related to Dr. Meredith Grey, the titular character, but it's also a nod to a classic medical-anatomy textbook titled "Gray's Anatomy."

"House" is about this doctor with the stinging caustic wit, a characteristic we don't necessarily consider as good bedside manners, but we love him for it anyway. British actor Hugh Laurie played this American character named Dr. Gregory House, a role he's quite famous for.

One great show that had enough accuracy for a medical drama is "ER." That's because an actual medical doctor, novelist Michael Crichton, created this show in 1994. The medical drama's run ended in 2009. Notable stars who checked in here also include Eriq La Salle, John Stamos, Angela Bassett and Anthony Edwards.

Even though many medical professionals wear scrubs while performing certain functions, the term also became synonymous with medical personnel who ranked lower in the hospital hierarchy. One such person is the medical intern, the focus of the show "Scrubs."

Harris first delighted the Generation X crowd by playing "Doogie Howser, M.D.," that child prodigy who breezed through basic education and medical school to become a certified doctor in his teens. He had to juggle the woes of being a regular teenager and the pressures of his hospital duties.

"Nip/Tuck" demystified what really goes on with plastic surgery as the show featured various cases of it per episode. The show focused on the professional lives of two innovative plastic surgeons, Dr. Sean McNamara and Dr. Christian Troy.

Ever wondered what the acronym MASH meant? It's Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, the focus of the popular comedy-drama "M*A*S*H." This program focused on the American medical unit deployed during the Korean War while, ironically, the U.S. was in the midst of the Vietnam War at that time.

A big medical drama during the '80s was "St. Elsewhere," which featured an ensemble cast to accurately reflect the realities in a hospital environment. Coincidentally, the show's producers also had another hit drama on their hands during this time: the police procedural "Hill Street Blues."

Nurse Jackie was an addict struggling to control her addiction and her very demanding job and life. It's no surprise that the first run of this series had her paired up with pharmacist Eddie Walzer.

Since the long-running soap opera-medical drama "General Hospital" premiered in 1963, we've seen many big celebrities grace the show. Some include the original "MacGyver," Richard Dean Anderson, Luke Skywalker Mark Hamill, movie madam Demi Moore, John Stamos of "Full House" and singer Ricky Martin.

If TV producer David E. Kelley wasn't busy thinking up provocative legal dramas, he was busy thinking up intriguing medical dramas. One such show is "Chicago Hope," the show he worked on after working on "L.A. Law" and "Picket Fences."

The TV show "Code Black" used an intriguing hospital code that refers to having a bomb in the hospital or if they received a bomb threat. Another common hospital code is "code blue," which refers to an actual medical emergency happening within the hospital premises.

Before Richard Chamberlain played a controversial priest in "The Thorn Birds" and the amnesiac spy Jason Bourne, he played the medical professional named "Dr. Kildare." This highly successful TV series catapulted him to fame back in the '60s.

"China Beach" was one of those Vietnam War-era shows portraying the lives of medical people during their deployment. This show focused on the women's narratives for a change, with Dana Delany playing the head nurse in charge of the unit.

The “fish out of water" storytelling trope is useful for a TV series because it stretches a simple premise to produce longer narrative arcs; this was the structure followed by the 2011 show "Hart of Dixie." From the title alone, you'd know that it transplants the lead character into the Southern U.S.

To save is a doctor's primary duty, which also gives hope to the patient and their loved ones. So it's easy to guess why a medical drama had the title "Saving Hope." Its unique selling point was that the doctor here can see patients' spirits if they're in a coma or if they just died.

Many series focus on public hospitals since there's a lot of medical drama happening there, often connected to the patient demographics they serve. One such example is the NBC show "New Amsterdam," which tackles bureaucratic problems that befall such U.S. hospitals and affects disadvantaged patients.

Since it aired for only a season before getting canceled, audiences may not be ready yet to see a show like "Emily Owens, M.D." While the medical drama contained some adult themes, the narrative arcs it presented merely transported high school hierarchies and set it within a hospital scenario.

One of the original "fish out of water" medical dramas is the humorous "Northern Exposure." This early '90s show featured young doctor Joel Fleischman as he gets acquainted with the unique Alaskan culture of quaint residents in Cicely. The small town got its name from a lesbian co-founder.

"Private Practice" spun off from "Grey's Anatomy," so naturally, Shonda Rhimes was still its showrunner. This one also had a female doctor at the core: Dr. Addison Montgomery. The show follows her departure from the "Grey's Anatomy" hospital to work in the smaller Oceanside Wellness Group.

Curious to see how doctors performed their medical tasks during the Old West of the 1800s? Then watch "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" and see how the lovely Jane Seymour's titular character hurdled cultural obstacles, medical challenges and gender-based judgment in her medical practice.

If you want to see how first responders do their job, watch "9-1-1." Partly a medical drama, this show not only features the daily grind of paramedics but also of firefighters and police officers on call in Los Angeles, California. The show's creator, Ryan Murphy, also made "Nip/Tuck."

Robert Young played the titular character of "Marcus Welby, M.D.," that doctor whose bedside manners you'd appreciate. James Brolin co-starred as Dr. Steve Kiley; he's the dad of actor Josh Brolin, whom we now know as the MCU's Thanos character.

"Monday Mornings" focused on how surgeons would undergo assessments of their weekly performances every start of the week. Movie actors Alfred Molina and Ving Rhames led the cast of this one-season show.

Delany wears her scrubs again in "Body of Proof," this time as a medical examiner who gave up her neurosurgeon career after several life-altering traumatic experiences. As the title suggests, she refocused her energies on solving medical deaths instead.

"The Good Doctor" shows that even a person with autism can successfully practice medicine. The autistic doctor here, Shaun Murphy, also displays savant syndrome characteristics, which means his mind processes things at a higher intellectual capacity than average people's. Fun fact: "The Good Doctor" is an American adaptation of a Korean drama by the same name.

Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who gained popularity as Theo in "The Cosby Show," appears in "The Resident" as a cardiothoracic surgeon. The show takes place in Atlanta, Georgia and focuses on interesting topics such as medical malpractice and ethical concerns.

"Strong Medicine" also sent out strong storylines that don't normally get airtime in other commercial medical dramas, or in any other dramas, for that matter. This one featured clashing storylines that highlight gender-based and socioeconomic issues. Whoopi Goldberg appeared on the show from time to time.

"The Night Shift" not only extensively showed the lives of medical personnel working the night shift, but it also explored the life of a closeted gay medic there. The Texas-set show featured how workers did their jobs late at night in a hospital emergency room.

There's a 1998 "City of Angels" movie with Nicolas Cage, and then there's this 2000 TV series with the same title, so don't get confused. As the title implies, it's a Los Angeles-set show where Gabrielle Union and Maya Rudolph got their big breaks. Blair Underwood led the cast here.

Surgeons who are rather full of themselves can have an ethereal catharsis to change their ways. This is the premise of "A Gifted Man" starring Patrick Wilson. "Silence of the Lambs" director Jonathan Demme helmed the pilot six years before his death in 2017.

Film actor Dermot Mulroney also tried his hand at TV work by starring in "Pure Genius" as a doctor. Co-star Augustus Prew played the billionaire tech guy who wanted to invest in a hospital with high-tech facilities.

TV producers Dick Wolf, Michael Brandt and Derek Haas created a franchise series featuring different public institutions set in a singular city: Chicago. This included the medical drama "Chicago Med," the firefighter and paramedics-focused "Chicago Fire" and the police drama "Chicago P.D."

There's also great medical drama and comedy inside a pediatric facility full of young patients balancing their medical concerns with their adolescent outbursts. "The Red Band Society" features this premise about kids with different medical cases like anorexia, drug abuse, cystic fibrosis and others.

Jada Pinkett Smith played a chief nursing officer in the three-season show called "Hawthorne." Former "Alias" actor Michael Vartan played the chief of surgery in this show. Their story took place in a Richmond, Virginia hospital.

TV shows during the '50s and '60s usually aired one storyline that concluded within the same episode. "Ben Casey" broke from that mold by featuring one story that ran for several episodes of the show. Later episodes also aired in color already.

Bureaucratic health systems received the spotlight in "L.A. Doctors." This short-lived series featured longtime TV actors like Sheryl Lee of "Twin Peaks," Ken Olin of "Thirtysomething," Matt Craven of "NCIS," Rick Roberts of "Jonestown: Paradise Lost" and Deirdre O'Connell of "Law & Order."

English movie actor Clive Owen appeared in many TV shows, too. In 2012, he played novelist Ernest Hemingway in the HBO-produced "Hemingway & Gellhorn." In 2015, he starred as the inventive 1900s-era surgeon Dr. John Thackery in "The Knick."

Perhaps audiences prefer to see how mafia-like operations run their illegal or violent activities, not the medical side of things. Too bad for the 2012 show called "The Mob Doctor," since it carried that premise for its first and only season.

If you're curious about another kind of medical practice, one that has doctors working for retainer fees for individual patient services, then watch "Royal Pains." It's called "concierge medicine," and this show features the daily life of one such doctor practicing this line of work in the Hamptons.

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