The 10 best TV shows set in a hospital

If you love medical dramas you have found the right corner of the internet, because today we are counting down the very best TV shows set in a hospital.

The high drama of Emergency Rooms and ambulances has for many decades been the backdrop for our best-loved TV shows, and still, today continues to capture the imagination of audiences discovering and rediscovering classics from the genre.

But what is the very best of the best if you want a TV series set in a hospital?

It’s time to grab your stethoscope as we enter surgery as we try to cure that problem for readers…

The best TV shows set in hospital

10. Casualty

A true staple of Saturday night television in the UK, Casualty began broadcasting on BBC One in 1986 and has pretty much continued uninterrupted ever since. The show follows the fortunes of the doctors, nurses and other staff in the Accident and Emergency department at the fictional Holby City Hospital, and each week has stand-alone stories that are continued by the ongoing story arcs of the main characters. In 1999, the show spawned a spin-off show, Holby City, based in other wards of the hospital.

9. M*A*S*H

Adapted from the 1970 feature film of the same name, this wartime medical drama is set in an American field hospital during the Korean War in the early 1950s. The long-running show, which means Mobile Army Surgical Hospital take the drama of the usual medical dramas on this list and combines them with the extra jeopardy and unusual backdrop of war. Featuring an ensemble cast, M*A*S*H is recognised as one of its genre’s most important and influential shows and is still well-loved today.

8. Dr. Kildare

One of the true classics of the hospital genre and a show that went on to make an international star of its lead Richard Chamberlain and influence many of the medical shows that would follow, Dr. Kildare ran between 1961 and 1966. Set in the fictional Blair General Hospital it begins by telling the story of a young Dr. Kildare as he begins to learn his profession in the busy world of medicine – and develops as he becomes more senior within the hospital. If you want to see where many of the other shows on this list got their ideas, take a look at this.

7. New Amsterdam

Based on the book Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital by Eric Manheimer this excellent medical drama follows the exploits of Dr. Max Goodwin as he takes over the role of medical director at one of the oldest public hospitals in America. However, it’s not all plain sailing for Goodwin as he must deal with the underfunded and neglected facilities and a staff that has lost its motivation in order to deliver the best care he possibly can for patients at the facility.

6. Chicago Med

This show is part of Dick Wolf’s “Chicago” franchise and occasionally crosses over with the other shows in the series, Chicago Fire and Chicago PD. It is centred on the goings on around the Gaffney Chicago Medical Center, and just like many of the best medical dramas on this list blends carefully the personal and professional lives of the staff with different medical problems that arrive in their world week in and week out. IF you want doctors and nurses to solve problems, you’ve definitely arrived in the right place.

5. The Good Doctor

This show is based on a 2013 South Korean series of the same name and stars Freddie Highmore as Shaun Murphy, a young autistic savant surgical resident working at San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital. The show focuses on the life of a young surgeon with a troubled past as he moves from Wyoming to California and begins to use his incredible skills within the hospital.

4. Doogie Howser M.D.

Readers of a certain age may recognise the name Neil Patrick Harris as not only the star of How I Met Your Mother (and soon-to-be guest star of Doctor Who), but also as Doogie Howser, the late 1980s comedy-drama that saw a teenager try to balance the stresses of being a doctor with the normal problems of growing up. Having survived childhood leukaemia, and being the son of a doctor, Howser had a desire from a young age to become a doctor and do good, and in this series, he does just that.

3. Grey’s Anatomy

This time we’ve found the longest-running medical drama, and wow, there’s a lot of Grey’s Anatomy for you to get stuck into – in fact it started in 2005 and it’s still going! The show tells the story of the life, love and professional progressions of the staff of the Seattle Grace Hospital and focuses on Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo, who is the daughter of an eminent surgeon making her way in the medical profession. The show has helped launch the careers of many famous performers throughout the years – most notably Sandra Oh and Katherine Heigl.

2. House

Hugh Laurie stars as Gregory House, a misanthropic but genius surgeon at Princeton–Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey in this well-loved hospital drama. House is certainly not a conventional doctor and spends much of this series clashing with other doctors in the hospital on the best way to treat a case, as well as falling out with his own team. Dependent on pain medication himself, this is a series with a flawed genius at the heart of it that over time you can’t help but root for. In total there are eight seasons of this show to watch which originally ran between 2004 and 2012.

1. ER

One of the longest-running medical dramas, ER exploded onto TV screens in 1994 and went on to enjoy 15 seasons and 331 episodes on the air – meaning there’s plenty to catch up on if you haven’t seen it. A ratings and critical hit for NBC the show detailed the struggles of a medical team working in the Emergency Room of the Cook County General Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Over the years the cast changed as central characters came and went, but one of the most notable alumnus of this genre-defining show is of course George Clooney who would go on to become an international movie star.