Medical Perspectives | Others

July 30, 2021

The world has been watching medical drama shows since 1951 when City Hospital, considered the first televised medical drama, was aired. Globally, there have been more than 300 serialized medical dramas that have been seen by television audiences in 46 countries. In the Philippines, four such TV shows have been produced, namely, Habang May Buhay in 2010, Altapresyon in 2012, Obsession in 2014 and Sa Puso ni Dok in 2014.


Considered as one of television’s most enduring genres, medical drama has long been an audience favorite. Among the most watched English-language medical shows are House (2004-2012), Scrubs (2001-2010), ER (1994-2009), Grey’s Anatomy (2005-present) and The Good Doctor (2015-present).


Because of its appeal to the viewing public, different storylines and approaches have been developed to keep the audience interested and glued to the screen. In 2019, four shows liven up the list of must-watch medical shows.


One of the newest additions to the weekly TV schedule is “New Amsterdam.” It talks about the changes that happen when new management takes over an old hospital institution. The main protagonist is described as “a charismatic, rule-breaking doctor.”


Another medical drama series is “The Resident.” If “New Amsterdam” is more traditional in its approach, “The Resident” is all about interpersonal relationships and breaking the rules.


“The Good Doctor,” meanwhile, features the lead character working as a surgeon with autism. It is described as “the emotional” medical drama series. Based on a Korean drama, it is one of the top-rating series of 2017-2018.


The longest-running series that is currently airing is “Grey’s Anatomy,” a drama set in Grey-Sloan Memorial. It started out as a look at the personal and professional lives of five interns and their supervisors/attending doctors. Grey’s Anatomy is on its 14th season and has been on air for 13 years. Definitely an audience favorite.


And then there is “Life” on Netflix, a South Korean television series produced in 2018, which revolves around “the hospital as a breeding ground for misuse of power…These doctors have the power to save lives, but the board has the power to kill doctors.”


The question on what show to watch depends mainly on what one is looking for in a medical drama series. The top five shows featured on this list have different pegs and distinct story treatments that should satisfy any curious viewer. The best way to find which one gets you hooked is to sit back and watch, and let the small screen work its magic.


[1] [n.d.]. Medical drama. Retrieved from

[2] [n.d.]. List of medical drama television programs. Retrieved from

[3] [n.d.]. List of medical drama television programs. Retrieved from

[4] Bentley, J. [2018, January]. Ranking TV’s Best Medical Dramas. Retrieved from

[5] Romero, A. [2018, September]. How To Tell All of Fall TV’s Medical Dramas Apart. Retrieved from

[6] Romero, A. [2018, September]. How To Tell All of Fall TV’s Medical Dramas Apart.

[7] Grey’s Anatomy. [n.d.] Retrieved from

[8] Life (2018). [n.d.] Retrieved from

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