‘Chicago Med’ Fans Sound Off on Show’s Medical Inaccuracies

by Jacklyn Krol

Just how medically accurate is Chicago Med?

Social media famous Dr. Mike created a YouTube video concerning medical television shows and just how accurate they are. For the hit NBC drama, he graded them extremely well.

“I couldn’t find almost anything medically wrong with it,” he admitted. He noted that the show does a great job at showcasing nurses. He also mentioned the fact that they showed nurses telling residents how to do something like chest compressions is accurate. Overall, he said that they have accurate procedures and use good terminology.

In real life, the show is roughly 80-85% medically accurate. The writers can only use real, published medical cases and dramatize that. However, when it comes to the pandemic, it isn’t as accurate as it typically is.

One fan who claimed that they are a respiratory therapist on Reddit noted how inaccurate the portrayal of COVID-19 is.

“I enjoy all three of the Chicago shows but they missed the mark when it comes to correct medical terminology as well as the alarms they use. Dr. Choi was discussing poor ‘oxygenation,'” they wrote.

“He states that they even added nitrous oxide instead of nitric oxide,” they added. “These are not the same gases at all nor are they used interchangeably. They also use alarms for a machine they aren’t even using. I thought these shows used advisers.”

‘Chicago Med’ and the Drama

In another Reddit thread, two apparent fourth-year medical students explained that it is somewhat accurate but “overly dramatic.”

“Also the scenarios they encounter every episode are like hypothetically possible but most physicians will never encounter them in their careers,” one person wrote.

Numerous people agreed that the CPR technique portrayed on the show is “awful”. But the show cannot accurately portray CPR. For one, CPR in real life would hurt the actor. Additionally, it requires medical training. We do not suggest using ‘Chicago Med’ as a guide. An untrained person could actually hurt someone more if they perform it the way that the show depicts.

“My biggest issue is how much stuff is handled in the ED [Emergency Department],” another wrote. “The ED is for triage and stabilization. It’s supremely unrealistic how they often have patients remaining in their room for days at a time.”

For the emergency department, doctors primarily only call consultations for trauma, psych, and neurology.

“The most recent episode the EM docs were deciding if the patient needed a D&C and dispensing methergine. As soon as she came in with vaginal bleeding an OB/GYN consult would have been called pretty much immediately,” they claimed.

Another aspect that may not be accurate is the fact that there are two attendings treating a single patient.

“It’s a waste of resources and there are usually so many patients to see that it doesn’t make sense,” they explained. “Also, this is a nitpick but they make huge incisions for chest tubes, which is just not necessary.”