This is exactly what the doctor prescribed

2016-10-21 20:00

Johannesburg - Season 1 of medical drama Chicago Med (2015-current) is now available on internet streaming service ShowMax.

It’s a sibling show to action-driven dramas Chicago Fire (2012-current) and Chicago PD (2014-current), produced under the guidance of Dick Wolf, creator of the beloved 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 before to understand the one you're watching," says show runner Andrew Schneider.

Here’s why we’re prescribing it:

Doctor Drama

Chicago Med’s Gaffney Chicago Medical Center is a new facility, and that means they can pick and choose from the best of the best. Everyone on the staff is driven to compete and succeed. But working hand-in-hand moulds them into a kind of family, complete with loads of sibling rivalry…

The “parents”

• Chief of Services of Gaffney Chicago Medical Center: Sharon Goodwin (S Epathta Merkerson) is a caring nurse-turned-administrator who must balance protecting the doctors and the hospital. 
•  Chief of Psychiatry: Charming Dr Daniel Charles (Oliver Platt) has three ex-wives, four children, and a problem keeping his admin in order. He’s like the “dad” to Sharon’s “mom”.

The “kids”

• Head of the 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). This grumpy former plastic surgeon comes from a cop family. 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 Dr Halstead’s best buddy. She starts the series a widow and hugely pregnant.
• Emergency Room Resident, Infectious Diseases: Dr Ethan Choi’s (Brian Tee) no nonsense attitude comes from his Navy background.
• Nurse April Sexton (Yaya DaCosta) wanted to be a doctor but had financial issues. She’s Chicago Fire character Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) childhood pal.

The “baby” 
•  Dr Sarah Reese (Rachel DiPillo). As a fourth-year medical student Sarah’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 medical treatment.

“Medicine is constantly evolving and the cost of medicine is constantly evolving. Biomedicine is 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 mother 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 permission, 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 he can enrol her in a new clinical trial.

The series also aims to tackle a cutting-edge medical treatment in every episode, so there’s always something new to think about.
NB! Episode 5 of Chicago Med features a crossover with Chicago Fire and Chicago PD. 

More medical marvels on ShowMax:

Scrubs (2001-2010, comedy): All 9 seasons.
Nurse Jackie (2009-2015, drama): All 7 seasons
House (2004-2012, drama): All 8 seasons
Masters Of Sex (2013-current, period drama): seasons 1 & 2 of 4
The Knick (2014-current, period drama): season 1 of 2
Binnelanders (2005-current, soapie): All 10 seasons to date
Doctors Without Borders (2013, documentary): All 4 episodes.

*This article is sponsored. Channel24 is part of Media24, a subsidiary of Naspers.

(Photos supplied)

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