10. Grey’s Anatomy
While this one’s not for everyone, there’s no denying the popularity and impact of “Grey’s Anatomy.” While sometimes more of a soap opera, the show has its very poignant moments, making hardcore viewers thirsting for more.
“Emergency!” was one of the first medical dramas, portraying the action and intensity of first responders. What the show lacks in intricate dialogue and complex storylines, it makes up for in heart-pounding drama. A show well-ahead of its time.
8. Private Practice
“Private Practice” is the critically-acclaimed spin-off of “Grey’s Anatomy.” The show is much more hard-hitting in terms of storylines and the topics that the show covers than its Seattle counterpart. The acting is very good and looks to be a solid entry into the primetime lineup.
7. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
The mid-1990’s were a fertile time for TV medical dramas. “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” was not as popular as “E.R.” and “Chicago Hope,” but was more than a quality show. The whole premise of a wild-west doc is pretty enticing and something that might be replicated well today.
6. Marcus Welby, M.D.
All the excellent shows on this countdown owe quite a bit to “Marcus Welby, M.D.” Prior, few thought that the medical profession could translate to the small screen. Behind intrigue, drama, and mystery though, each episode was a thrill. Still, Welby is one of our favorite TV docs.
Like many of F/X’s original shows, “Nip/Tuck” is wildly original and majorly controversial. It’s amazing that this was TV’s first foray into plastic surgery, at least in terms of fictional drama. Nevertheless, the show dove into some pretty touchy subjects and was always filled with interesting melodrama.
4. St. Elsewhere
“St. Elsewhere” may not have been the best hospital in town, but it was the proving ground for many bright young stars. Most notably, it was the launching pad for some guy named Denzel Washington. While not as authentic as shows like “ER,” “Elsewhere” had a ton of drama and interesting characters.
3. House, M.D.
Let’s face it, House is a jerk…a massive jerk, but he’s a heck of a doctor. If you’ve got some rare disease or crazy unusual thing wrong with you, House is your guy. Plus, he’s got some pretty smart folk working with him. All in all, I’d probably go see him.
2. Chicago Hope
“Chicago Hope” premiered right around the same time as “ER.” For a while there, the two shows were neck-and-neck, with the latter eventually pulling away. Nonetheless, for it’s run, “Hope” was quality TV with an interesting cast of characters.
Was there really any doubt about what would be #1 on this countdown? “ER” is not only the greatest medical drama of all-time, but one of the finest achievements in television history. The acting and storylines are phenomenal, which showed over the show’s amazing 15 season run.