Is ‘Chicago Med’ a Real Hospital?

There are many factors that make a great show. The goal for any show is to make audiences feel like they are immersed in the characters’ world and not simply watching a television show. A great cast, original script, and stellar directing and editing can all pull viewers into the on-screen world. But sometimes one of the greatest factors can be the setting itself. For shows like Chicago Med, the set and location can make all the difference in the world.

What is ‘Chicago Med’ about?

As you might guess from the show’s title, Chicago Med follows a group of doctors and nurses as they struggle to balance their personal lives with their professional lives. The series takes place at the fictional Gaffney Chicago Medical Center in Chicago.

The focus of the series is the hospital’s emergency department. Being set in an emergency room means that you can always count on Chicago Med to deliver lots of drama and action. Every week, the hospital’s elite doctors must fight to save the lives of the residents of one of the most violent cities in the US.

Outside of the medical emergencies, there is plenty of drama when it comes to the staff’s personal lives. The doctors and nurses work in close proximity to each other, meaning there are workplace romances that bring their own share of complications. Just like Grey’s Anatomy, you can count on the doctors to push the boundaries and sometimes cross the line when it comes to maintaining workplace relationships.

‘Chicago Med’ follows in the footsteps of two other successful Chicago shows

If you’re a fan of Chicago Med there’s a good chance you found the series through one of its sister shows, Chicago PD and Chicago Fire. Chicago Med is a spin-off series from the two previous Chicago shows. All three shows air in succession on Wednesday nights, allowing fans to get their fill of the dramas in one large dose. This schedule also makes crossovers between the shows a natural and frequent occurrence.

NBC has found success with its Chicago franchise. After Chicago Fire premiered in 2012, the network added on Chicago PD in 2014. One year later, Chicago Med premiered in 2015. Chicago Justice was brought on in 2017, but sadly the show only lasted one season. All three original shows got renewed for a new season next fall.

‘Chicago Med’ show creators want it to feel real

There are many elements that the creators of Chicago Med use to allow viewers to escape into the show’s world. First and foremost, the show is actually filmed in Chicago. There’s nothing like being immersed in a TV show and then being snapped out of the story when you see a building or location that obviously doesn’t belong in the show’s city. Filming in the actual city a show is set in allows residents of the city to connect with the show and see themselves in the same world as the characters they are watching on TV.

Another way that the show is able to make the show more realistic is through its casting. Chicago’s real-life mayor Rahm Emanuel appeared on the series premiere, playing none other than the mayor of Chicago. Though Emanuel has only appeared on one episode so far, the show’s co-creator, Dick Wolf said that Emanuel is welcome back anytime.

In addition to the mayor, the show tries to bring in real medical professionals as well. In January, the show put out a casting notice for real nurses to film a day on the show. Creating a real hospital experience is important to the show’s creators.

Is the show filmed in a real hospital?

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If you think the hospital used for Chicago Med looks familiar, you’re right. Though the show is set at the fictional Gaffney Chicago Medical Center and primarily shot on the Cinespace lot in Chicago, the show draws inspiration from one of Chicago’s very own hospitals. The interior of Gaffney Chicago is based in the inside of Rush University Medical Center. In addition to drawing from the hospital’s appearance, the show has also shot many scenes at the actual hospital.