TV's Most Comforting Hospital Shows

From Grey's Anatomy to ER and beyond, we've rounded up some of our favorite medical shows and how to watch them.

By Lauren Piester Mar 16, 2020 11:24 PMTags
Watch: "New Amsterdam" Cast Diagnoses Your Medical TV Fascination

It might feel like a weird time to want to watch a hospital show, but maybe it's also the best time to watch a hospital show. 

In this time of uncertainty, as businesses are closing and we're all supposed to be staying at home and taking full advantage of all that the streaming world has to offer, we keep finding ourselves craving shows like ER and Grey's Anatomy. While there's a lot of gore and occasionally (or often) a death or two, it's nice to watch doctors doing what doctors do. 

It's comforting to see patients being treated and diseases being overcome, while also important to see doctors as real people who are trying their best in trying times. Sometimes the doctors also have sex with each other, which is just extra fun for TV viewers, to help keep us all distracted. 

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Anyway, we rounded up some of our favorite, most comforting medical shows. Some are still on, and some are looong over, but almost all of them are available to stream in full somewhere. 

One show that did not make the list was House, and while we'd like to point out that it's available to watch on Amazon Prime, we'd also like to explain that it is not very comforting. It may not always be Lupus, but it's always something. Still an entertaining show, so if you're feeling a little more cynical and looking for a show to fit that vibe, it might be the right choice for you right now. 

Otherwise, settle in and pick a hospital. 

Grey's Anatomy

A lot of things have gone down at Seattle Grace/Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. A lot of people have died or moved on or simply disappeared, but this hospital and Meredith Grey have always been there for us for the past 16 years. Mer is also now one of the best doctors in the country, and there are few people we trust more. (Netflix, Hulu)


Scrubs has been making the rounds this week due to a scene showing how germs spread from person to person that's highly useful right now, but aside from being informative, it's damn funny. And laughter is good for all of us. (Hulu)


MASH is a slightly different kind of medical show, a comedy set in a mobile Army surgical hospital (MASH) in the Korean war. The show began airing during the Vietnam War and many episodes are not exactly comedic, but it's all strangely comforting to watch. The entire series is streaming on Hulu. 

Chicago Med

Hot people? Check. Good, well functioning hospital? Check. Lots of doctor romance? Check. Chicago-related ER parallels? Check. You don't even need to be well-versed in the world of One Chicago to dive into Chicago Med, but it's a bonus if you are! (Hulu,

Nurse Jackie

Nurse Jackie's not only a critically acclaimed series starring Edie Falco, but it's also centered one of the more under-recognized but vital parts of a hospital staff: the nurses. (Netflix)

Diagnosis Murder

Dick Van Dyke is a doctor who is a doctor and ALSO solves murders. That's a very talented doctor! It appears that the only place this show is streaming is on Philo, but Hallmark Movies & Mysteries appears to air several episodes a day. 

St. Elsewhere

St. Elsewhere is a sort of gritty, realistic medical drama set in a fictional Boston hospital featuring a cast that will kinda blow your mind. You may have heard about the way St. Elsewhere ends (with the snow globe), but you can find out how it all begins on Hulu. 

Getting On

A dark comedy set in the geriatric ward of a Long Beach hospital, Getting On is comforting in that it gives a look at the people who are doing their best to care for some of the most vulnerable. It is also funny. (HBO) 

New Amsterdam

New Amsterdam is the story of a doctor trying to do the best he can for his patients instead of for the hospital itself, even in the face of his own cancer diagnosis. NBC has already renewed the show for three more seasons, which is comforting in and of itself. (Hulu, 

Doogie Howser, M.D.

Once upon a time, Neil Patrick Harris was Doogie Howser, a teen cancer survivor and genius who became a doctor on a show that addressed everything from AIDS awareness to body issues to virginity. (Hulu) 

The Good Doctor

Dr. Shawn Murphy may have had a lot to overcome, but this is a man who will do whatever he has to do to make sure his patients are taken care of and there's something incredibly nice to watch about that fact. (Hulu)


The gold standard of medical dramas. If you start with season one, you get George Clooney and Julianna Margulies falling in love while you fall in love with them (and also while they treat patients). Keep going and you'll fall in love with everyone else too. If you're looking for a fairly straightforward and occasionally devastating but also uplifting show, this is the one for you. (Hulu)

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