Boston Med

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Boston Med TV Poster Image
Intense docuseries delivers real-life medical drama.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show's overall message is educational, not exploitative -- it highlights the important and extremely stressful work that doctors and nurses do every day. The series also captures the real impact that traumatic accidents have on patients and their families.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The series follows a diverse mix of characters -- doctors and nurses of different ages, sexes, and races. Their choices and behavior aren't always exemplary, but at their core they're working to save people's lives.


Patients experience life-altering moments of violence -- and sometimes death. Surgical scenes involve blood, with occasional close-ups of incisions and stitching, etc.


Some storylines involve doctors and nurses talking about their love lives, etc.


The series focuses on three different hospitals in the Boston area -- Massachusetts General, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Children's Hospital Boston. While it isn't meant to be an overt "advertisement" for their services, the show does subtly promote each hospital's doctors and, by extension, its brand.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Patient cases may involve alcohol or drugs.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this documentary-like news series takes place inside real hospitals, where real -- and often graphic -- surgeries happen every day. To that end, some scenes involve blood, with close-ups of incisions and wound-stitching (as well as a few cases that end in death). But in the end the show remains respectful without glorifying gore or loss for the sake of good TV, and overall, the tone is educational rather than exploitative.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 17-year-old Written bybobbyo July 18, 2010
i love the show... i realize it is actual footage but was very offended this last weeks episode and will not watch it again if they use God name in vein... they... Continue reading
Parent of a 12-year-old Written byMommyconcerned July 6, 2010

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Filmed over four months inside a trio of Boston hospitals, BOSTON MED is an eight-episode docuseries about the lives of patients, doctors, and nurses at Massachusetts General, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Children's Hospital Boston. The show is a follow-up to producer Terry Wrong's Peabody Award-winning series Hopkins, a similarly themed six-part documentary (which was based, in turn, on the 2000 televised special Hopkins 24/7) that aired in 2008 and centered on the day-to-day dramas at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Is it any good?

The creators of Grey's Anatomy say they were inspired, at least in part, by Wrong's original Hopkins 24/7 special, a groundbreaking venture that brought cinema verite to prime time in then-unprecedented ways. But while Grey's might have had its roots in reality, it didn't take long for it to veer into ridiculous territory involving sex with ghosts and McDreamy/Steamy doctors. Based on that alone, Boston Med gets major points for medical realism.

There's a lot, of course, that the cameras leave out, particularly when it comes to the thorny issue of health insurance. But the series succeeds in capturing real emotion and real people that viewers can't help but relate to. The show will also feature a remarkable face transplant operation -- the second ever performed in the United States and the first to be so vividly filmed. And that alone is worth watching.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the show's approach to violence, particularly when it comes to showing surgeries and emergency procedures. Does the show ever go too far? How do the real-life procedures you see on this show compare with dramatized surgeries on shows like Grey's Anatomy?

  • How real are the things you're seeing, in general? Do you think the hospital staff would behave any differently if the cameras weren't there? Does it surprise you to learn that, in some ways, hospitals are like any other workplace?

TV details

  • Premiere date: June 24, 2010
  • Network: ABC
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-14
  • Last updated: September 20, 2019

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