Chicago Med Just Got Real: An Actual Neurosurgeon is Among the Cast

Chicago Med Just Got Real: An Actual Neurosurgeon is Among the Cast
Image credit: NBC

Chicago Med is the third series in Dick Wolf's Chicago franchise, but, like other series in it, Chicago Med can be watched as a standalone show.

It focuses on the emergency department at Gaffney Chicago Medical Center and on its doctors and nurses, working to save lives of their patients. And though it is a medical drama, which keeps thing appropriately dramatic, it is often praised for its accurate portrayal of medical work.

Though the series does its best to create engaging stories, it is well-known that writers of Chicago Med base all of their storylines on published accounts of real-world medical cases. They have multiple medical advisors, and the leading one, Andrew Dennis estimates that the medical practices shown in Chicago Med's episodes are roughly 85 percent accurate, making it one of the most realistic dramas in existence.

However, this is still not enough for the showrunners.

Dr. Oren Gottfried is a professor and practicing neurosurgeon in Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C., but he is perhaps better known for consulting over thirty TV series on the matters of medicine, including The Good Doctor, Royal Pains and Elementary.

In Chicago Med, however, he not only serves as a medical advisor, but also sometimes appears on screen, playing the occasionally appearing character, unimaginatively named Oren Gottfried.

Chicago Med Just Got Real: An Actual Neurosurgeon is Among the Cast - image 1

In his role as a consultant, he not only does his best to ensure that events happening in the series reflect real-life medical protocol, he also suggests possible plotlines to the writers of Chicago Med. He is credited for the story in several episodes.

And what he does suggest to the writers? As Oren Gottfried told in an interview with WRAL News:

"I think of those extreme scenarios. Maybe it's a common disease with a very uncommon presentation or maybe it's a very uncommon disease treated with a real innovative solution."

He admits, that some concessions to the needs of the drama are inevitable, like focusing exclusively on medical cases with complications, which make for an interesting narrative, even though frequency of such complications is pretty low in real life, but as he says:

"You are watching the show and you are watching the action, but why can't I just have it all? Why can't I have it be medically accurate and still tell a great story?"