Miami Medical: New CBS drama premieres this Friday, April 2


I don't usually watch medical dramas, but my friends Craig and Liz are writers on a new show for CBS called Miami Medical, so Carla and I were able to watch a few episodes in advance. It's a compelling, gory, intense, hour-long drama about a team of trauma facility surgeons in -- you guessed it -- Miami. (It's based on Ryder Trauma at Jackson Memorial Hospital.) After three episodes we are hooked.

Trauma facilities are different than emergency rooms. If you're injured and about to die, you want to be taken to a trauma center, which is staffed by surgeons ready to save your life. Emergency rooms don't have surgeons, they have doctors who evaluate patients and decide whether or not to send them to a surgeon.

When a big accident happens in a city -- a fire, an explosion, a train wreck -- things can get crazy very quickly in a trauma center, and Miami Medical throws you in the middle of the frantic life-or-death atmosphere. I'm not a doctor and I've fortunately never been in a trauma center, but Craig tells me the creators of the show went to great lengths to make sure the procedures, jargon, and equipment are accurate. All the instrumentation is real -- in fact, the consulting surgeon, Dr. Zach Lutsky, has even used the equipment in a few instances to examine cast and crew members.

Daily Kos interviewed the show's co-creator, Jeffrey Lieber, who provided a list of some of the nasty accidents viewers can look forward to in the premiere season: "an alligator attack, a  man falling through a ceiling, a gunman in the break room, a man with a pole through his torso, medical care analogized into a common deli sandwich, a loving daughter... who isn't really, a man rolled into the trauma suite with 8,000 dollars strapped to his chest, and an in-hospital stabbing and a 'Do Not Resuscitate' notice tattooed to the middle of someone's chest."

Lana Parrilla (2nd from left in above photo), who was in the weirdly compelling one-season flop Swingtown, is the standout actor in the show.

The first episode of Miami Medical airs this Friday, April 2 on CBS at 10PM ET/9PM CT.


  1. Sounds interesting. Also, I didn;t think of Swingtown as a one season flop so much as a summer one off.

  2. gotta think hard about this one.

    Deciding whether to start watching a new dramatic series is a difficult proposition these days, because they’re too often *good* and involving. They require brain share. Commitment.

    And there’s no guarantee that the show will continue to deliver.

  3. Your description of a trauma center is not entirely accurate. As a point of fact, most trauma centers are staffed by Emergency Physicians who “run the traumas”, that is they intubate the patient, run chest tubes, start all the IV or central lines, stabilize the patient, and start bedside diagnostic tests, all in the first few minutes while the surgeons stand back and offer assistance. To say that Emergency Physicians only evaluate patients greatly denigrates one of the fastest growing medical specialties in the country.

    1. Oh please. Mark has done nothing to denigrate anyone with this post. He’s correct in his general point that ED physicians do the initial evaluation and then decide whether to consult the appropriate specialty service. If anything, it is your characterization of surgeons in trauma—who certainly do NOT simply “stand back and offer assistance”—that is “not entirely accurate.”

      With regard to trauma centers….well, I can’t speak to “most trauma centers,” but the trauma team I work on seems to be consistent with the model presented on the TV show (which I haven’t seen). The trauma team is a surgical team. We can be activated by EMS personnel, who will decide if a patient is a trauma or not while still on the scene of the injury. Our pagers go off, and we rush down to the emergency department and are waiting to meet the patient. Our goal is to, within seconds, determine the location and severity of a patient’s injuries, and decide if they need an operation now, later, or ever. And that is done by the surgical team, not the ED staff.

    2. To say that Emergency Physicians only evaluate patients greatly denigrates one of the fastest growing medical specialties in the country.

      To be fair, it’s fast-growing because nobody will pay for inpatient care anymore. ER docs generally do a three to five year residency. Surgeons do five to seven, plus lengthy post-doc training for some specialties. Lots of people would die if it weren’t for doctors trained in emergency medicine, but I’m still calling the plastic surgeon to fix my facial laceration.

  4. I wonder if the characters in this show will be as randy in their own little group as in Grey’s Anatomy. Or as neurotic as those characters. Or dealing with stammering as much as the characters in Grey’s Anatomy. God what a terrible show that is.

  5. Great. Another medical show on TV..What’s next another detective show, a police show, lawyer show?

  6. If it’s an accurate portrayal of a Trauma Center… I think I’ll pass. 10 years as a Firefighter/Paramedic and I have had my fill of “trauma”, especially the trauma shown in such BS terms as it is on TV.

    Newdoc, I have worked ER’s. I have worked Trauma Centers.

    I have not worked at all of them, but I have worked enough to know that each individual ER or TC has their own protocols. Where I worked, we lowly EMS workers ran the IV’s, did the intubations, and much more. You might not know this, but the days of “Load and Go Ambulance Drivers” is a thing of the past. The patient needs an RSI done? We got it covered. You wanna push some thrombalytics, Narcan, pain meds, epi… Heck, where I worked we didn’t even need to wait for a Doctors orders… we do it. Point is… we are all working to stabilize the patient, and if what is going to save that patient is BRIGHT LIGHTS AND COLD STEEL… then that is where we take them.

    You are correct that ER Medicine is a rapidly growing and changing specialty. I know. But Everyone from the EMT-B to the Trauma Surgeon does the dance and the goal is PATIENT CARE. Mark did not slam ER Docs… he merely stated that Trauma Centers, and Trauma Surgeons are better prepared to deal with Catastrophic Injuries than a standard ER… and he is right.

    And Larksydoodle, off the high horse please. You aint all that and a bag of chips. You are a cog in the wheel, just like I was, and just like Newdoc is, or will be. Your reply reminded me of a Paramedic giving an EMT Basic a hard time… Get over it. We all do what we can with the abilities and training we have and we all try to HELP. Emergency Medicine truly is a TEAM effort.

    1. “High horse?” You essentially repeated the same thing I wrote. If my horse is high, then we’re seeing eye-to-eye. [ooooh……I think I have a new song lyric here….]

  7. It’s still the “emergency room”. It’s just a “level one”, or “trauma one” emergency room. -Trauma 1 staff

  8. Two sluts, young douche, over the hill sunglasses douche, strong but sensitive black guy. They seem to be missing an Asian and a Latino to me multiculturally compliant.

    1. Thanks God someone noticed: that photo is most complete douche actors fest that I’ve seen in my life.

  9. What, no complaints about a TV show where “all the instrumentation is real” when, you know, real facilities can’t afford it? :)

  10. Its a good thing we’ve got the BoingBoing experts here in the comments to tell us all what should or shouldn’t be on BB. *eyeroll*

    Yeah, its kind of a bad picture (I kinda wanna punch the guy with the glasses), but I wouldnt hold that against the show.

    1. Come on now lets be honest with ourselves. The ONLY reason this is on BB is nepotism. Do you really think if Marks buddies were not working on the show we would hear about it or would it fall into the ash heap of Three Rivers, 3lbs, Inconcievable, Royal Pains, Side Effect, Heartland, City of Angels you get the point. Last year 15 medical dramas were making new episodes, 8 premiered last year and BB didn’t make a peep.

      1. Mark and his wife said they watched it and liked it, so they decided to recommend it. What’s wrong with that? How many posts on BB are about something the postee has watched, seen or heard, liked, and decided to pass along? A huge amount.
        This is a blog on the internet, not a government job. They can recommend something for whatever reason they like, and its perfectly valid. Its easy enough to ignore if you have no interest in another medical TV drama.

        1. Nothings wrong with it I was just commenting on why. Again it’s not something they just happened to see (it’s not on air yet) the only reason they even saw it and commented was nepotism. No comment on right or wrong just why. I do find it odd though that bb didn’t mention Jerry Bruckheimer its his show or the fact that CBS is following House by deciding that an english actor playing the main doctor is a winning formula.

          1. Fair enough, I was reading more negativity in your comment than was actually intended, perhaps.

            I don’t know regarding Bruckheimer, but I don’t get why it would be worth noting if the main doctor is English or not. I seriously doubt CBS gave it much thought at all (aside from ensuring he or she could mimic an American accent if thats wht the role called for). So do I find it odd that an infinitismally tiny bit of trivia was left out of the show plug? Not really…

  11. Apparently I didn’t get the memo that says BB has to run their posts by a panel of readers to see if they’re “boing-worthy.” Look, if Mark knows people who work on the show – so what? Good for Mark for being interested in his friend’s production to take the time and watch the program. Oh, and he just happens to like the show. AND he happens to have access to a forum where he can tell people about it. Well then, post away! Just because we read BB doesn’t mean we have a stake in what gets posted. You don’t like it? Scroll past. Or become a blogger and DON’T post about Miami Medical.

  12. Wow. This is awesome. I used to work with Mark, and I’m a doctor, so I get to spout off about both topic threads with some degree of authority.

    First, Mark and Carla, are the nicest people in the world (ever since Mother Theresa vacated the top spot some years ago), but they are not pushovers. I know from experience that they would not, and do not, offer to plug something if they don’t truly think it’s cool. I’ve seen him neg stuff from very close friends if it didn’t warrant the column inches (though, he does feel bad about doing so, and tends to let them know in the gentlest manner possible).

    And for who’s the coolest doctor in the hospital? Probably none of them. I started off my medical career at one of the busiest trauma centers in the Southwest. I thought it would be cool. It wasn’t. I thought I would love the adrenaline. I didn’t. The fact is, a well-run trauma center would make absolutely boring TV. If you know what you’re doing, and are prepared to take care of any eventuality, the only person who’s blood pressure should rise when they roll through the door is the patient’s. If you know what you’re doing, you just do it, without bitching, yelling or otherwise drawing attention to yourself and away from the task at hand. One of my favorite Neurosurgery attendings was absolutely unflappable. If things got really grizzly, he might let loose with an, “Oh dear.”

    In med school, the chief of medicine actually used an episode of ER (the one where the nice couple come in to have a baby, and both baby and mom end up dying), to illustrate everything you should NOT do when caring for patients.

    I haven’t seen this show, though now I probably should, just to see how unrealistic it really is.

  13. Hopefully it will do better than NBC’s Trauma. Maybe they can do a CSI:Miami crossover.

  14. I hope the writers don’t wait too long before playing the Rectal Foreign Bodies card.

  15. This tv show sounds like 30 other medical dramedies currently on n/w tv. And they all have expert consultants who make sure the series is accurate and they all claim to use expensive , real equipment. Best wishes to this show because pretty much every thing that can possibly be written has be done by ER or CSI:Miami !!

    I don’t watch any of them and I won’t be watching this one either.
    How do I hate them ? Let me count the ways

    1. The head nurse will be a matronly know-it-all, who has been around for 30 years, hates the interns and will put her hands on her ample waist, going “mmm hmmm”.

    2. One Dr will have a substance abuse issue.
    3. One chick will be a med school topper, who knows every procedure but makes repeated mistakes in practice.
    4. They all will end up sleeping with each other.
    5. One hot chick Dr will be outed as a lesbian.
    6. And since this is Miami, there will be story lines about some Latino mafia types, a rescued genius Cuban immigrant who speaks broken English, alligator attack, Golfing accident, spring break accident,a hurricane and some smart ass retired old folks are mandatory.

    I write this as a jaded viewer who has tuned out of the formulaic drivel that execs greenlight. If the authors liked this show then they can find many other shows flogging this dead horse.

  16. I don’t believe that’s based on Jackson– there are too many white people in that picture. Is Parrilla supposed to be the token Hispanic? (Hahaha, the idea of a token Hispanic in Miami… that aside). There was all of one white guy on my entire floor, and he was an immigrant from Eastern Europe. Granted it was path, not Ryder, but Ryder’s also full of Cubans.

    I’ll still check it out, because I’m still holding out hope that one day I’ll see a show set in Miami that looks even a little bit like Miami.

  17. Please please PLEASE I hope this show actually shows nurses doing what they really do in an ER and not sitting around filing their nails, sleeping with the residents, or getting fired by the doctors….

  18. The show is a great one. I am not looking for a ‘real’ ER drama. I am looking to be entertained and this sho actually does that.
    Exciting stories, great relationship and character reveal. Jeremy Northam brings an acting style saddly lacking in television. The actors have settled into their parts and the dynamics between them are keeping me tuned in.
    So if you want to sit there bitching, go for it. I on the other hand will continue to enjoy it

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