Is Angels Memorial A Real Hospital? 'Code Black' Has Multiple Sources Of Inspiration

CBS's Code Black is named for a terrifying situation that many hospitals have to work through. The term "Code Black" is used here to refer to an emergency room that is understaffed and overcrowded, and which does not have enough resources to properly care for all of its patients. The TV show is set in the emergency room of Angels Memorial hospital, the busiest ER in the United States. However, Angels Memorial is a fictionalized hospital created for the purposes of the television program, but the idea of an overcrowded and understaffed hospital is far from fiction. So of the over 5,000 hospitals operating in America, what hospital is Code Black based on?

The television series is inspired by a documentary of the same name directed by Dr. Ryan McGarry, who documented the 24/7 work cycle at America's real busiest emergency room. McGarry also serves as Executive Producer on the television series and will be bringing his wealth of medical knowledge to the show. Much like ER's County General Hospital was a fictional hospital based off the real Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Code Black's Angels Memorial is a fictional hospital inspired by Dr. McGarry's experiences at real medical institutions.

Here are some of the medical institutions that Dr. McGarry will likely be pulling experience from for Code Black.

Los Angeles County General Hospital

The biggest inspiration for Code Black is likely Los Angeles County General Hospital, in which Dr. McGarry filmed the documentary the series is based on. Dr. McGarry spent part of his fourth-year medical training at Los Angeles County General, and according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was taken aback at how frantic and populated their trauma ward was. The documentary Code Black followed fellow doctors-in-training as they tried to cope with the immense stress and pressure of working in such a busy ER.

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

While the primary influence of Code Black is Dr. McGarry's time spent at Los Angeles County General, many of the characters in the series could find themselves taking influence from Dr. McGarry's time spent studying medicine at the School of Medicine at University of Pittsburgh. Code Black follows a collection of first-year residents as they try to make heads or tails of the stressful emergency room at Angels Memorial, and McGarry's own first-year experiences could come in handy.

County General Hospital

Alright, so this isn't a real hospital. This hospital is the setting of the television series ER, but it would only be natural for this show to be an influence on Code Black. Both series follow the day-to-day lives of doctors working in stressful emergency room situations, and ER paved the way for medical dramas on television. CBS Entertainment Chairman Nina Tassler even told reporters she was "thrilled" at the ER comparisons the show was receiving. Angels Memorial and Country General Hospital may both be fictional, but they will likely end up having more in common than that once Code Black has aired.

Images: Neil Jacobs/CBS; Jeffery Scism, KitAy/Flickr; Screenshot/NBC