Medical dramas have been an essential ingredient of television almost from the medium's birth. What has changed over time is how raw and graphic these shows have become. If you were to look at an episode of Dr. Kildare or Ben Casey today, you would be surprised at how pristine and sterile it seemed.
But nothing you've seen on E.R., House, Grey's Anatomy, or Night Shift has prepared you for The Knick. The bandages are off, folks.