Chicago Med's Jessy Schram Opens Up About Her Experience Playing A Female OBGYN: 'It's Been Really Special'

Jessy Schram as Hannah Asher in Chicago Med Season 8
(Image credit: NBC)

Chicago Med has gone through a lot of casting changes over the past few seasons, and arguably the most notable was the return of Jessy Schram as Dr. Hannah Asher after departing early in Season 6. Her return meant the beginning of an ED program that increases care for women’s health in obstetrics and gynecology, all while maintaining her hard-won sobriety. The actress spoke with CinemaBlend about playing Med’s OBGYN, and why it’s special for her. 

Hannah has had to work hard to win over certain of her peers at the hospital who didn’t welcome her back with open arms (namely, Steven Weber’s Dean Archer), and proved herself over and over again. When I spoke with Jessy Schram about playing this character with a passion for her work in caring for women’s health, she shared what it has meant to her to bring Hannah to primetime: 

It's been really special. It's been special to me because obviously being somebody that sees these doctors and is experiencing life as a woman, I can relate to so many of the stories that aren't even mine to relate to a lot of the time, and it means so much. Whenever I get a question like this, it's always a little overwhelming because I feel like this is a character that I can relate to in so many different ways, and what's been really amazing is that literally this weekend, about three different people came up to me and told me how much they relate to her story.

While Jessy Schram herself isn’t a doctor, she can relate to her character from the hit NBC medical drama, and she’s not the only one. The actress has evidently heard from fans that they too can relate to Hannah, for multiple reasons. The actress went on to share some of the reasons why Med viewers have found themselves relating to Hannah:

Whether that be that they've known somebody with addiction or they're going through addiction themselves, or they've been through a scenario when they gave birth or this was their doctor's story or this is what they had to overcome. I feel like Hannah being an OBGYN – when there's female OBGYNs, they have so much more to prove in the work field and the workforce and they're bringing life into this world. They're such powerful characters within the hospital, and being able to play somebody like that is is a big undertaking and I feel so lucky to get to make her relatable and ground her in a way that people feel connected to her.

Hannah has had to stand up for herself, fellow recovering addicts, and women in need of obstetrics and/or gynecology care more than ever in Season 8 with the arrival of Jack Dayton, and his statistics-based approach to providing patient care. She has rebelled against his system and even yelled at him in the middle of a meeting about her patients suffering when the hospital wouldn't invest in an essential service for new moms. 

Hannah even stood up to Archer despite their growing friendship… and despite the fact that he actually hadn’t done what she thought. Their relationship is continuing in the wake of their unexpected confrontation, and seems likely to deepen with the “emotional triangle” started by the arrival of his son. The ED’s OBGYN has had a lot to balance in Season 8, but patients have remained her priority. Jessy Schram shared her feelings on getting feedback from fans about Hannah’s relatability:

It always is such a surprise, first of all, when anybody will just come up and say hi. [laughs] When they tell me that they love the show, but then also too why Hannah means so much to them. It's extremely humbling and I feel extremely grateful, to be honest. I feel so grateful to get to be part of their lives but also to hear that information and take it in and remember that when we're filming every week and people are watching and the show is going on, it's not just numbers out there. People are really feeling a connection through it and I just feel really lucky to be able to be playing [this] character.

While there are still plenty of episodes left in Season 8 of Chicago Med, the hit show is currently on a mini hiatus until Wednesday, March 22, at which time it will return to its usual 8 p.m. ET time slot, followed by a Tyler Kinney-free Chicago Fire and the Jesse Lee Soffer-directed episode of Chicago P.D. Based on the promo, an exciting day at the hospital is on the way when Med is back on NBC. Take a look:

The three shows of One Chicago are still a couple of weeks away from returning on March 22, so now is a good time to check out our 2023 TV premiere schedule for some new viewing options. You can also always revisit the earlier seasons of Chicago Med and Hannah's journey streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).