At no point have we doubted that Floyd Richards is an excellent physician. Max has pushed him into a leadership role as a department head with no attendings. We have seen glimpses of his work in rebuilding the department, but on this day, he has only himself and his residents. One man cannot run a full cardiothoracic case load. Throughout the day, we see Dr. Richards struggle with trusting his resident and needing to use the extra hands to cover the department.
At the end of the day, he chooses to lean on his resident and use the help since he cannot be in two places at once. He reveals the struggle that most mentors have, the desire to take their mentees through the same path they followed and simultaneously carve out their own style of leadership. This is a universal struggle for mentors.
A Sharpe Turn Toward the Harder Road
Dr. Sharpe treats a young girl from the ED who has arrived in excruciating pain. She patiently lies on the table, tablet in front of her, as Dr. Sharpe prepares and completes a lumbar puncture. The biopsy will reveal if Tianna’s cancer has returned. During the procedure, Tianna asks questions about dying and her parents are not prepared to discuss the subject with their young daughter. Dr. Sharpe tells them the cancer has returned, a particularly aggressive form, and suggests setting up palliative care for Tianna. Dr. Sharpe encourages the parents to answer her questions. The parents, with heartbreaking authenticity reveal that they can’t tell their daughter she is going to die. Dr. Sharpe decides to take the hard road and to explain to Tianna that her cancer is back and answer her questions about death. The talented Dr. Sharpe grows a little softer with each visit to the Dam.
Building the Dam Community Garden
After a long and very difficult day, the doctors assemble on the roof. They each take a turn at planting something for Dr. Frome’s garden as they unwind with a little therapy of their own. Remember Dr. Frome said the soil can help serotonin production? The beer helps them a little bit too. Dr. Sharpe admits to max that the hard road does have better views. Ultimately, Dr. Kapoor shares his laddu with his colleagues.
In the closing scene, Max returns to the house, builds a crib and sleeps in the next morning. When questioned by Georgia he tells her he is taking the day off to spend with her. It appears the only place Max is willing to abide the rules and slow down is at home.
New Amsterdam is doing a great job of layering character development of the doctors around the central theme of helping. They help the patients, they help each other, and we are starting to catch glimpses of them being willing to help themselves. I love the interweaving of real information for viewers regarding laws, health information amidst deep stories and a fast pace.
They can be overlooked for the few inaccuracies, it is difficult to make a completely realistic medical show in Hollywood. Nevertheless, I’ll be back next week for another all new episode.
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