The Good Doctor on ABC: A Must See Show
One TV show that is captivating audiences everywhere and is the show to be watching is The Good Doctor on ABC. The Good Doctor revolves around a young doctor played by actor Freddie Highmore named Shaun Murphy.
You may ask, what makes this show unique and different from all the medical dramas such as Grey’s Anatomy? Well, the main difference is the main character played by Highmore. Dr. Shaun Murphy is not just your average new surgical resident who comes from Wyoming all the way to San Jose Bonaventure Hospital. Shaun is a young man who has Autism and Savant syndrome, and shows his genius level skills at the beginning of the show as you begin to follow his journey.
Autism is defined by the autismsociety.org as a spectrum disorder (ASD) which is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and early diagnosis/intervention and access to appropriate services/supports lead to significantly improved outcomes.
By the same token, Savant Syndrome is not a disorder or disease by itself. It is, instead, a condition in which extraordinary skills and prodigious memory are grafted onto, or superimposed upon, a more basic brain dysfunction that rises from a developmental disability, or some other form of central nervous system disease or disorder.
I will add that the creator, writer, and producer of The Good Doctor, David Shore, whom also created the drama House, lets the audience see how others in the hospital show their own prejudices against Shaun right from the start. Here are some spoilers.
In the pilot show, the Hospital Advisory Committee is questioning The President of the hospital, Dr. Aaron Glassman played by Richard Schiff, and raising concern at how they think hiring a young man with Autism is a bad choice for the hospital. You will shortly come to learn that Dr. Glassman is like Shaun’s surrogate father and the man who hired him. Right away Dr. Glassman lets them know how bright Shaun is as well as how deeply intelligent he is and what an asset he would be to the hospital.
“We hire Shaun to show that those people with limitations can truly make a difference.”
Meanwhile, Shaun is showing others to never judge a book by its cover when he races to save a young man who gets injured at a nearby airport. In spite of others not fully understanding Shaun’s mannerisms and his way of speaking to others, he is able to effectively show his skills as a young surgical resident.
Back at the Hospital committee, the President speaks of how Shaun should be given the same advantages as others and not try to pass him by just because they cannot understand his conditions.
In the end of this episode, Shaun speaks to the committee from the heart and shows them that he is a capable young resident who has feelings and has experienced loss. He expresses that he should be judged by his work and not by the misgivings of what they perceive as a handicap.
I think this show by creator and writer David Shore and directed by Daniel Day Kim is a unique speak on behalf of everyone facing autism. I believe it opens a dialogue about overcoming the different challenges that those with Autism are faced and how this one doctor adds hope and optimism to the hospital and those around him.
One of the biggest takeaways from this show is the fact that it is character driven and shows Shaun Murphy is letting those around him see just as Dr. Glassman states, “We hire Shaun to show that those people with limitations can truly make a difference.”
Take a look at the trailer for the show and think about watching the series: