Medical dramas and television series have gradually become a genre that commands the followership and loyalty of many fans the world over. TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy and House among others have graced our TV screens with depictions of the ups and downs of the medical care in hospitals especially as it affects the lives of the doctors, nurses and other health care practitioners. New Amsterdam is another TV series that sheds light on the inner workings of health care delivery in the large public hospital. It also goes a step further to highlight some of the societal and structural impediments to the proper delivery of these services.
The Show’s main character Dr Max Goodwin played by Ryan Eggold gets appointed as medical director of Bellevue Hospital and is determined to make major changes to a highly bureaucratic organization. He is met with high skepticism amongst colleagues and is tasked with winning their trust and cooperation if he hopes to move the needle.
The series also looks into Max’s personal life, his relationship with his pregnant wife Georgia and his personal health as he discovers he has cancer. It also looks at the personal lives of other doctors at the hospital. Besides Eggold, the cast members include Janet Montgomery, Tyler Labine, Anupam Kher, Jocko Sims and Lisa O’Hare among others.
Who Is Leaving New Amsterdam?
Season 1 ended with what many would consider a very strong cliffhanger. Max’s wife Georgia (played by Lisa O’Hare) is delivered of a baby girl at home with some complications and has to be taken to the hospital urgently. The ambulance conveying them to the hospital runs into another vehicle along the way and the vehicle rolls over a few times. Viewers were left wondering who did not make it as one of the victims was covered with a white sheet. Speculations thereafter ensued about who might be leaving the show.
By the end of the first episode of season two, it became clear that the person leaving the show is Lisa O’Hare who played the role of Georgia Goodwin, Dr Max Goodwin’s wife. It turned out she suffered an internal injury that led to her death. This no doubt put to rest the enormous suspense cleverly built up by the show’s creators in the last few scenes of the season one and the promotional videos of season 2. However, some already suspected O’Hare would be the one leaving after it was made clear that O’Hare was going to feature in a Broadway show with a demanding schedule.
Is It Based On A True Story?
New Amsterdam was actually inspired by Dr. Eric Manheimer’s memoir titled Twelve Lives: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital, thus, making it based on a true story. A quick read through the pages of the book would reveal the obvious parallels to any fan of the New Amsterdam TV series. For over 13 years, Dr. Manheimer was the medical director of Bellevue Hospital in New York City.
Bellevue is one of the oldest hospitals in the United States, and by many accounts, it is also the largest hospital in the country. The Twelve Lives book goes into detail about Manheimer’s experience at the hospital as it relates to twelve patients including himself.
Twelve Lives is a riveting tale of the general challenges surrounding the public health care industry and the unique struggles peculiar to Bellevue Hospital, its staff, and its patients. Manheimer had taken the mantle of leading the hospital with the dual objectives of making easier the task of delivering the best quality of care for the medical practitioners as well as helping ensure patients had access to quality care regardless of their background or social class.
The stories in the book were gotten from Manheimer’s dialogue with the staff of the hospital, the patients and members of the patients’ families. Many reviewers have described the book as a page-turner and praised Manheimer’s writing style which is notably devoid of excessive medical jargon but perhaps, more importantly, was the humanity in his efforts that could easily be deduced from the pages.
Another impressive aspect to the book is how forthcoming he appears to be with his personal struggles with his own health, right from when he is diagnosed with cancer through to the pains and discomfort of undergoing treatment while also doing his utmost to help other patients in the hospital.