Autumn Okuszka, Editor-in-chief

ER, Scrubs, and Grey’s Anatomy. These are just a few recent staples in hospital television shows, a theme that everyone seems to enjoy one way or another. Although every hospital show has its differences, most plot lines are very similar.

That was until ‘The Good Doctor’ premiered this fall. Based around a South-Korean drama of the same name, ‘The Good Doctor’ is about a young man named Shaun Murphy who aspires to be a surgeon at the San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital.

It sounds simple enough, until it is revealed that Shaun has autism (a mental condition that limits communication and relationship-building skills) as well as savant syndrome (a person who showcases different ways of doing things that not many others understand/do, usually tied with autism) which his co-workers do not fully understand.

Right off the bat, even before Shaun officially becomes a surgeon at the hospital, he faces the opposition of his potential co-workers due to his disabilities who can’t see past the stereotypes behind both autism and savant syndrome, and the fact that there could also be advantages, amazing ones at that.

His only ally is his mentor and close friend, the person who recommended and helped Shaun become a surgeon, Dr. Glassman. But with time and understanding, as well as seeing that Shaun is fully capable of the work that’s involved, more and more people will come to respect him.

‘The Good Doctor’ is also the first widespread television show that features the main character as autistic. Sadly, autism is often made a joke out of and seems to be never fully understood, but since the premiere, families of autism and those with autism alike find this to be a great outlet to tell the world what autism really is and how one would deal with it, as well as killing the stigma behind the disability.

Actor Freddie Highmore who plays Shaun portrays the disability quite well, pulling the heartstrings of those in the autism community and even those who didn’t have a full knowledge of autism prior to watching.

Despite of all of the differences between ‘The Good Doctor’ and past hospital shows that have become known to us now as the ‘greats’ or ‘classics,’ ‘The Good Doctor’ still stays true to its hospital roots that have made so many other previous shows popular, such as stories that surround the supporting characters and patients as well as flashbacks that gives us more insight on what’s currently happening as well as tying each episode together.

If you’re an avid hospital television show fan, ‘The Good Doctor’ is an amazing show that’s not only bringing awareness to a disability that so many people have, but is touching so many lives and hearts as well. You can watch it every Monday at 10pm on ABC.