ABC’s The Good Doctor: Sad Truths

By ANALICIA TORRES

Dr. Shaun Murphy of ABC’s new hit drama The Good Doctor is several things: determined, genius, and, the show’s main center, autistic. With a stunning performance by actor Freddie Highmore, the characters of this drama strike a particular chord with the audience that is too true to ignore. In the show’s first episode, it is known by viewers that Dr. Murphy has autism; however, he also has savant syndrome: a condition in which a person with disabilities shows a certain affinity for a skill. In this case, Dr. Murphy shows an adept ability for anatomy, which prompts his desire to be a surgeon at St. Bonaventure Hospital in San Jose. The show’s catchphrase “His greatest ability is his greatest challenge” truly does follow the show’s main plot with a disturbing truth. While challenged with the need to be a doctor and the struggle to overcome his superiors’ disdain, Dr. Murphy persists through the show to push himself and test the boundaries of his own mind.

The show, which is based on the 2013 South Korean series, has hit home with thousands of watchers at home. Because of his disability, people treat Dr. Murphy with surgical gloves (no pun intended). While it may seem harsh on the television, it can be even worse in reality. Shaun Murphy isn’t the only man on this planet with autism, and he isn’t the only one being treated poorly because of it. Hundreds of people in the world have disabilities that prevent them from doing things that mostly everyone can, and they too are often victims of bullying. The Good Doctor doesn’t show its audience anything truly new about how we treat people. Instead it forces us to open our eyes so that we can fix it. That is what makes the show truly brilliant.