The Good Doctor Season 1 Summary

The series heavily focus on how people with autism can do anything, but it also branches out. While it pushes the idea people with autism can become doctors, get a girlfriend, or enjoy life, it also presents the lesser-seen bits of working in a hospital. Be it the technology used for surgeries, legal aspects of running a hospital, as well as the difficulties of managing your own emotions and that of a person completely reliant on you for comfort or survival. The Good Doctor presents Shaun as its beacon and he helps shed enough light on things not related to what others may see as his struggle to give you an entertaining experience worth watching. Below is a short summary of The Good Doctor Season 1.

Shaun leaves his rural Wyoming home to begin his surgical residency at St. Bonaventure Hospital in San Jose, California. The hospital board is hesitant to hire him due to his autism, but the hospital president, Dr Aaron Glassman, convinces them to agree. Glassman serves as a guiding figure for Shaun throughout the series, and Shaun is determined to prove himself as a capable medical professional while adjusting to his complex new setting. He and his teammates face a variety of challenging patient conditions, some of which create moral dilemmas or require outside-the-box solutions. From malignant tumours to liver transplants, The Good Doctor serves up a healthy blend of medical conundrums while also diving into relevant topics like prejudice, racism, sexual harassment and emotional health.

Outside of the operating room (and sometimes inside it), audiences also follow the complicated personal lives of the hospital staff. Difficult medical decisions often lead to tensions amongst the doctors, and sometimes their external problems leak into the workplace. Of course, the surgeon life isn’t always scalpels and stress. One of the most exciting mid-season developments is Shaun’s budding romance with his neighbour Lea, whom he accompanies on an impromptu road trip and shares his first kiss with (we’re not crying, you’re crying).

At the end of Season 1

Audiences discovered that Dr Glassman has brain cancer. The cancer is originally deemed inoperable but turns out to be a low-grade glioma. It’s treatable, but still a sizeable threat to Glassman’s health. In addition to his health, Glassman’s job is also threatened after Shaun makes a major surgical error. In the pilot episode, Glassman promised to step down from his position if Shaun did not live up to the hospital board’s expectations. Unfortunately for fans, the season finale cuts off without revealing the consequences of Shaun’s mistake.

Other Interesting Facts & Moments

  • It has been 13 years since Dr. Glassman’s daughter, Addy, died. Seemingly, something Addy and Jessica did is what led to Addy’s death. The specifics aren’t mentioned.
  • Dr Melendez had a sister who was disabled and because they were poor, they couldn’t afford her medication. Leaving her often to suffer. He barely talks about her but does note she was his inspiration to become a doctor.
  • Alex Park is 45 and was a cop for 15 years before becoming a doctor.
  • Glassman is half Jewish.