The success of “The Good Doctor” rekindled the flame for quality medical dramas that had mostly laid dormant since the late 1980s. The 2017 debut of the ABC series became the highest-rated series for the network, along with being the most imported show from the US. Freddie Highmore stars as Dr. Shaun Murphy, an autistic savant surgical resident who brings unique giftedness to his profession, while also struggling to cope with communication skills and navigating typical life experiences. His childhood of abuse and poverty is also a prime motivation for his commitment as a surgeon. He witnessed the death of his brother and devoted himself to saving lives.

Although Murphy is certainly the central focus of “The Good Doctor,” the drama created by David Shore from the concept of the South Korean film depicts the saga of a group of surgical residents at San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital. Their efforts, successes, and failures reflect upon their own lives and the patients they treat.

The entire world is now thrown into territory never trod before in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many governors and state officials in the US are forging their own containment strategies and negotiations for essential personal protective equipment (PPE), in the absence of any unified national policies or support. Many self-quarantined TV viewers recall the familiar admonition that “I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV.” TV doctors, writers, and showrunners are all stepping up in major ways to ensure that real doctors and medical professionals have the vital protection they need to continue doing their jobs.

The Daily Beast and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran features from March 19 and 20, noting how medical TV productions are pulling together to gather desperately needed supplies for medical staff. “The Good Doctor,” “The Resident,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and more have formed a gang of giving TV Shows to supply selfless medical personnel with desperately needed supplies.

The people who play doctors

‘The Good Doctor’ wants to start giving from two production homes

The fervent fans of “The Good Doctor” know that even though the show is set in sunny California, USA, the actual production, like many television ventures, is done in Vancouver. Because of legalities and international donation rules, “The Good Doctor” is working on its donation, which will be made in Vancouver and in the United States, according to all sources.

Reportedly, Entertainment Weekly let the donation effort out of the bag, and some of the medical dramas were still scurrying to organize their full efforts. Partial deliveries didn’t stop the excitement from recipients, like the rheumatologist, Karen Law at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

The overjoyed Law shared a photograph of the life-saving supplies gathered by the production team of “The Resident,” which films near Atlanta. Her grateful words included the hashtag of the Fox drama several times.

Law mentioned that she had participated in a serious discussion with her residents about supplies being very low, but hoping against hope that a “magical” shipment of supplies would arrive. Sure enough, the medical TV world made it happen.

Miracles can arise even in the worst of times.

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Station 19’ are digging deep with ‘The Good Doctor’

The Shonda Rhimes jewel in the medical drama crown, “Grey’s Anatomy,” has been very good to ABC through its 17 seasons. Even though many of its viewers get caught up in the vintage days of “McDreamy” and McSteamy,” it doesn't mean that the production forgets about the practice of real medicine.

In a statement from showrunner, Krista Vernoff, on behalf of “Grey's Anatomy,” a “back stock of gowns and gloves” are being donated to Los Angeles area facilities.

“We are overwhelmed with gratitude for our healthcare workers during this incredibly difficult time,” Vernoff echoed. In addition to the donations, “we are doing our part by staying home” the statement concluded.

The “Grey's Anatomy” fire station spinoff, “Station 19,” gets the prize for giving the most coveted item by medical professionals during this siege. “We have about 300 of the coveted N95 masks, which we have donated to our local fire station,” Vernoff announced. Hopefully, givers outside the pretend medical realm will ramp up production so that everyone desperately needing these supplies doesn't have to stretch them to the breaking point.

The Good Doctor” has wrapped its third season, and its two-part season finale begins March 23 with “Hurt,” and ends with the March 30 “I Love You” episode. It will not be nearly as hard for the drama to dig for its medical supplies as it will be for the beloved characters to help one another survive an earthquake in San Jose.

The improvisations of ‘The Good Doctor’ don't work with protective masks

Dr. Murphy has been incredibly resourceful and ingenious on “The Good Doctor” in saving patients through very innovative means. “I made a REBOA!” the resident declared after saving a patient from hemorrhaging. He arrived for his first day at his fictitious hospital after saving a young boy with a pocket knife, tubing from a Coke machine, and a bottle of bourbon at the airport. These feats make for great dramatic television moments but homemade measures don't always work when it comes to protective masks.

Already, some hospitals have instructed staff to wear one mask for an entire week, disinfecting hands and placing the facial protection in plastic zip bags or paper bags.

One Louisiana hospital has already told staff that only one box of masks is available. These Spartan practices are well known in field medicine in wartime. The war the world is fighting now is against an enemy that no one has protection against. Our frontline workers not only risk their own lives and those of patients by using contaminated supplies-- they risk their own families and spreading the virus into communities-- all for the lack of the most basic supplies.

It's a sure bet that Season 4 of “The Good Doctor,” whenever it and the other medical dramas can resume production, will encompass this viral attack in some way. Kudos to so many in the television world and the real world who are offering support for needed supplies now instead of waiting until our lifesavers no longer have life.

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