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Chicago Med - Status Quo, aka the Mess We're In - Review



Season seven is definitely moving Chicago Med in a strong direction with compelling new characters and storylines. Once again this week, our Chicago Med team dealt with several complicated patient situations, navigating through a variety of social and ethical issues, mixed in with a little drama and heartache.

Dr. Marcel and Mr. Kumar

Dr. Marcel has young man, Mr. Kumar who comes in with pain and his x-ray shows a widened media steinum. He had to drop out of a half ironman to come to the ED to be seen. Marcel gets a CT scan and feels the patient has an abdominal aorta tumor but the consulting surgeon feels he has an aneurysm. He suddenly gets severe back pain and cannot feel or move his legs. Marcel rescans him and finds a tumor pressing on his spine. He calls in the surgical team immediately in order to ensure his patient does not end up paralyzed, but when cardiothoracic surgery arrives, they tell Marcel he is not able to complete the surgery. He is very upset about this as he wanted to see the patient through. It would seem that the Marcel who is a passionate advocate for his patients is something we can now come to expect.

It is also nice to see that the kind and sensitive Marcel appears to be here to stay. He seems to care about Vanessa’s overall well-being as her mentor, including making sure she is not spreading herself to thin and is eating and sleeping. It is no wonder she has developed a bit of a crush on him. I am glad that the years of character development that the One Chicago writers have afforded this character is going to continue to grow this season and I am excited to see what is to come from Marcel in the weeks to come.

Dr. Scott, Dr. Charles and Roland

As he is arriving in the ED, Dr. Scott gets a phone call and responds to an emergency on the street with a family friend. The young man, named Roland Baxter, is in the middle of a psychiatric episode and the police had also been called. Dr. Scott is able to deescalate the situation and brings the young man into the ED and consults Dr. Charles. I am so impressed with the layers of the character of Dr. Scott. He is such a kind and compassionate individual who really cares about his neighbourhood. I find his character very endearing and such a welcome addition to the Med Family, and his past experience in law enforcement really seems to enhance his skills working with patients and families and understanding how the system works and sometimes fails when it comes to good care for his patients.

We then get to see the “Dream Team” as he works with Dr. Charles, and discover that this young man was misdiagnosed and is overmedicated and having an adverse reaction to his meds. Dr. Charles feels this could have exacerbated the episode today and links him to a fantastic outpatient clinic that he thinks Roland would really respond to. The Chicago Med writers again deal with racial issues within medicine in a sensitive but straightforward way. I also love the fact that they explore the topic of the Police Crisis Intervention Program and Dr. Scott asks Dr. Charles to be involved in the training, which he agrees to do. I think this parallels the storylines we have seen in Chicago PD about police reform and I am so pleased to see One Chicago dealing with real issues within their programs in a realistic and respectful way, particularly in the current state of mental health emergencies and needs in today’s global society.

Dr. Halstead, Dr. Archer, Dr. Cooper and Peter

We start this episode with Dr. Halstead reviewing Dr. Cooper’s use of the Vascom with Goodwin and it seems he has always used it with appropriate patients which is good, because it does mean patient care was not compromised. Will says he was approached to present at Grand Rounds and then the device rep shows up to speak to him about pitching the Vascom for real.

We see Dr. Archer easedropping on Dr. Halstead and his meeting with the Vasic rep, and “accidentally” dropping in on his practice run with Dr. Cooper and the field rep to present about the Vascom. Dr. Archer is not a fan of this expensive equipment and also we know he has been clear he is not a fan of Dr. Halstead either. Dr. Archer states he prefers older less expensive hemodynamic devices.

Dr. Halstead is then treating a young man, Peter Channing, with abdominal pain, vomiting and a hangover, and he ends up diagnosing him with a perforation in his bowel from an icecube. Dr. Halstead suggests monitoring with the Vascom post-surgery and Dr. Archer condescendingly says he will consider it, and a few seconds later says no and wants to treat his own way. We then see Will tempted to sabotage some of Dr. Archer’s equipment at the subtle suggestion of Dr. Cooper, but he does not, and he later admits to Goodwin that he was tempted.

Goodwin tells Will that he has always kept the patients best interest in mind and if he ever feels he is compromising his ethics that they will stop the ruse and plan to expose Dr. Cooper. I find it interesting that when he feels he is acting in the best interest of his patient and their rights, Will is willing to go to the mat and take a lot of risks with no remorse, but he is very hesitant and feeling guilt with this situation now.

Dr. Hammer, Vanessa and Ashley

We start seeing Vanessa talking with Crockett and it is clear she has a crush on him. Maggie is concerned, but then a patient arrives. Dr. Hammer and Vanessa treat a woman, Ashley Bardsley, who comes in from an accident after fainting in line at a coffee shop. She appears to have a broken her arm and also had a possible seizure and her CT shows she also has a long history of brain tumors over the years. She was diagnosed with Anaplastic Astrocytoma at the end of high school and she has dealt with many surgeries, biopsies and chemo and worrying about dying for 30 years. She now has a new lesion which likely caused her seizure. She does not want another biopsy of her current tumors and just wants to deal with her arm and go home.

Dr. Hammer is suspicious that the diagnosis is not correct and she and Vanessa investigate further and discover that her tumors may all be benign. After presenting her reasoning to Ashley, she grants consent to do the biopsy and it turns out the tumors are Pyelocytic Astrocytoma, which is benign. They are able to give her her life back after three decades of feeling that she was on borrowed time. I enjoy that Dr. Hammer is willing to do the extra leg work to ensure patients have the correct diagnosis.

In this episode we also see a relationship grow between Vanessa and Stevie. Vanessa has a crush on Dr. Marcel and she touches his hand while trying to show empathy when he is upset in the lounge and this creates a moment of awkwardness and embarrassment for them. Stevie goes outside to provide support to Vanessa and tells her she had a crush also when she was younger. It is nice to learn more about Dr. Hammer and to see that there is support for Vanessa outside of Maggie in the department.

As this episode concluded, we see friendships and rivalries growing, alliances forming, and doctors and nurses working to provide the best care possible to patients, which just goes to demonstrate the level of research and realism that our Chicago Med writers infuse into every episode. As the Chicago Med family transforms this year, I for one cannot wait to see more. How about you?
What did you think of this episode of Chicago Med? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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