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Chicago Med - When You’re a Hammer Everything’s a Nail - Review

This week, we were able to more deeply explore family dynamics and relationships, as well as biases and the importance of acting in an impartial and fair way to all patients who are under medical care.

Dr. Hammer, Vanessa, Dr. Charles and Terry

We open on Stevie visiting Terry in her van where she lives, and Stevie discovers her mom has an infection in her arm and a fever, and she brings her mom to the ED by ambulance, much to her mother’s objections and dismay.

Stevie pulls in Vanessa to help, and when her mother refuses treatment, she consults with Dr. Charles. Dr. Charles lets Stevie know that her mom is competent, and when she is concerned about her mom’s history of non-compliance, Dr. Charles discusses that it could be different this time as you don’t feel unwell from certain health conditions, but from this infection she is feeling the effects and this could make her more compliant. Instead of listening to him, Stevie decides to try to have Vanessa help her trick her mother into taking the meds and having something that will monitor the compliance, but this backfires and her mom refuses to take the antibiotics. Dr. Charles brings in his infinite wisdom and tells Stevie that perhaps she needs to try a different approach that is less parental in order to better deal with her mother and help her get the treatment she needs.

Eventually Stevie enlists Dr. Scott’s help to get her mother’s van towed, and then she goes and tries an approach more closely related to what Dr. Charles suggested, and takes her mother home. Perhaps this will be a turning point for their relationship, and with Dr. Charles’ help, Stevie will find a new way to help her mother.

In watching the turmoil in the relationship with mother and daughter, Vanessa also gains some insight and goes to talk to Maggie to thank her for looking out for her, after she had gotten angry for her trying to encourage her to get some rest and take care of herself.

I think that seeing Will speak to Dr. Charles in this episode about how things with Stevie and her mom were not how he imagined them to be was also very enlightening as with everything in life, you never can truly understand the path someone else is walking. It makes me wonder also if the level of control and perfection that Stevie showed during medical school was her way of having some degree of control over her life which otherwise felt quite out of control.

Dr. Marcel, Dr. Archer, Dr. Blake and John Doe

Marcel is considering doing a fellowship with Transplant Surgery, and we meet a patient waiting for a Liver Transplant. Dr. Archer is not impressed when Marcel arrives late for his shift, and tells him his job and priority is saving patients in the ED.

An ambulance then arrives, and we meet John Doe, and unidentified man who was swimming and is in a coma and appears to have irreversible brain damage. Marcel is trying to save and identify him, and Dr. Blake arrives, and asks him about next of kin and organ donation, and Dr. Archer gets angry that she is hovering around their patient.

Marcel tracks down the next of kin using a medical device John Doe had in his hip, and Dr. Archer accuses him of doing it only to try to get the organs for transplant. Marcel is angry as he feels he was doing what he would do for any patient in tracking down their identity and next of kin. As it turns out, the patient is not a match for Dr. Blake’s patient for organ donation, but Marcel realizes that he feels he would like to help transplant patients and learn to be a transplant surgeon.

The way that Dr. Archer is practicing, he seems to be rapidly making enemies of everyone in the department (Dr. Charles, Dr. Scott, Dr. Marcel, Dr. Halstead…). He is definitely the character we all love to hate, and I believe this just shows the brilliance that Steven Weber brings to this character, since this is from what I understand, the complete opposite of what this actor is like in real life. I am curious to see how the dynamic and situation may change when Ethan returns, and what the rest of the season will reveal about Dr. Archer and his future at Gaffney ED.

Dr. Scott, Maggie and Shavonne.

Shavonne comes in to the ED with a head injury and broken arm, which they state is from a fall. Dr. Scott recognizes the dad from his days as a cop, as he arrested him for assault. Maggie asks him if he needs to remove himself from the case, but he says no and that he can be impartial.

When the old records indicate a lot of accidents, Maggie and Dr. Scott call DCFS, and Shavonne’s mother tells Maggie she is scared to talk to DCFS as they realized why her husband recognized Dr. Scott, and he was drunk, it was the only time he was ever arrested, and he has been sober since and would never hurt his daughter. Maggie tells her that the case worker will give her a fair chance to explain, but then she appeals to Dr. Scott to see if there could be another explanation for the injuries. Thanks to Maggie being the voice of reason, Dr. Scott begins to investigate further and eventually he is able to identify signs of a possible rare disease, and now that they can test and treat her for it, the young girl will be able to live a better life.

I think this is a really great insight into how past prejudice can really affect how you view people, and that in the medical profession, you have to be open and consider all possible causes for an accident or injury. We have seen this happen before in other cases in this series, where assumptions are made and as a result, patients do not receive the timely correct treatment. It is definitely a challenge as a health professional to be unbiased when assessing and treating people, and this is a very real issue that our Chicago Med writers continue to explore this season from various perspectives (ex. race, poverty, past criminal history, etc.) in a very realistic and sensitive way.

Dr. Cooper, Dr. Halstead and Goodwin, Gordon and Eleanor.

Dr. Halstead and Goodwin are discussing Eleanor from last weeks episode, and Will is surprised that Cooper put the Vascom back in, because she is at high risk because of her clotting issues.

Then in the ED, Will has a patient in acute respiratory distress, and is unable to get his oxygen levels up. He calls for a pulmonology consult and Dr. Cooper arrives, as he is an intensivist. Will is hesitant with the proposed treatment of paralyzing him and then pressurizing with the ventilator, but Dr. Cooper saves Will’s patient, and Will goes to Goodwin to let her know, and that he has started wondering if they are looking at Dr. Cooper all wrong.

However, later on Goodwin pages Will to the ICU – Eleanor died, and Goodwin tells Will that if the death was related to inappropriate use of the Vascom, that Cooper essentially killed her.

As the season progresses, we are definitely seeing the changing dynamics of Gaffney Medical Centre ED and as we watch relationships grow and change, we will certainly have a lot to look forward to in the weeks and months to come.
What did you think of this episode of Chicago Med? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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