Hospital politics are always messy. Even when no corporate overlord is trying to steer the institution in a direction that might not be best for patients, board members often clash with healthcare providers.
Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 19 is the latest medical drama to explore what happens when a non-doctor with their own agenda gains a controlling interest in the hospital (both The Good Doctor and New Amsterdam offered similar stories in 2022).
Jack seemed all right as a hospital owner — until he wasn’t. But his latest victory was utterly predictable.
With all the noise Sharon, George, and Will kept making about how Vernon would swing the vote their way, how could he not betray them at the last second?
Will went to a ton of trouble to ensure Vernon could vote while Jack tried his hardest to interfere — only for Vernon to gain a new perspective after his surgery.
Surprise! NOT. Vernon hadn’t considered the issue before falling ill; he only went along with Sharon because he’d been on the board for 23 years and trusted her opinion.
Although Vernon came through the surgery fine, thanks to OR 2.0 and Abrams’ surgical skills, I’d think he’d need more than an hour in the recovery room before he could sit through a board meeting, even by video. The man just had brain surgery!
Television brain tumor survivors often wake up with drastically different personalities, so it was likely that Vernon would support Jack for that reason. The only twist was that 2.0’s saving his life made him decide that Jack’s vision for the hospital was the way to go.
I don’t know George and Sharon’s counterarguments, but they allowed Jack to frame the discussion in a way that benefited his position. Why is going to for-profit status the only way to ensure Gaffney continues offering cutting-edge medical technology?
Instead of arguing that for-profit status is contrary to the hospital’s established mission, which board members didn’t appear to care about, the counterargument should have focused on for-profit status being unnecessary to achieve the goal of being a leader in the medical tech sector.
They could have focused on the idea that Gaffney could be that leader AND continue to provide care to all patients, regardless of income level.
This missed opportunity will change Gaffney forever — or at least until the board votes to repeal the for-profit status. But the irony of Will’s plan causing the opposite result of what he wanted was SO delicious!
Grace balked at Will asking for her expertise when it meant that Jack’s proposal might be defeated, but will she change her tune now that Vernon votes for the plan?
What Will did wasn’t entirely unethical.
Yes, getting Vernon’s wife to agree to surgery meant Vernon could participate in the board meeting. But Vernon needed the surgery anyway; he had to be intubated, with no guarantee that the alternative treatment would do anything to resolve his tumor.
Grace might have felt used, but she DID help Vernon get the needed treatment, so there was that.
Archer’s behavior was a lot more questionable. At least half the reason he broke Kira’s confidentiality was to get back at Asher for telling Sean about Archer’s medical condition.
He gave her a BS explanation about Kimberly being Kira’s proxy if something went wrong during surgery, but come on. Every other word out of his mouth was about how now Asher believed in confidentiality when she didn’t before.
This petty behavior and refusal to recognize patients’ rights made me hate Archer when he arrived at Med. He’s been more tolerable lately and, in some ways, more relatable.
But not this time. He was wrong to violate Kira’s confidentiality, and even if Asher was wrong to break his, that’s no excuse. Didn’t Archer learn that two wrongs don’t make a right long before he was old enough for medical school?
The Kira situation was surprisingly opposite of what I expected.
When Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 19 spoilers stated that Asher and Archer would be dealing with a stem cell disease and a pregnant daughter, I predicted that the mother would want her daughter to give up the baby so that she could use its stem cells.
That would have been a fascinating ethical dilemma, but the actual story was fantastic. Still, I wondered why the doctors couldn’t use the stem cells from the non-viable fetus to cure Kimberly’s disease, assuming they were a match.
I’m glad that Marcel helped Tanaka-Reid get his self-confidence back.
I could have done without most of this story, which featured a bunch of residents acting like high school students. The teasing and bullying were inappropriate behavior. Tanaka-Reid acted like the stereotypical nerdy kid who pretends not to care but secretly fears his bullies are right to tease him.
Marcel was right that the other residents were reacting to Tanaka-Reid acting like he was far superior for the last year or so, but again — two wrongs don’t make a right. And in this case, there was far too much immature behavior for my liking.
At least Marcel and Tanaka-Reid have settled into a more respectful mentor/mentee relationship! Tanaka-Reid was insufferable when he used to try to replace Marcel’s judgment with his own.
Charles’ main story was interesting. I liked that Maggie could interpret ASL so that they could catch Sandy making up stories about what her brother was communicating.
Aiden’s desire to keep the imaginary voices in his head because he could HEAR them was also interesting, and I wish there’d been more time to develop that part of the story.
And what was with Lilian’s obnoxious brother? Charles went from one language barrier to another in that last scene, and Pavo did nothing to endear himself to viewers. I wondered if he thinks Charles is too good for Liliana or believes a doctor must have an ulterior motive for dating his sister.
Your turn, Chicago Med fanatics! Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your thoughts.
Don’t forget you can watch Chicago Med online on TV Fanatic.
Chicago Med airs on NBC on Wednesdays at 8/7c.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.