‘The Resident’: A Broken System

I knew all about unnecessary drugs that doctors push on patients, but I had no idea there were unnecessary surgeries too. The Resident is good at showing us the broken system of medicine, and this episode dives even deeper.

Dr. Conrad Hawkins is always fighting the system on The Resident.
Dr. Conrad Hawkins has been trying to fix the broken system since episode one. (FOX)

We meet this cool pastor at the top of the episode that has helped Dr. Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry) and Dr. AJ Austin (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) in the past. It appears that he’s been a therapist to them. While Conrad and AJ are leaning on him, the pastor asks them for a favor. He’s been feeling some heart pains. He goes on to tell them that he had a splint put in. It seems a little odd for a man as young as him. He tells them that doctors came into the church and were willing to give free exams. So, he wanted to lead by example and received a heart exam. Only to be told he needed a cardiac catheterization. And then had a heart attack during the procedure, and that’s when the doctor put in the splint.

I don’t know anything about hearts, but this didn’t sound good. It didn’t to AJ or Conrad, either. They took a look, and the splint had done even more damage, which caused his minor heart attack, which was causing his pain.

I will never understand how people can do this. I know it’s all about greed. But still. You just do an unnecessary surgery and send them on their way and not care what happens after. It angers me that this is legal. Shouldn’t there be some kind of law preventing unnecessary surgery? Unless it’s plastic surgery and the patient chooses to go under the knife, there should be laws protecting people against this.

This is probably the point of Dr. Randolph Bell’s (Bruce Greenwood) storyline. He’s on the medical board now, and he’s trying to make a difference. But unfortunately, there wasn’t anything he could do in the pastor’s situation because, as mentioned before, it’s legal. Nevertheless, he has found a case where he believes he can make an impact.

We met the patient before. A neurosurgeon paralyzed her. The medical board dismissed it as a complication. Bell found more complaints against the doctor, but the medical board chair still believed that there was nothing to pursue. So, Bell brought the patient in to tell her story. I’m still not sure it did anything. We’ll have to wait for more episodes to see if they investigate the matter properly.

Conrad and AJ say it's a broken system on The Resident.
Conrad and Dr. AJ Austin are devastated by what happened to the pastor. (FOX)

I understand that doctors are human, and mistakes happen, but how many mistakes can a doctor make until they realize that they’re the problem? On Grey’s Anatomy, Dr. Richard Webber will get an assessment to see if his judgment is off. That’s after two mistakes. The series Dr. Death also showed how difficult it is to hold a doctor accountable. As Conrad and AJ said, the system is broken.

I guess the question is, what are we going to do about it? Is there anything we can do about it? I hope there are doctors like Dr. Bell on the medical board trying to hold doctors accountable. And doctors like AJ, Conrad and Dr. Devon Pravesh (Manish Dayal) are fighting for their patients every day within this broken system.

While AJ couldn’t do anything legally, he did go to see the doctor who performed the unnecessary surgery. It was funny watching the guy explain cardio to him, not knowing that he had a renowned cardio surgeon in front of him. I knew AJ was about to clobber him. He did, but the doctor was surprised. I’m unsure if he was surprised he got caught or that he was just trying to explain something to someone who knew even more than he did.

It’s awful that the pastor will never be the same again. All he’s done is try to help people. And when he thought he was being helped, he was being conned.

Hopefully, one day we can fix this broken system. But as long as it’s about profits, it will never be about the patients.

How do you believe we can fix the system? Or at least how can The Resident show how to fix the system? Tweet me @PrimetimeDrama or @MandyTTCarr or comment below.

Mandy Carr

Editor and Founder, Primetime Addiction

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