The Resident continues to explore important controversial topics with no apologies–and we are loving it.
The latest episode of The Resident continued to trek forward with dramatic storytelling and revealing the deep, dark secrets of the medical field. As we have learned, in the world of The Resident, the bottom-line always comes first. This episode was no exception to this rule and brought focus to the issues surrounding immigration. Chastain Park Memorial found themselves amidst a game of “Deal or No Deal” as they bantered back and forth over the life of a patient. This sweet and adorable patient, Louisa (Coral Pena) was a contract worker for the hospital–and adored by the entire staff. However, the hospital administration soon came to view her as a burden when they learned of her illness–and undocumented immigration status. Namely, an unwelcome billing consultant, Barb (Kellee Stewart) became a source of frustration with her intrusive insight into the hospital’s finances and patient care. The Resident also introduced two new pivotal characters, CEO Claire Thorpe (Merrin Dungey) and Dr. Jude Silva (Warren Christie). Claire and Dr. Bell (Bruce Greenwood) became a thorn in Conrad’s (Matt Czuchry) side as they fought for the bottom line over patient care–even calling in ICE in an attempt to whisk Louisa away. Dr. Bell continued to struggle with his hand tremor woes and decided to take medication (riddled with side effects) in an attempt to treat it.
Despite instructions not to, Conrad, Nic (Emily VanCamp), and Devon (Manish Dayal) opted to go ahead with Louisa’s surgery–courtesy of Dr. Silva, Conrad’s old army buddy and Dr. Okafor (Shaunette Renee Wilson). As heartfelt as this rebellious behavior was, it became hard to ignore the repercussions other patients would face as a result of the financial loss that would be incurred from Louisa’s surgery/rehab. This ethical and emotional dilemma is deeply rooted in every episode of The Resident which is what makes it so intriguing to watch. This episode explored the fight to save one patient’s life–but at what cost? The drama of the episode stayed strong until the very end as the story shifted to Dr. Lane’s (Melina Kanakaredes) patient, Lily. As we recall, Dr. Lane had sent her home despite Lily’s questionable health status–a point Nic had alluded to multiple times. The end of the episode revealed her being rushed into the E.R.–that can’t be good, can it?
A lot went down in this episode, right? Now, let’s meet our roundtable and get to discussing this week’s episode of The Resident!
Sofia (@mttczuchry)– Student, Latina, Matt Czuchry fan
Nikki (@halsteadsass)– Have a whole universe inside my head, lover of all things charming and angsty
Amanda (@dudeamanda)– Writer, reader, and full-time TV watcher
Anam (@anamiii)– Writer, Activist, TV Junkie
Jenny (@Tzenaki81)– I’m a working mom who watches a lot of TV…I mean A LOT
1. Conrad’s old army buddy/surgeon, Dr. Jude Silva, made an appearance in this episode. What are your thoughts about him and how he approaches medicine?
Sofia (@mttczuchry): He helped save Louisa so I’m cool with him, but I don’t like that he’s trying to get with Nic when his friend clearly still has deep feelings for her.
Nikki (@halsteadsass): I really loved Jude! I found him to be compelling in the short time that we got to see him in action and I hope to see more of him. Is anyone else sensing a future love triangle brewing? Jude is a doctor who is not cut out for the everyday hospital routine. He craves the excitement of the unknown and the rapid response that is only found in a high-intensity scene. It may have come from the fact that he learned from a very young age to take care of himself or just simply by being surrounded by war. Either way, he’s a risk taker and does not sugarcoat which I can appreciate. Even though Jude doesn’t seem fond of working under a system and would prefer to be free in his choices, he’s someone who makes the right decisions without putting his patients in harm.
Amanda (@dudeamanda): I am not totally sure how I feel about Dr. Jude. I think he’s a great guy, but I don’t really like how he approaches medicine. To me, he seems a little too entitled, like his way is the best way. That is probably not the best way to practice medicine, but I guess we shall see.
Anam (@anamiii): Dr. Silva reminds me of Owen Hunt from Grey’s Anatomy when he first started out. They both have a background in the army and practicing medicine unconventionally. The techniques used are probably not the most orthodox but they get the job done. They’re used to doing whatever needed to help the most people in the quickest amount of time. These skills are great to have, especially for a trauma doctor so I think he’s going to prove to be an asset. Especially with the whole reimbursement angle, they played up, doctors really don’t care too much about that from the get-go. I think he’s going to be the go-to for Conrad and co. when they need to get things done without thinking administratively about it.
Jenny (@Tzenaki81): He seems to approach medicine in the same way that Conrad does. Fix people and then ask questions. However, I kind of feel that he is going to turn out to be a snake in the grass.
2. The billing consultant, Barb Olsen, was an unwelcome addition during this episode. How did you feel about her role in the hospital and her dictating patient management?
Sofia: The CEO saw her role as necessary and she seems very realistic but she was awful and uncareful. I loved how Nic got rid of her.
Nikki: The moment she appeared on the screen I wanted her gone and those were my exact sentiments the rest of the episode. Barb was irritating, an annoyance, and nothing short of being a terrible person. I find it quite disturbing that her moral compass was this compromised due to her job. How could she be okay with letting a person die in the name of money? The level of narcissism is beyond anything I can fathom. I was pleased to see karma get her in the end. Nothing and no one is untouchable. She deserved to be put in her place and I’m glad Nic was the one to do so.
Amanda: I cannot even count the number of times I yelled at my TV when she was on the screen. She has no right to dictate what kind of care the patients get. Without reading a chart or knowing any kind of medical history, you can cause more harm than good, and that’s exactly what she was doing. I was so disgusted by her actions, and I am so glad that Nic called her out.
Anam: She was horribly annoying and perky about making healthcare even more expensive. Considering the political climate around health care right now, I really didn’t like her. This did give a clear picture of how the admin departments of hospitals work. The people in charge care about the bottom line. The doctors care about patient care. It’s always been like this, it always will. I did like the ending when Nic pointed out that not everything is safe for everyone and administrators/billing consultants need to back the hell away from the patients before they kill someone.
Jenny: Sadly, she truly showed one of the biggest flaws in the American medical care system. It seems to be a priority to up bill patients vs caring for them when you work in administration and billing in the hospital and medicine comes second. Every patient in the hospital is a dollar sign and a total before they are actual sick people.
3. Dr. Bell has opted to take medication to treat his tremor—despite the known side effects. If you were in his position, what would you do?
Sofia: I feel like taking medication is better than not doing it. If the side effects affect him more than the tremor, then he should retire.
Nikki: I don’t agree with what Dr. Bell is doing but I understand why he is. He’s a built a whole life and he’s not ready to give it up. The choice was basically taken away from him. It can be a hard pill to swallow. All in all, if I was Dr. Bell I would have also chosen the medication. It was the smarter choice for him regarding wanting to stay in the field. Not to mention, Dr. Bell is still trying to keep this well known “secret” under wraps. The surgery would make it widely known to a level that reaches outside the confines of the hospital. I’m very curious to see how this plays out and affects his work going forward.
Amanda: Honestly if I were in his position, I would stop doing surgeries. If he still wants to be involved in medicine, I’m sure there are ways for him to stay involved without risking the lives of his patients. He’s too proud to admit that he needs help, which is going to cause more harm to his career. I think if he just admitted he needed help, he could get it, and help many more people.
Anam: Probably the same thing. At the point where he is in his career, it’s hard to back away, especially if you feel like you still have more years to give. So the fact that he’s taking medication to stop the tremor is understandable. He doesn’t want to walk away just yet and if this helps, good for him.
Jenny: I honestly wonder if what he has can be cured. On Grey’s Preston Burke also had a tremor but they ended up fixing his problem. You can tell that Dr. Bell’s reputation and career are important to him so he’s taking the steps needed to stop his tremor and stop him from killing patients. Hopefully, we will see if the side effects are enough to get him to get real help.
4. This episode focused on an undocumented immigrant in need of healthcare. What did you think about the medical team treating her despite the administration’s orders not to?
Sofia: They’re all very patient-centered and I love that. Their main goal is to help everyone and I’m glad they managed to sneak off to perform the surgery and didn’t end up fired, even though Conrad now seems to be in red numbers.
Nikki: Conrad, Nic, and Devon was the trio I always needed! I loved every moment of the three of them working endlessly to get Luisa the treatment she deserved. This specific case really strengthened Conrad and Devon’s partnership in the field and makes me excited to see it continue to grow. Who doesn’t love a “slight enemies to friends” trope? It was thrilling to watch the team basically say, “screw you” and do what was right. If I was apart of that golden team I would have been “team yes” from the go and not worry about the consequences. If there’s a will, there’s a way. No one deserves to be turned away from getting help.
Amanda: I think it shows the types of doctors and nurses that they are, they care. I know it’s a rough situation, and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it from a personal standpoint in the real world, but in the TV world, I was rooting for them to help her! I think the care of the patients should come ahead of the money, and it’s scary to see how much money controls healthcare.
Anam: I think they were doing what they were trained to do. Doctors and nurses are trained for patient care, not to worry about where they will get the money to pay for this or what they’re legal status is. These things are irrelevant to a medical professional when that patient’s life is at risk. This would be enough for a patient that wasn’t someone the team knew personally. They knew Luisa and they weren’t about to let someone they cared for die because she was undocumented or didn’t have insurance.
Jenny: The medical team took an oath to help people. It doesn’t matter if the people are wealthy, poor, illegal aliens, or lifelong citizens. They made the right call. The patient was 22 years old, should she really be left to die just because she is illegal?
5. Once again, this episode highlighted the hospital’s focus on the bottom line–even if it means letting a patient die because of their immigration status. Do you think there is a middle ground in this type of situation? Why or why not?
Sofia: For me letting a patient die is never an option. I understand how hard it is for the hospitals to get the money but I don’t think that can be an excuse.
Nikki: Money should not be the basis for basic human necessity. It’s sad to know that is how healthcare is determined in the world today. There must be a middle ground. You cannot sentence a person to death because they don’t have the money or where they come from. How is that even legal? All hospitals should have a safety net in cases like this.
Amanda: I’m sure there’s a middle ground if one is willing to look for it. I think that we should all focus on trying to do what’s best for those who need our help, even if that means paying a little extra.
Anam: Absolutely. Patient care shouldn’t depend on what your immigration status is. Sure this girl was undocumented but she was brought here when she was three and didn’t have a say in the matter. That being said, she was studying to become a doctor. She is going to grow up and work alongside these people to provide care. Immigration status should not be factored into patient care at all. That doesn’t affect the outcome of their care and healthcare shouldn’t be treated as a privilege.
Jenny: There HAS to be a middle ground. Obviously, hospitals are in business to cure people and make money, if they aren’t making money they would have to close their doors. I find myself asking if Louisa was illegal but RICH would there be such a huge problem? Would immigration have been notified? I just don’t see how money or lack thereof should decide if a patient lives or dies. Besides, the padding of the medical exams DO happen, the hospitals make enough extra money to afford these types of one-offs.
6. Claire was a force to be reckoned with as the CEO of Chastain–and means business. How do you feel about her character? Yay or nay?
Sofia: Even though I understand her job requires her to make hard decisions, I think she could’ve put a bit more effort on helping Louisa so it’s a nay from me.
Nikki: I’m not very fond of her. At first, I thought maybe she would come to her senses, but she proved to be unlikable with the choices she made. She’s a woman in charge in a man’s world. I get that it can be hard and sometimes your back is pushed up against the wall, but it wasn’t in this case. Instead of trying to sell Luisa to other hospitals or having Barb call ICE, she could have chosen that time to try to find a better solution. Who is she to play God in the name of money? She should be proud of running a hospital instead she looks at the job and the patients as a burden. I believe that if you go into a career on the sole basis of money, it will show. If you aren’t happy, you will not be able to put one hundred percent into the tasks at hand. It’s just the way human beings work. She’s trying to keep up and failing.
Amanda: Right now I’m a Nay. I really don’t like how it’s all about the money with Claire. As a CEO, she should focus on the care of her patients, not the bottom line. Hopefully, we see her develop a heart when it comes to helping the patients, so I can move my opinion to a Yay.
Anam: I’m not sure yet. She seems like a she’s more focused on money than patient care – which is understandable for the CEO, that is what they do – but I think there’s more to her. She didn’t have the same “I don’t care about anything but money” attitude that the billing rep did. I think she’s got more to give and we’ll find out about it as the episodes roll in. Although, I may be biased because I really like Merrin Dungey as an actor.
Jenny: I disliked her immensely. I just couldn’t believe that they were bidding and bargaining to get rid of an EMPLOYEE of the hospital that needed medical care because she had the potential of being a “perma-patient”. Then the news that she was going to make sure that Conrad found himself short staffed etc was horrible. Is she willing to put more patients at risk as revenge?
7. Dr. Hunter’s patient, Lily, is back in the hospital, and things aren’t looking too great. What are your predictions for next week’s episode and Nic’s investigation into Dr. Hunter?
Sofia: I’m excited about what’s coming and I hope they can help Lily!
Nikki: When Lily appeared in the beginning of the episode, she did not look in great shape. Nic had every right to be worried. You could tell right off the bat that there was something wrong going on. Lily being released prior was a huge mistake! I’m also questioning why Lily wanted to convince Nic that everything was fine? What is she hiding on behalf of Dr. Hunter? There’s something very shady about the clinical trials and I continue to have a bad feeling about them as does Nic. Nic needs to follow her instincts on this one despite Conrad’s consistent praise of Dr. Hunter. We all love privacy but there’s a fine line between being private and being secretive. It seems like Dr. Hunter is giving her patients enough chemotherapy drugs to make them sicker instead of better. Is she killing her own patients in the name of discovery? Time will only tell.
Amanda: If you thought Nic was a badass this week (which she totally was), then I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised with her next week. I predict that she’s going to do whatever it takes to make sure Lily is taken care of properly, even if it means going up against Dr. Hunter. I personally cannot wait!
Anam: Dr. Hunter is starting to look shadier by the day. She seems like someone who does go out of her way to help Conrad when she can but her medical decisions seem like they’re being influenced by something. I think we’ll find out what it is next week but it’s not looking good for her. Maybe she’s doing something illegal or testing a drug she didn’t get approval for? Whatever it is, the next episode is going to be intense.
Jenny: Dr. Hunter is up to something very shady. I see her as someone who wants so badly to get an award or make a breakthrough in medicine that she is willing to risk the lives of many patients to get there and that she is doing it without their consent. I am sure that Lily thinks she is in the best hands possible and meanwhile her life is actually in more danger!
Final Verdict: The Resident delivers another ethical conundrum with all the feels.
This episode was filled with emotions, ethics, and the innate desire to help another human in need, regardless of their immigration status. It left the audience with a daunting feeling of pondering what was right and what was wrong. The heart of The Resident lies in revealing such ethical dilemmas that ail a medical setting. In the quest to save Louisa, the impact on other patients took a backseat. However, The Resident didn’t choose to ignore that notion and reflected back on it–reminding the audience that the story is aware of the hypocrisy.
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While the episode focused on the hospital’s refusal to absorb the costs of Louisa’s care, it also shifted the focus on what would happen as a result. It was an abrupt reminder that everything is certainly not black and white and the hospital as a whole would be affected–most importantly, other patients. The harsh reality and truth of the situation was something The Resident did not shy away from. When all was said and done, Louisa’s status as an undocumented immigrant became the sole reason to turn her away, which really resonated with fans of the show. It was tough to digest and even harder to side with the hospital administration as they decided her fate. The battle of Louisa’s care vs. the effect it would have on other patients was extremely unnerving and frightening, to say the least. Oh, The Resident, you slay us.
Despite the controversy surrounding The Resident, the show has does a superb job of displaying the ugly and very real truths of this world. We may not like the reality and the medical jargon/procedures may not be 100% accurate, but we are definitely tuning in because as far as we are concerned–The Resident is here to stay.
How will this week’s events affect the patients, hospital, and staff moving forward? And what drama will unfold surrounding Dr. Lane? We sure can’t wait to find out in next week’s episode of The Resident!