It felt like Chicago Med went back to basics.
The medical drama is often more of a nighttime soap than a doctor show. But Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 2 featured new residents, challenging cases, and character development for Choi and Archer.
While the soapy aspects can be fun, the medical stories are the series’ heart, and it felt so good to have them front and center.
As promised by the Chicago Med showrunners in their preview interview, the 2022 crop of residents’ education has been disrupted by COVID. So far, it mainly seemed like one resident was affected, but there likely will be more stories of this nature as the season progresses.
Ironically, the character who couldn’t intubate a patient was named Zach, as Zach Braff’s JD had a similar problem on Scrubs Season 1 Episode 1, minus the COVID issue.
In any case, Zach’s dilemma demonstrated the limitations of online learning. People cannot learn certain things without hands-on instruction, and lifesaving measures such as intubating patients is one of them.
Zach was likable, eager to please, and willing to learn on the job, but the powers that be should have never put him in this position. It wasn’t his fault that COVID disrupted his education, but there had to have been a better solution than sending interns into hospitals without experience performing basic procedures.
Choi found a dummy for Zach to practice on after all was said and done, but why did nobody think to do this before assigning him live patients? If residents don’t know how to intubate, insert IVs, or other basic but vital procedures, they will be more of a liability in the ED than anything else.
Thus, upon arrival in the ED, they should first be trained in the way Choi is training Zach before they get to the learn-by-doing stage.
While this might leave the hospital more short-staffed than is ideal, having residents waste time because of their lack of hands-on experience can’t possibly be better for patient care than having less staff while they get up to speed.
At least Zach is likable as well as motivated to learn. Kai, on the other hand, is purely annoying.
As a first-year resident, especially one who didn’t get a complete education in medical school because of COVID concerns, Kai’s job is to learn from seasoned doctors. He is not a full doctor and has no business making care-related decisions on his own.
Marcel had every right to be angry after Kai’s decision to run the CO2 test nearly killed the patient. It’s okay that Kai had an idea to get around the supply chain problem, but he should have run it past Marcel or another supervisor before taking the patient to a room and working on him.
That risked the patient’s life and opened the hospital to a lawsuit. And as the doctor of record, Marcel would have ultimately had to answer for what a resident working under his supervision did, too.
In addition, Kai seems to have little understanding of hospital politics or appropriate behavior. This is not the end of the world, but it certainly doesn’t help him.
While Abrams was characteristically blunt, Kai deserved it.
Abrams: Look, Sharon, if I’m being asked to follow the bread crumbs of her initial symptomatology, I suspect she might have an astrocytoma or a leaking aneurysm. There’s no way of knowing without a CT with contrast, but I can assure you that without intervention, her outcome is gonna be a whole lot worse than a limp for a few months.
Ty: I’m sorry, but that sounds so nebulous. I mean, we know exactly what we have to lose or gain with our patient. You’re on a fishing expedition.
Abrams: Who is this guy?
Kai: Kai Tanaka-Reid, first year surgical resident. Nice to meet you.
Abrams: You’re an intern, Kai. Learn not to spoke until spoken to.
He jumped into an argument between Abrams and Marcel over the contrast dye and did it in an incredibly antagonistic way.
Few doctors would appreciate that, but anyone who has interacted with Abrams for more than three seconds knows how ineffective that approach will be.
And Kai doesn’t seem to understand that he is an intern; thus, he is not equal to his supervisor.
It was bad enough that he called Marcel by his first name, mostly a faux pas. But then he had the gall to demand Marcel give him equal credit for saving the patient after Kai nearly killed him with an unauthorized procedure.
All else aside, it would have been incredibly awkward for Marcel to tell the patient that he owed his health to a first-year resident. Many people often assist on a given medical case, and Marcel is the doctor of record.
Besides, Marcel saved the guy’s life after Kai’s CO2 test almost ended it.
Kai is arrogant and thinks he knows everything, and his complaint against Marcel is ridiculous. He has a lot of growing up to do if he doesn’t want to be Med’s equivalent of The Good Doctor’s Morgan!
The case that Will and Asher threw Charles’ way was one of the more interesting ones. Charles’ intern was quick to jump to a psychiatric diagnosis even though it didn’t match the way the woman’s symptoms manifested. That could have made things worse!
I understood why Will was desperate for a DCFS intervention. Henry needed that arm set, and whatever was going on with his mom was interfering with his care.
While Henry’s chrysalis was an overly obvious symbol of his feelings about his mom’s illness, it was effective, especially when Mrs. Mitchell broke the jar and stepped on the broken glass.
Archer also continued to be a more compelling character than he has been in the past. It seems like he’s getting ready to confront his tendency to overcontrol situations.
Archer was dealing with his ALS patient the same way he dealt with his son; in both cases, it only alienated the people he was trying to help.
Sean: You got old.
Archer: It’s been a long time.
Sean: 15 years.
Archer: I would have been here sooner, but it takes a while to get visitation. Um, ,so I spoke to your lawyer and she said something about a plea deal?
Sean: Yeah, she doesn’t think we can fight this.
Archer: YOu know what, I’m gonna get you a new lawyer, someone who knows what they’re doing.
Sean: It’s okay. I’m cool with this.
Archer: You’re cool with going to jail?
Sean: Dad, really, it’s fine.
Archer: You always do this. Ever since you were a kid, you always gave up too easily.
Sean: Like the way you gave up on me?
This has always been a problem for Archer when it comes to patient care. He continually tries to find a way to impose his proposed solutions to the patient’s problems on them regardless of what their wishes are.
Poor Al wanted to control the only thing he could by refusing to be intubated, and Archer kept making promises he couldn’t keep about it being temporary because of his own need for control.
Archer: You’re for pallative care now?
Archer: This is an ED. We save people’s lives here. We don’t end them on purpose.
He wouldn’t listen to Choi, which caused the patient unnecessary suffering.
Choi is no stranger to imposing his will on patients either. No wonder Archer was surprised by Choi’s interest in palliative care when Choi is usually even more rigid than Archer is!
The latest in Maggie’s baby drama was Grant showing up and Maggie deciding to tell Ben after spending the day keeping them apart.
While I don’t want Ben and Maggie to break up, I’m over this story already. Vanessa has reconnected with her birth father, and Maggie has made it clear to both men which one she is married to. Done. Let’s move on.
Your turn, Chicago Med fanatics! Hit that big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your thoughts about Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 2. If you’d like to refresh your memory first, watch Chicago Med online here on TV Fanatic.
Chicago Med airs on NBC on Wednesdays at 8 PM EST / PST.
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.