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The Good Doctor Asks: Did Shaun Learn All of the Wrong Lessons From Drs. Melendez and Han?

Dr. Shaun Murphy faced great adversity in pursuit of surgical greatness — but what lessons did he take away from all those times he was underestimated by his superiors due to his autism?

There’s a moment in The Good Doctor Season 7, Episode 3 that harkens back to a conversation Shaun once had with TikTok’s favorite emotional terrorist, Dr. Han. Charlie, who is also on the spectrum, confronts Dr. Murphy and hopes to receive acknowledgment for a chance discovery she made — a discovery that ultimately saved their patient. That isn’t enough, though, to convince Shaun that Charlie has what it takes to cut it in the operating room.

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“I believe your intense curiosity and attention to organization will one day make you an excellent pathologist,” he tells her. “Given your aversion to textbooks, your extreme impatience, and your refusal to acknowledge and learn from your mistakes…. You’re nothing like me, and I don’t think you should ever be a surgeon.”

<cite>Jeff Weddell/Disney</cite>
Jeff Weddell/Disney

When Drs. Lim and Glassman approach Shaun about how he addressed Charlie, Lim advises Shaun to make some “adjustments” to his teaching style. “Why?” he asks. “No one ever made things easier for me, or went out of their way to make accommodations for me.” He recalls when Dr. Melendez (R.I.P.) put him on scut work and threatened to fire him, and when Dr. Han transferred him to pathology. “I never gave up, and I learned how to accept criticism and improve my communication skills in order to become a good surgeon.”

Lim, however, argues that accommodations were made along the way. She also acknowledges that Drs. Melendez and Han, along with “many other people, were wrong about you. But that doesn’t mean you should treat Charlie—”

“I am not wrong about Charlie,” Shaun argues. “She should not be a surgeon.”

He is unwavering in his opinion and unable to see things from her perspective. He declares that he is an attending, and it is his decision how to manage his medical students as he sees fit. And it’s this stubbornness that prompts Glassman to liken Shaun to the heinous Dr. Han. Is it a fair comparison?

<cite>Jeff Weddell/Disney</cite>
Jeff Weddell/Disney

We want to know what you think! Is Shaun being fair to Charlie? Or is he treating his med student like Dr. Han treated him during his surgical residency? Let us know in Comments.

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