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Break the Rules. Heal the System.
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New Amsterdam is an NBC Medical Drama that premiered in 2018. It is based on the book Twelve Patients - Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital by Eric Manheimer.

Dr. Max Goodwin is the new medical director of New Amsterdam Medical Center, a major public hospital that provides care to the general public, prison inmates, and even UN diplomats. From the moment he arrives, Goodwin has grand ideas to make sure New Amsterdam can provide proper medical treatment to every patient who comes through its doors, regardless of cost, and makes clear he doesn't care who he has to steamroll to make this happen. This is met with a mixture of excitement, curiosity, and derision by the staff.

In January of 2020, NBC announced that the show was renewed for three additional seasons.

Not to be confused with New Amsterdam (2008), a police procedural about an immortal detective searching for his true love.

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This program provides examples of:

  • Alcoholic Parent: Dr. Bloom's mother was a severe alcoholic, and as a child, she was often forced to deal with the consequences of her mother's drinking. When she was old enough to go to college, she fled all the way to Washington to get away.
  • Arc Words: Goodwin's Catchphrase: "How can I help?"
  • Black and Nerdy: Dr. Reynolds used his intelligence to raise himself from poverty to a full academic scholarship to Yale eventually to building a brand new cardio-thoracic surgery department at New Amsterdam. He completely geeks out over medical equipment and happily recalls how his mother used to buy him all the books he wanted each birthday.
  • Bolivian Army Cliffhanger: After the successful birth of Luna in the season 1 finale, the ambulance carrying Goodwin, Georgia, Sharpe, and Bloom collides with another ambulance, causing a massive car wreck. While Goodwin's condition is confirmed afterward, it's left unclear what happened to the three women. The season 2 opening episode reveals that while Sharpe and Bloom survived the crash, Georgia did not.
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  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Dr. Vijay Kapoor appears absent-minded and overly cautious, but he's actually a top-notch diagnostician.
  • Casting Gag: This is not the first time Freema Agyeman has played someone with medical training.
  • Catchphrase: Goodwin's: "How can I help?", which are also Arc Words.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Iggy Frome. He can't let any injustices go, a behavior heightened by Goodwin's arrival. He'll go all the way to help his patients, with various consequences.
    • The episodes Preventable and This Is Not The End feature Iggy being charged with a formal complaint and investigation for violating doctor-patient boundaries by being too personal with his patients.
    • In Season 2, Iggy suggests adopting another child, a choice that exasperates and frustrates his husband, Martin.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Reynolds performs a pacemaker procedure at a pacemaker manufacturer's production facility in Mexico. Everything is state-of-the-art and everyone is highly trained, but they're only equipped to deal with cardiac emergencies, leading to a patient almost dying on the table when she developed other complications.
  • Disappeared Dad: Rohan becomes this when he leaves New York after getting Ella pregnant, though he does ask his father Dr. Kapoor to watch over her and the kid.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Her: Georgia is revealed to have died of her injuries after the Season 1 finale's Cliffhanger.
  • Enfant Terrible: In "The Karman Line," Iggy has to deal with a little girl who turns out to be a sociopath who is incapable of showing any remorse. It was revealed that she tried to strangle her little brother to death just because he wouldn't let her play with his phone.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Max realizes that hospitals are unceremoniously dumping terminal patients in woefully inadequate hospices and care homes. So, he sets up a palliative care ward (after shaming a wealthy donor into providing the necessary cash) where patients will be able to live out their final days in a safe and comfortable environment.
  • Fictional Counterpart: New Amsterdam Medical Center is based on Bellevue Hospital, and uses Bellevue's exterior for establishing shots.
  • Foil: Dr. Kapoor is this to Dr. Goodwin. While Goodwin wants to immediately start treating patients for the symptoms they exhibit, Kapoor advocates a more methodical approach to diagnose the root cause of the symptoms, pointing out that quick treatments can oftentimes only serve to mask the underlying cause and result in death.
  • Happily Adopted: Dr. Frome and his husband have adopted multiple children from Bangladesh and they all live happily in their cozy New York apartment with two dogs. Iggy even makes plans to adopt another child in the second episode of season 2!
  • Hates the Job, Loves the Limelight: A variation. Helen Sharpe begins the series as a media star who loves going on TV and traveling to conferences around the world to talk about medicine. She'd grown to dislike actually treating patients because it's so emotionally taxing and avoids it as much as possible. Max has to strong arm her into practicing medicine again.
  • Heroic RRoD: Throughout the first season Max becomes more and more frail as his throat cancer and treatment regimen take a toll on his body.
  • Instant Drama, Just Add Tracheotomy: Georgia has to do this to Max when he passes out on a dock beside a lake. Sharpe tells her what to do over the phone.
  • Leitmotif: A jazz drum solo plays whenever Goodwin does something to change the way things work at New Amsterdam. Later on, the drum solo also plays when other characters start following Goodwin's example.
  • Meaningful Name: How can you name a good samaritan of a doctor who stops at nothing to help his patients and manages one way or another to achieve success at the end of the day? "Max-Good-Win"!
  • My God, You Are Serious:
    • When Max does his big opening speech of changing things, the staff just look bored as they've clearly heard this before and expect things to be the same. It's when Max fires every cardiac surgeon for charging too much money that it hits them he's really intent on changing things.
    • Sharpe at first laughs off Max's demands that she has to stop doing non-stop media appearances and actually work regular surgical hours. She changes her tune when she hears of the mass firings and Max docking her pay.
    • Dean Fulton lampshades that the board assumed Max's talk of "changing everything" was just to get the job, they never expected him to actually do any of it.
  • Not What It Looks Like: During a papal visit to New York, Dr. Kapoor cheerfully admits to going into the hospital room set aside as a contingency for the Pope and sprinkling flower petals, which happen to be toxic, on and around the bed as a sign of welcome. The Secret Service views the incident as an assassination attempt and locks Kapoor down for the day.
  • Office Romance: Bloom used to have a relationship with Reynolds, who later proposed to Evie, a lawyer working for the hospital.
    • Season 2, Episode 2, The Big Picture, featured the reveal of Bloom having sex with her physical therapist to distract her from the leg wound she received in the ambulance accident.
  • One of Our Own:
    • Max Goodwin in Six Or Seven Minutes.
    • The Goodwin family, Bloom, and Sharpe in Your Turn. Lampshaded by Casey Acosta in the same episode.
  • Only Sane Man: Dr. Iggy Frome considers himself to be this in regards to the foster system. All the system wants him to do is to get troubled children calm enough so they can be placed with a foster family while he knows that there's a good chance that the children will be abused and be sent back to him in worse shape.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Reynolds' mother finds Evie to be nice but doesn't think she's the right woman for her son. Reynolds decides that, in this one case, his mother is wrong.
  • Patient of the Week: This is a medical drama, after all, so this trope is self-explanatory.
  • Poor Communication Kills: In the first episode, Dr. Kapoor's patient was misdiagnosed with Parkinson's and put on medication for that. The side-effects created new health problems, and so she was put on medication for those, and then ended up on another medication for the side-effects from that medication, which eventually resulted in her brain being tricked into thinking that she was dead, which brought her to Dr. Kapoor's attention. Dr. Kapoor discovers that her real problem was a form of cancer which has by now metastasized, leaving her with just two years to live.
  • Prison Episode: Season 2, Episode 9, "The Island", features Goodwin, Sharpe, Frome, and a handful of other doctors and nurses going to Rikers Prison to run a one-day clinic for the female inmates.
  • Put on a Bus: Dora, Max's assistant, is said to have taken another job in Season 2 due to the stress of trying to implement Max's grand ideas.
  • Raised by the Community: Luna. With Georgia dead, Goodwin has to bring his daughter to work every day, carrying her around before dropping her off at the hospital's daycare. The Season 2 opening episode shows him running around the hospital solving problems while all the main staff members coo at Luna. It's very clear that they have fallen in love with her.
  • Reality Ensues: Iggy's attempts to push the limits when helping his patients results in him stepping over the line and being put under review with his medical license on the line.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Goodwin, as medical director, comes in and completely shakes up the status quo at New Amsterdam, so much so that he fires all but one cardiac surgeon and many more senior staff immediately walk out because of the changes he makes.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: As the series progresses, New Amsterdam's staff starts taking Goodwin's methods to heart and begin shaking things up around the hospital on their own accord.
    • In the first episode, Dr. Frome puts a psychiatric hold on one of his patients, Jemma, in an attempt to stop her from going back into the foster care system. This ends up backfiring as Jemma bristles at the strict rules in the psych ward, so Frome breaks another rule, tracking down the estranged daughter of one of the few foster parents that Jemma actually liked, and guilt-tripping her into meeting Jemma to discuss adoption.
    • One episode sees Reynolds posing as his predecessor in order to get a patient admitted to New Amsterdam's sister hospital. The same episode sees Bloom locking Sharpe out of an examination room in order to stop her from administering the wrong treatment to a patient.
    • Deconstructed when Dr. Sharpe gets caught with her heroin-addicted patient at a safe injection site in Season 2. Sharpe is stripped of her titles as Co-Chair of the Oncology department and Deputy Medical Director.
  • Servile Snarker:
    • Dora, Goodwin's assistant, copes with the stress her boss puts her through with heaping doses of snark.
    • In Season 2, Dora is replaced by Todd, who gives Max plenty of stoic snark.
  • Straight Gay: Dr. Frome has a husband at home.
  • Take a Third Option:
    • In "Anima Sola", Iggy reports an elderly surgeon whose hands have gotten shakey. Max is reluctant to keep the surgeon at work for fear that he will botch a surgery, but doesn't want to fire someone with so much experience, so he appoints the surgeon as the new head of telesurgery, allowing him to direct surgeries from afar rather than performing them himself.
    • In "The Blues", Max goes looking for employees whose jobs have become obsolete and finds a large number of them. On the one hand, many of them can't be moved up to their job of choice within the hospital, as the positions are already filled. On the other hand, he doesn't want to fire any of them because he fears it will discourage people from reporting obsolescence. Finally, he takes a third option, setting up a new clinic in Sheepshead Bay and moving the obsolete employees to the nearest equivalent promotions there.
  • Those Two Guys: Drs. Frome and Kapoor often get paired together both because their specialties (psychiatry and neurology, respectively) are related and because their diametrically opposed personalities mean they play well off of one another.
  • Transgender: One episode sees Dr. Frome dealing with a trans boy who is seeking to get top surgery.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Despite completely upending the entire hospital on his first day and causing major disturbances in the system ranging from a boycott on a pharmaceutical company to outright socialism, Dr. Goodwin still manages to keep his job as medical director of New Amsterdam. Lampshaded by Goodwin when Dean Fulton attempted to fire him for firing the entire cardio-surgical department.
  • Vomit Chain Reaction: Season 2, Episode 3, 'Replacement', features one of these when an entire unit of children all begin suffering the same odd symptoms
  • Written-In Absence: Bloom spends several episodes away in rehab to accommodate Janet Montgomery's maternity leave.
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