A look at the professional and personal lives of the staff at New York's Knickerbocker Hospital during the early part of the twentieth century. Every day they must deal with lack of funding, personal conflicts, egotism, racial tensions, personal vices, drug addiction, affairs, closed minds, dated nigh-medieval medical techniques and them and their experimental new techniques being misunderstood by most, in order to keep the hospital going and give the ill the help they need. The pressure is enormous and leaves its mark on the souls of most of them.
Modern medicine had to start somewhere. (Season 1)
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Did You Know?
While a guest on the National Public Radio program "Fresh Air," Dr. Stanley Burns (a photographic and medical historian who is a technical adviser to the TV series) said that the character of Dr. John Thackery (Clive Owen) is addicted to cocaine because Thackery is partly modeled on a real doctor from the period, William Halsted, who really was a cocaine addict. Halsted became addicted to cocaine because, Burns explained, it was common then for doctors to test new procedures and medicines on themselves, and cocaine, which was thought to be a good possible new surgical anesthetic, was not yet understood to be addictive. Dr. Christiansen, played by Matt Frewer, mentions that Halsted introduced him to the drug. See more