What do grandmothers, addicts and celebrities have in common? All of them seek care at Columbia and Weill Cornell Hospitals, the crown jewels of the prestigious New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. For a full year ABC cameras had unprecedented access to document the mayhem and the miracles that occur daily in these world class facilities. “NY Med” follows the irascible, compassionate and, at times, cocky attending surgeons who try to change the trajectory of lives by relying on sheer medical brilliance and a healthy dose of old fashioned good luck. The eight-part series takes a candid look at how cutting edge medicine often makes the difference, although even the best surgeons can find themselves flirting with disaster. The raucous ER staff trade jibes with strong-willed New Yorkers in moments that can be poignantly heartbreaking or off-the-hook hilarious. These doctors spend far more time with each other than with their families, developing complicated and intertwined personal relationships. “NY Med” premieres Tuesday, July 10 at 10:00 pm ET/OTon the ABC Television Network.
“Medicine is a universal subject. At some point in our lives we or those we love will become patients for one reason or another,” said executive producer Terry Wrong. “This series takes you behind the curtain to learn about those we depend on to fix us, and how sometimes they just can’t.”
Some of the doctors of “NY Med” travel difficult and uncertain paths to reach the pinnacle of medical excellence. Dr. Anthony Watkins, an African-American from the deep south, overcame limited means and an absentee father to become one of the most heralded new talents in transplant surgery. He’s acutely aware of his minority status and feels the burden to be a role model for other young African-Americans.
Among the surgeons of “NY Med” is the well-known Dr. Mehmet Oz, who proves that he remains a world-class heart surgeon despite his successful parallel career as a talk show host. He offers his lucky patients a one-stop shop of surgery, lifestyle counseling and compassion.
When patients and doctors come together on “NY Med,” the stakes are frequently life or death. Rita Saverino, a Wall Street banker and mother of two, thought she would die from the grapefruit-size tumor in her stomach, but Dr. Tomoaki Kato, a maverick Japanese surgeon, believes he can help with an innovative operation called “ex vivo.” Even with the best trained surgeons, things go awry: A former Army officer goes into the operating room for a heart transplant, but wakes up to learn that the heart he has been waiting for was irreparably damaged during removal. Both he and his doctors are desperately disappointed, but what he does next will melt viewers’ hearts.