By María Estévez, MWN
Since its premiere in 2017, ‘The Good Doctor’ has managed to stand out from the rest of medical dramas, receiving critical acclaim for the great performance of Freddie Highmore as Shaun Murphy, a young autistic savant surgical resident at the fictional San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital.
The 49-years-old Christina Chang plays Chief of Surgery Dr. Audrey Lim in the series. Her character develops post-traumatic stress disorder from her experiences with treating the COVID-19 patients in the previous season.
Metro talked with the Taiwanese-American actress to learn more about what to expect in the upcoming episodes.
How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the show?
We are leaving it behind and adopting a “business as usual” mentality even though Audrey has to deal with PTSD. She has a lot on her plate, but everyone does. Every hospital, Chief of Hospital and Chief of Surgery feels like that.
Are you diving into the future to create a “new normal”?
It is the artistic decision that we took for the show. Although we are, obviously, facing the pandemic in our everyday lives. What we have on our side in a pretty well-oiled machine. We are getting more efficient without compromising the protocols.
It seems that Doctor Lim is getting more attention from the writers.
I am so glad that it is happening. When I discovered that her story was centered around PTSD, I took that very seriously because mental health issues are a very important topic to address. There would be emotional residuals when we are done with the pandemic, but PTSD is different for everybody.
What do you think about the positive reception of the series by doctors and nurses all over the world?
Again, thank you, that’s so appreciated. I received many letters from doctors, administrators and nurses and it’s really been fantastic to have such support. You never know, no matter how good of an experience working on a show can be, what results you will achieve. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for not only getting to do a job I feel passionate about, but also for working with people that I like, respect and enjoy hanging with.
How do you see Doctor Lim?
Playing a woman who is smart, brave, compassionate and in a leadership position is a dream. I think she’s driven by her sense of justice, her commitment to treating equally everyone who needs help. This may be seen as dangerous for her career, but it is valuable for her patients. The fact that she is an Asian-American woman is also very gratifying and heartening. I’ve been acting for a few years now, and getting to play a woman in a leadership position is so important to me as a mom—I’m glad my daughter gets to see more faces like hers on television. I’m also proud to represent a female surgeon.
She is very vulnerable as well.
She is a woman with a lot of power who is dealing with trauma after COVID-19, like many other people. She’s got quite a big role as Chief of Surgery, and she’s in charge of a lot of staff, so it’s not OK in her mind to have any issues. It is difficult for Lim to ask for help and she struggles with how to receive it and what to do with it.