New Amsterdam

New Amsterdam is a medical drama that is currently playing on Netflix. Set in New York City, the show occurs in a fictional public New York hospital modeled after Bellevue. Originally on network TV, the series recently came to the streaming device.


Mental health providers may like the show because it portrays the problems inherent in delivering competent care within bureaucratic obstacles, staff issues, and underfunding. The show is unafraid to tackle complex, thorny problems permeating our society. These include gender, drug abuse, family violence, and racism.

Though the series chronicles serious issues, it does so with compassion, considerable humor, and fascinating characters. The lead actor in the show is Max Goodwin, the medical director. The actor who plays him is highly skilled and does a beautiful job being irreverent, intelligent, caring, and determined.

In some ways, the show is psychologically sophisticated. However, ironically the man who plays the psychologist has an inferior script with which to work. Many of his interventions don’t make sense and are unrealistic.

Though new Amsterdam has shortcomings, I have found it entertaining, moving, and engaging. The show could rightly be criticized for providing too many feel-good outcomes, and some scenes are unrealistic. For example, the patients wander freely around the hospital, including the ER. Some staff relationships are convoluted and hard to imagine in a hospital.

Try the show and see what you think.