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Max Goodwin's Best 'How Can I Help' Moments On New Amsterdam

In 2018, the NBC medical drama "New Amsterdam" aired its first episode and became wildly popular. The show now has four seasons and consistently keeps viewers on the edge of their seats with plenty going on in the busy hospital, mixed with the ongoing chaos within the lives of the show's main characters. The series is based on the novel "Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellvue Hospital" by Eric Manheimer. Manheimer was the Medical Director at Bellvue Hospital in New York for over 13 years. The main character in "New Amsterdam," Dr. Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold), is based on his life and career at the hospital.

Dr. Goodwin is known in the series for being a doctor that stands up for his patients and provides them with the care they require, no matter the cost. From the very first episode, Goodwin develops the "how can I help?" catchphrase, which can mean anything from helping a friend in his personal life to helping a colleague with a patient. When that phrase is said, you know that, even against all odds, Goodwin is about to make something happen. While each episode has its accomplishments, these are a few of the best "how can I help?" moments from Dr. Goodwin.

Max wants to help the entire hospital in the pilot episode

"New Amsterdam" wastes no time getting into the nitty-gritty of the medical world, and within the first 15 minutes, the storyline takes off. Dr. Max Goodwin quietly makes his way through the hospital until he introduces himself to the staff. He reveals that both he and his sister were born in the hospital and that his sister died there — a death that he said, "could have been prevented."

With that, Dr. Goodwin looks into the many eyes of the hospital staff and asks, "how can I help?" When no one answers, he asks again. After receiving no answer, he then requests that the entire cardiac surgery department raise their hands. When they do, he promptly fires them for "putting billing over care." Goodwin then proceeds to eliminate other, less-experienced residents before opening up the floor to discuss with the remaining staff how they can improve the hospital.

Goodwin's memorable introduction is enough to let everyone working at New Amsterdam know that he plans to do things differently rather than remain stagnant in the way things operate within the walls of New Amsterdam.

In This Is Not The End, Max puts the patients before himself

Season 1, Episode 21 "This Is Not The End" takes a slight step back from the happenings around the hospital and allows audiences to take a deeper look into the lives of the hospital staff, namely Dr. Max Goodwin himself. At this point in the series, Dr. Goodwin is deep into learning the ins and outs of navigating his own illness and has started undergoing chemotherapy, making him weaker by the day.

When a teenager struggling with addiction comes in seeking care it is discovered that she is suffering from a severe infection. Dr. Goodwin refuses to take the time he needs for his own healing and insists on helping the girl. He learns that several new patients have long neglected proper medical care due to their lack of health insurance. To lower the chances of this happening again, Dr. Goodwin creates a care plan specific to the hospital and sends several staff members around the city with cards explaining the new family insurance policy at New Amsterdam that will allow anyone without insurance to receive care.

Even with his tumor and declining health, Dr. Goodwin puts the hospital and the care of the patients within it first, without excluding those that don't have access to health insurance.

In Blood, Sweat & Tears, Max replenishes the hospital's blood supply

In Season 3, Episode 5, "Blood, Sweat & Tears," Dr. Max Goodwin and the rest of the staff are deep into navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. With plenty of supplies already reaching levels of scarcity, Dr. Goodwin learns that the hospital has reached a critical low on blood supply. Low blood supply poses great risk for patients who may need blood for various reasons, whether it be during surgery or because of an emergency situation where a blood transfusion is necessary.

Dr. Goodwin immediately takes matters into his own hands and attempts to mitigate the blood shortage by looking for methods to motivate the public to donate blood. Dr. Goodwin tries everything from complimentary meals to free Broadway performances but to no avail. However, a frantic Dr. Goodwin still manages to help with the hospital's blood supply by convincing the chefs and Broadway performers themselves to donate instead. At the end of the day, a blood donation from anyone who has the ability to give can help save a life, and by making the hospital's blood supply his top priority, Dr. Goodwin helped countless patients.

Max saves multiple lives in The Domino Effect

"The Domino Effect" is a Season 1 episode that showcases just how selfless Dr. Max Goodwin really is. We begin to learn more about Dr. Goodwin's need for treatment to help improve his illness, and meanwhile, the hospital is in a tight spot with patients needing organ donations. The hospital has organized something called a domino liver transplant, which according to the Mayo Clinic, is when a patient with a certain liver disease gets a liver transplant, but then donates their liver to another patient in need — typically an elderly patient who is not likely to develop the symptoms of the donor's disorder within their natural life expectancy. 

In "New Amsterdam" there are six patients waiting to receive liver transplants from six donors in three states. Unfortunately, one patient doesn't pass the necessary psyche evaluation to be an organ donor, which effectively breaks the domino chain. If one patient breaks the chain, every patient suffers consequences. 

This is when Dr. Goodwin's famous "how can I help" attitude goes into action as he puts off consultation for the treatment of his own condition in order to find a way to get each patient a proper donor. The task takes the collaboration of several departments within multiple hospitals, and the emotional rollercoaster that the episode takes its viewers on is enough to make this one of Dr. Goodwin's top "how can I help" moments.

In King of Swords, Dr. Goodwin's dedication takes him outside the hospital

In "King of Swords," the "New Amsterdam" suspense is at an all-time high when a massive storm devastates the city. Dr. Max Goodwin is on shift when an accident takes place down the road and the emergency vehicles cannot make it to the hospital. So Dr. Goodwin and other staff members leave the hospital and head to the crash site, which has multiple vehicles piled up, to locate the injured and help them to the best of their abilities while out in the storm that continues to ravage the streets.

Eventually, after a lot of trauma and a supply run by Dr. Helen Sharpe (Freema Agyeman), the patients are able to be transported to the hospital. The episode ends on a cliffhanger with all of the lights in the hospital and the city going out.

These memorable moments only scratch the surface of Dr. Goodwin's seemingly limitless empathy. Each episode of "New Amsterdam" showcases an emotional storyline that features Dr. Goodwin's desire to do what's right regardless of circumstance. Throughout the entirety of the series, there are countless times that Dr. Goodwin tries to change the path of an entire medical facility for the better, and we don't expect that to ever change.