This Netflix documentary on New York doctors is an important and powerful watch
Some documentaries stay with you, this is one of those.
If you haven't taken the time to watch Lennox Hill on Netflix, you should. The documentary premiered earlier this month and primarily focuses on four doctors working across emergency departments, obstetrics and neurosurgery at the Lennox Hill hospital on the Upper East Side of New York City.
We're well conditioned to watch medical drama unfold before our eyes but of course it isn't always accurate. For entertainment purposes in the past we've seen doctors, and surgeons in particular, be portrayed as insensitive and at times distant from the people beneath the scalpel. This series is somewhat simple in what it's attempting to do, it really spends time with the subjects and you instantly connect with them due in large part to the seemingly impossible battles they face on a daily basis.
The beautiful thing about this documentary series is that it really delves into the lives of these people who spend most of their waking hours within the walls of this hospital. It's a poignant look at what people give up in their own lives in order to save others and it's especially relevant in the times we're living in today.
With Dr. David Langer, the Chair of Neurosurgery and Dr. John Boockvar, his Vice Chair, we see the delicate balance between heart-warming moments and devastating tragedy as they relay the sometimes life-changing news to their patients. It's emotionally exhausting to watch but also necessary viewing to understand what some people are dealing with in their lives and jobs on a daily basis.
A word of warning, there is extremely intimate and graphic shots of surgery within this eight-part series but there is nothing exploitative about the show. If anything it manages to balance the doctor/patient relationships with great ease and even for the tough conversations you can feel the production crew are capturing the moments with respect and empathy for the patients.
The series was filmed pre-Coronavirus but a special episode shot during the pandemic is due to be released in the coming weeks and will no doubt be a haunting depiction of what frontline workers were dealing with at the beginning of the Covid pandemic.
Check out the trailer for Lennox Hill 'Pandemic' below: