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An ER doctor, who fled his native Syria to come to Canada, must overcome numerous obstacles to resume a career in the high stakes world of emergency medicine.

Pilot episode aired last night.  Pretty intense. "Brilliant doctor save all" show like so many but I like the twist that he's Syrian, speaking Arabic to his countrymen, and facing both prejudice and administrative hurdles.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The difficulty he had getting his transcripts is true for many refugees. And not just because someone is an enemy of the state. With universities and other institutions being under attack, damaged, looted, destroyed, or just not running any more, it's often impossible for refugees to prove their education. 

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Co-sign on the difficulty of getting papers into Canada.  I know someone who left during law studies but because she can't get her papers, she has to do a year of high school before she can get into first year university. And re-take her driver's test because she only has a photo of her driver's license and not the paperwork.

I really like how realistic the show is in terms of what it's like to be a refugee in Canada. In fact, the most unrealistic parts are that he even got a chance to be a medical resident, and that his 12 year old sister is taking night classes in ESL (because the local schools have half day ESL at her level at least for now).

I like that they have the arc with his Libyan friend who was refused asylum in Canada. We're shown that he's a good guy and he wants to work and be a good citizen but by hiding, he's breaking the law.  It really is a dilemma.

I also like that instead of the usual anti-vaxxer parent, this one had a good reason i.e. that his son had a bad reaction to his first vaccinations.

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I like how Bash isn't impossibly noble and virtuous, he's more than a little resentful and frustrated. And he's arrogant, which he comes by honestly because of his skill. I like how an immigrant/refugee is allowed to be imperfect.

Between Transplant and Diggstown (where is our forum, PTV?), this is a quiet golden age for Canadian TV.

Edited by marinw
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I used to live in NY and met people who were immigrants (and some who were possibly refugees) and they often did jobs that had nothing to do with their training. My buildings super (from Bosnia or Montenegro) was a higher up in the military. I met cab drivers who were multi-lingual and had been bankers or in other white-collar jobs. And I don't mean this as a dis to blue collar work. It's necessary and vital. 

A GP in my hometown (in Western Kansas) is from Vietnam. He was already a doctor there and had to re-do medical school completely when he got to the US. (Which I believe was more due to the US not recognizing his credentials, not lost transcripts, but still). 

Here in Germany (where I live now) there was a story about two Syrian brothers in the paper. One came more than ten years ago, married a German woman, and has a job, a life, kids,and is totally settled. The other came as a refugee. He's a dentist, which is a valuable and needed skill here, but can't practice. I don't know if it's because of transcripts (the German government loooooves paperwork), or because of his refugee status. But what a waste. Instead he has to do some menial labor job.  

 

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13 hours ago, marinw said:

 

Between Transplant and Diggstown (where is our forum, PTV?), this is a quiet golden age for Canadian TV.

The Golden age for Canadian TV is when "The Littlest Hobo" aired 🙂 back in the late 70s and early 80s. 

Seriously though, it's definitely a great time for Canadian TV and the Canadian film industry has been promoting that recently with commercials highlighting all the great things that have been coming out of Canada recently.

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30 minutes ago, Thomas Crown said:

it's definitely a great time for Canadian TV and the Canadian film industry has been promoting that recently with commercials highlighting all the great things that have been coming out of Canada recently.

CBC's deals with Netflix helps, although that is a topic well beyond the scope of this Forum

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This show is so Canadian!  I love it!

Bashir feels guilty that he's in Canada and not helping in Syria where he is really needed. (Nice acting on Haq's part.) But he's in Canada because he needs to protect his sister.

Hunter finds out that Bashir is talking to a White Hat in Syria while on duty and instead of handing him in, helps.

The school has a notification system. And it malfunctions.

The doctor doesn't break PHIPA (see that, Chicago Med) and the drunk driver turns himself in.

The White Hats really are considered enemies of the state in Syria.

On 3/16/2020 at 9:06 AM, TrixieTrue said:

A GP in my hometown (in Western Kansas) is from Vietnam. He was already a doctor there and had to re-do medical school completely when he got to the US. (Which I believe was more due to the US not recognizing his credentials, not lost transcripts, but still). 

Here in Germany (where I live now) there was a story about two Syrian brothers in the paper. One came more than ten years ago, married a German woman, and has a job, a life, kids,and is totally settled. The other came as a refugee. He's a dentist, which is a valuable and needed skill here, but can't practice. I don't know if it's because of transcripts (the German government loooooves paperwork), or because of his refugee status. But what a waste. Instead he has to do some menial labor job. 

It is extremely difficult to get credentials transferred to a different country even if you're not a refugee partly because other countries may not trust the schools you attended to provide an equal education to theirs, and partly because some professions like medicine are a union closed shop (a doctor trained in Canada cannot practice in the US and vice versa).

Your Vietnamese GP was lucky that he got a chance to redo his credentials. Many doctors can't.

On 3/16/2020 at 5:48 AM, marinw said:

Between Transplant and Diggstown (where is our forum, PTV?), this is a quiet golden age for Canadian TV.

Your wish is my command.

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6 hours ago, statsgirl said:

Your Vietnamese GP was lucky that he got a chance to redo his credentials. Many doctors can't.

I wonder why that is. If someone wants to go to medical school, takes the MCAT (or whatever is needed) and can afford it (or more likely, get some loans), why not? It's great to have doctors from different backgrounds. 

He's a really great doctor and many of his patients are immigrants. It's not hard to find Spanish speaking doctors, but it's great that the Vietnamese community in my little town had someone they could comfortably speak to. We have fewer immigrants from Vietnam today, but his practice still sees a lot of immigrants, because (this is only my opinion) people see him as own of their own. He understands much of what they've been through and is a success story in his own right. 

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Intense episode! I liked how the helicopter dad who was freaking out about a school drop out gained perspective and became Bash's ally.

Unexpected but welcome resolution of Bash's transcript issues.

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On 3/19/2020 at 5:15 AM, TrixieTrue said:

I wonder why that is. If someone wants to go to medical school, takes the MCAT (or whatever is needed) and can afford it (or more likely, get some loans), why not? It's great to have doctors from different backgrounds.

It's very competitive to get into medical school. At the University of Toronto, which Bashir's residency would most likely be associated with, the acceptance rate is 4%.  It's even lower at some other medical schools.

The Vietnamese doctor would have been competing against students who have cut out everything else in their lives to get into med school and worked for years on research projects for free to get recommendations to get in.

It would be wonderful if everyone who wanted to get in and did the work (MCATs and GPA) could get into medical school. Sadly, it's not the way it is right now.

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On 3/19/2020 at 6:15 AM, TrixieTrue said:

I wonder why that is. If someone wants to go to medical school, takes the MCAT (or whatever is needed) and can afford it (or more likely, get some loans), why not? It's great to have doctors from different backgrounds. 

Perhaps our current reality will inspire the Canadian medical bureaucracy to reconsider and simplify this process.

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  • 2 months later...

Finale aired in Canada, but it's been picked up  by NBC. Yay! As someone tweeted, here's hoping that they don't change it to fit American ideas of what a medical show should be.

Hands down, I think that this is the best and most realistic medical show on TV.  The junior doctors encounter real problems trying to get ahead, nurses are respected and residents ask for their opinions, and nobody brings their personal problems into the operating rooms.

It's also very realistic in terms of what it is like to be a refugee, especially a foreign-trained professional.

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Loved the final.  Hope season 2 stays Canadian.

Can't wait to find out who the lady is that Bash was hugging at the end. If I had to make a guess, I'm thinking his former fiance.

 

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Former fiance is a good guess. Less permanent than a wife. I was wondering if it could have been a sister or a cousin but I like the fiance idea more.

I couple of things that I really like and forgot to mention is how the diagnostic genius is on the show is not a man like on House, The Good Doctor, and every other show I can think of, but a young female resident, and the both the female ER head and the SE Asian surgeon know what prejudice is like and that you can only do what you can do.

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We don't normally watch medical dramas but watched the entire season and loved it.  The stories were very human. 

Hamza Haq and John Hannah were amazing in their roles.  As was the actress playing Ameera.  Nominate her for a Canadian Screen award!

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  • 1 month later...

A brief radio interview with Hamza Haq talking about playing Bash, getting the Aleppo dialect right and how the show donated PPE at the start of the Covid lockdown. I really liked his analogy that the difference between being an immigrant and a refugee is like  jumping out of a plane with a parachute compared to being going skydiving and being thrown out of a plane and finding your parachute on the way down.

At the end, the interviewer mentions that Haq started on a TVOkids show called Look Cool explaining science to kids.

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  • 1 month later...
On 9/1/2020 at 12:52 PM, hula-la said:

Transplant premieres tonight on NBC, so another opportunity to watch it again!

Will there be a second season? Toronto got pretty Corona'd but some film/TV production has started up agian.

Edited by marinw
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On 3/16/2020 at 5:48 AM, marinw said:

Finale aired in Canada, but it's been picked up  by NBC. Yay! 

General question.   Are COVID-challenged US broadcasters specifically looking for new content in Canada?  Or does it have nothing to do with the current situation and I am missing something because I only get basic over-the-air television.

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My guess is that it's both.

There are always a few Canadian shows that are picked up by US networks although they tend to be on the smaller, cable ones.

Transplant was picked up in May or earlier. It's possible that it was going to be a summer show that got pushed back to the fall because of the pandemic as ST: Discovery did.

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On 3/16/2020 at 6:06 AM, TrixieTrue said:

I used to live in NY and met people who were immigrants (and some who were possibly refugees) and they often did jobs that had nothing to do with their training. My buildings super (from Bosnia or Montenegro) was a higher up in the military. I met cab drivers who were multi-lingual and had been bankers or in other white-collar jobs. And I don't mean this as a dis to blue collar work. It's necessary and vital. 

A GP in my hometown (in Western Kansas) is from Vietnam. He was already a doctor there and had to re-do medical school completely when he got to the US. (Which I believe was more due to the US not recognizing his credentials, not lost transcripts, but still). 

Here in Germany (where I live now) there was a story about two Syrian brothers in the paper. One came more than ten years ago, married a German woman, and has a job, a life, kids,and is totally settled. The other came as a refugee. He's a dentist, which is a valuable and needed skill here, but can't practice. I don't know if it's because of transcripts (the German government loooooves paperwork), or because of his refugee status. But what a waste. Instead he has to do some menial labor job.  

 

Several years ago, I worked at a company that did medical manufacturing. Just about everyone who worked in the cleanroom doing assembly was an immigrant, many of whom had education and work experience that was much different than putting together tiny medical parts. One of the guys who worked in the cleanroom had been a doctor in Vietnam but he couldn't get recredentialed here in the United States. I found it incredibly sad that he had all this education and training in a field that could help people and he was working a minimum wage job putting together miniscule plastic pieces because he wasn't allowed to practice here without jumping through A LOT of hoops.

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I liked the first episode and look forward to the next.  Hoping this show won't get into soap and romance as much as other medical dramas have.

As for immigrant doctors working at jobs far below their skills, does anyone remember "Bob" on ER?

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I'm liking it so far.  For the most part I like the cast, the little sister doesn't bug (I usually can't stand child actors).  I'm not sure what they're trying to do with Tori Higginson's character - she just seems a bit all over the place for me.  And the asshole doctor who told the other dr. to send that woman home because, well, why should we listen to women who say they have unbearable pain...  that was all a bit too cliche for me. 

I'm guessing that Hamed will reluctantly agree to have his friend forge his transcripts, but then get the real ones at the last minute through his friend in Syria (who probably dies while getting them).  On the other hand, how would anyone in Canada actually be able to verify if what he produced was "real" or not if his old school is in the middle of a war zone?   I did like that he at least had a pdf of the transcript. 

I'm thinking there's a good business opportunity for someone to open a document warehouse in some remote, geographically safe part of the world.  If your livelihood is totally dependent on a piece of paper (where an electronic copy won't be sufficient), you get a certified copy of it, send it to the warehouse and have it held there for safekeeping in case it's ever needed.   Storage cost is minimal, retrieval is where they get you.

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On 9/6/2020 at 4:48 PM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Several years ago, I worked at a company that did medical manufacturing. Just about everyone who worked in the cleanroom doing assembly was an immigrant, many of whom had education and work experience that was much different than putting together tiny medical parts. One of the guys who worked in the cleanroom had been a doctor in Vietnam but he couldn't get recredentialed here in the United States. I found it incredibly sad that he had all this education and training in a field that could help people and he was working a minimum wage job putting together miniscule plastic pieces because he wasn't allowed to practice here without jumping through A LOT of hoops.

Often they do it so that their children will be able to have a better life. Sometimes they don't know how hard it is going to be and that they won't be able to work in their chosen profession after moving.

I once worked on a research project looking at whether professionals were able to be re-certified in their previous professions. Some, like pharmacists, were. It's most difficult for doctors because in addition to having to prove that their medical school was up to the standards of North American schools, the medicine here is a union closed shop. Bash was lucky that he was able to get a residency so that he could re-certify as a doctor because those are very difficult to get.

Occasionally MDs who are not able to work as doctors in their new countries learn another branch of health care which is more open to them such as acupuncture.

 

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My wife is into medical dramas so we stumbled on this show. 

I am a little confused by the total lack of anyone with a Canadian accent on this show. Is that typical now for shows meant to be shown on the CBC or CTV? 

Probably a strange thing to observe but I used to live in Canada and it seemed odd that the only people with accents were the Syrian doctor and the chief.

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My first RN job and most of my clinicals were on an indigent ward. Most of our clients were poor, many homeless. I met a lot of immigrants who had been medical professionals or training to be in their former country. It was my practice to explain everything I was doing, even to comatose patients, and several times, my client would tell me what I was going to do and why and then tell their histories. That's wrenching, as I know how hard I worked, and how much I valued what I was doing. To have that taken away. Working that floor was eye-opening and I wish more people could learn the lessons I did. 

Even without that, I think I would like this show a lot. There was a scene with Bashir sitting at a table in the break room (I think) and he broke into a big smile over something his co-worker said. I simultaneously thought, "What a beautiful smile" and "Wow, he doesn't smile much. Has he smiled before?" I'm pulling for him! And for his friend. 

Edited by Darian
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On 9/1/2020 at 9:04 PM, ShortyMac said:

I give the first episode a B. I hope viewers in the US give it a chance. 

I'm really trying; however, the guy sitting up, drinking a juice box half an hour after a craniotomy is making it really hard for me to call this realistic. However,

On 9/9/2020 at 2:56 PM, chaifan said:

  And the asshole doctor who told the other dr. to send that woman home because, well, why should we listen to women who say they have unbearable pain...  that was all a bit too cliche for me. 

that was way too realistic. I've been there. With pelvic pain so severe I couldn't even roll over in bed after taking a handful of percocet and being so dehydrated I could barely sit up, when I finally managed to drag myself out of bed to get to the doctor I was given a pat on the back and told, "This really isn't a big deal." That is only one example of many I have been through. Even woman GYN doctors downplay how severe pelvic pain can be. No one looked forward to menopause more than I did.

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On 9/16/2020 at 3:33 PM, Subrookie said:

My wife is into medical dramas so we stumbled on this show. 

I am a little confused by the total lack of anyone with a Canadian accent on this show. Is that typical now for shows meant to be shown on the CBC or CTV? 

Probably a strange thing to observe but I used to live in Canada and it seemed odd that the only people with accents were the Syrian doctor and the chief.

As a Canadian, the cast on the show sounds like the people that I hear every day (aside from people with pronounced accents from outside of the country. For example, the actress who plays Dr. Curtis sounds like someone from Ontario.

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@Subrookie, where in Canada did you live?

I have difficulty picking out Canadian accents other than the Newfoundland and sometimes other Atlantic regions, and First Nations.  Everyone on the show sounds ordinary to me except for Bishop who has John Hannah's native Scottish accent, and the Arabic characters. most of whom are coached in their accents.  I live in Toronto where the show is set and everyone else sounds ordinary to me.

 

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22 hours ago, eel21788 said:

that was way too realistic. I've been there. With pelvic pain so severe I couldn't even roll over in bed after taking a handful of percocet and being so dehydrated I could barely sit up, when I finally managed to drag myself out of bed to get to the doctor I was given a pat on the back and told, "This really isn't a big deal." That is only one example of many I have been through. Even woman GYN doctors downplay how severe pelvic pain can be. No one looked forward to menopause more than I did.

Oh, I'm not saying doctors like that don't exist.  I'm lucky to have never experienced it, but several friends have just as you did.  I'm just saying that character shows up in every doctor/medical show, and for him to appear in the first episode just for that purpose (he doesn't seem like he's a regular character) is what seemed cliche to me. 

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On 9/19/2020 at 1:55 PM, chaifan said:

he doesn't seem like he's a regular character

He's actually a regular character. IMDB has him listed for 8 of the 13 episodes. Part of June's arc is learning how to deal with him as her supervisor. Each of the "youngsters" have their own individual challenges: Bash with moving to Canada and having to start out again on the bottom rung, Mags with her perfectionism and control issues, June with being a woman in surgery, and Theo with living so far from his family.

For those who watch Kim's Convenience, the actor, Sugith Varughese, plays Appa's best friend, the nice and funny Mr. Mehta, on that show.

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Another US viewer here.  Episode 3 just aired in the States last week.  Digging this show.  It must be filmed in a very Canadian style because the film look of it reminds me of Flashpoint.  Love Bash and his sister.  Also like the pediatric resident who's living apart from his family and the female surgical resident.  The rest of the characters kind of grate a bit, but I'm hoping they will improve over time.

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I'm in. So far, I think it's a very decent watch.  Then again, I like hospital dramas with two or three cases per episode.  I'm a fan of The Resident and The Good Doctor, but Chicago Med dropped the ball IMHO.   2020 Fall TV is a wasteland with no new season epis, so that's a thing, too.

I did LOVE the not so subtle slam on the Anti-Vaxxers in last week's epi.  Show business fueled that idiocy - they should fix it.  

I've always had a thing for tall, dark, swarthy men, so Hamza Haq is def my 👍 eye candy.  (Those eyelashes are about 3" long!  Sigh). 

It's always a pleasure to see the lovely Toronto skyline and those nifty eclectic neighborhoods, too! 

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2 hours ago, SunnyBeBe said:

The Pilot is supposed to air tonight. I’m looking forward to watching it. How have I missed this show? Sounds like something I will enjoy. 

Tonight, US is ep 3.  But I've seen repeats floating around on the weekends.  

If you like med dramas, you're good to go.  The root premise is fairly original-ish.  A genius savant is working in his field while having credential "issues" - if you watched "Suits", that's the gist.

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I like how they are subtly setting up a conflict between what Theo's wife is expecting (that he moves back to Sudbury and takes over her father's practice) and what Theo is beginning to realize what he wants. It's a realistic conflict in their marriage. And now we know that June has an alcoholic father that she doesn't want people to know about.

So Bash was a White Helmet back in Syria. When the White Helmets were declared enemies by Assad, there was a multi country campaign (including Israel) to get them and their families out of Syria.  Canada accepted  117 former White Helmets and their families, mostly in Nova Scotia. Maybe that's the backstory for how Bash got to Canada.

6 hours ago, Good Queen Jane said:

So did we put the credentials issue to bed with last night's episode? I hope so. I mean, it's not likely they are going to have Bashir be demoted to the maintenance crew. 

Another Canadian show called Remedy did that a few years ago, the janitor was a surgeon from South America. And of course, there's Bob from ER.

Yes, this is the end of Bashir's credentials that he finished medical school. He's still not reinstated as the trauma doctor he was in Syria but at least he's in a residency so he can work his way up again.

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I caught up on the parts I missed. I’m not wild about how they treated the Type I diabetes case. I have Type I and I suppose I should be used to the condition not getting proper depiction.  Why this is so difficult for so many shows is a mystery.  First of all, Type I is not really genetic as the doctor said. It’s an autoimmune disorder that may run in families, but, you don’t have to have a parent with Type I to get it. The exact cause of Type I is unknown.   And I don’t understand why they didn’t have the patient have true Diabetic Ketoacidosis symptoms.  I’ve had it once and it was HORRIBLE!  The symptoms are pretty obvious, severe vomiting, severe muscle pain, severe stomach pain, difficulty breathing, this normally after weeks of weight loss, extreme thirst and frequent urination.  When I entered the ER, I was diagnosed within about 30 minutes.   They are correct that the girl will need to check her glucose levels with a meter, but multiple daily injections are just as vital...or use of an insulin pump, which requires substantial training and education.   They just played it off like it was simple to check your blood sugar levels..but it’s much more. It’s a HUGE challenge every minute of your life.  You check your blood 8-13 times a day, unless you wear a Continuous Glucose Monitor. (More work, training and time). I get frustrated when tv shows don’t accurately portray a medical condition, when they could get it right.  No wonder the public as such misinformation about Type One diabetes. 

 

Edited by SunnyBeBe
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