The Good Doctor is one of ABC’s most successful primetime dramas. Now, the show is in its second season, and viewers are beginning to discover who is who at the hospital. They’re learning characters’ true personalities, work ethic, and more. But there’s one doctor whose appearance has captured the hearts of many of the show’s viewers: Dr. Neil Melendez.
Dr. Neil Melendez oversees Dr. Shaun Murphy on ‘The Good Doctor.’ | The Good Doctor via Instagram
‘The Good Doctor’ follows one autistic doctor as he tries to navigate his work life and personal life
The premise of The Good Doctor is this: San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital just hired Dr. Shaun Murphy, a doctor with autism and savant syndrome, and nobody is convinced of Murphy’s capability to work at such an established medical center. The only person who had faith in Murphy from the start was Dr. Aaron Glassman, the hospital’s president during the first season, who pushed to hire Murphy by putting his own job on the line. Glassman said if Murphy made one mistake, he’d resign as president. Toward the end of the first season, Murphy nearly cost a patient’s life, and Glassman resigned from his position. However, Murphy kept his job. But Murphy has autism, which makes it difficult for him to properly communicate with doctors. And one doctor who wasn’t sure about him at first? Dr. Melendez.
Dr. Melendez is the attending surgeon at San Jose St. Bonaventure — and he wasn’t sold on Murphy
Although Dr. Melendez recognized that Murphy had a skill set the other doctors didn’t, he still wasn’t sure Murphy would be a good fit for the hospital. Melendez is the hospital’s attending surgeon, which means he oversees the hospital’s surgical residents — one of whom is Murphy. When the hospital took a chance on Murphy, it meant that Melendez would be working with him directly. Melendez is very strict about his job and hospital protocol, which was evident when he released Dr. Claire Browne from his team after she undermined his authority.
The more Melendez began working with Murphy, the more he realized Murphy’s skill was necessary to the team of surgeons. He grew respect for Murphy throughout the first season. He’s also slowly become accustomed to working with someone on the autism spectrum, which has been the biggest challenge for most of Murphy’s coworkers. And throughout the show, Melendez has become the hospital heartthrob — at least for viewers.
Melendez is played by Nicholas Gonzalez
Nicholas Gonzalez portrays Melendez on the show. Gonzalez is a 42-year-old actor previously known for his role as Alex Santiago on Resurrection Blvd. Gonzalez hails from San Antonio, Texas, but it wasn’t until he got to Stanford University that he was encouraged to act. He earned a bachelor of arts in English from the school, but a professor saw acting potential in him and pushed him to go for it. He got small acting roles in big shows, such as Walker, Texas Ranger and That 70s Show, but his biggest role came when he got the part of Santiago in Resurrection Blvd. Melendez has become one of the most critical characters on The Good Doctor, so the show is definitely building Gonzalez’s acting resume. It likely won’t be the last we see of him.
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