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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lenox Hill is a medical documentary series that follows the professional and personal lives of four doctors. Much of it takes place within the titular New York City hospital, where surgeries and other medical procedures are frequently performed and depicted with graphic detail. Brain surgeries and childbirth are among the procedures viewers get an up-close-and-personal look at. Doctors occasionally use profanity, coloring their conversations with "f--k" and "s--t." Given the series' authentic medical focus, it sometimes touches on sensitive real-world subjects, such as drug abuse and homelessness.
What's the story?
This nine-episode documentary series follows four doctors working in New York City's LENOX HILL Hospital. It offers an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the professional -- and personal -- lives of an ER physician, a gynecologist, and two neurosurgeons. Through the lens of the doctors, the show also follows a number of patients and the ups and downs of their medical conditions and care. The series' final episode, filmed after the rest of the documentary, focuses on the doctors' response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Is it any good?
This series doesn't offer the soapy drama or episode-capping cliffhangers of a fictional medical show, but its behind-the-scenes peek at four doctors' daily lives is often just as riveting. Following a pair of dedicated brain surgeons, a perpetually busy ER doc, and an ob-gyn (who effortlessly delivers babies between meal breaks) is fascinating, stressful, and -- if you're a bit squeamish -- a little gross. Lenox Hill isn't shy about letting viewers behind the curtain of the operating room, where skulls are opened and brains are probed in scrutinizing detail.
As absorbing as it is watching the miracle of childbirth or the less miraculous removal of a foreign object from an ER patient's backside, it's Lenox Hill's less technical side that's most engaging. Seeing doctors talk to their patients, spar with bureaucrats, and exchange banter in the OR offers an unfiltered look at their unique personalities, while following the patients' story arcs pulls at the heartstrings. When not watching the docs deal with the daily stress of saving patients, the series provides a peek into their personal lives, from dealing with their own pregnancies to the challenge of balancing family time with their all-consuming careers.
The documentary won't nudge you to the edge of your seat like your favorite fictional hospital show, but if you're craving a more authentic look at the medical profession -- complete with up-close peeks at procedures -- Lenox Hill is just what the doctor ordered.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can discuss the doctor's different specialties in Lenox Hill. How do the responsibilities and challenges differ between the specialties? What kind of patients and cases do the different doctors treat? How do the doctor-patient relationships differ between the specialties?
What skills does the ER doctor possess beyond her medical training? Why does she talk to her patients and ask them questions? Why are her discussions with the patients important?
How does the episode covering the COVID-19 pandemic differ from the other chapters? What different responsibilities and tasks do the doctors face in this episode? How do they treat the patients in this episode versus the other episodes?
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