‘Chicago Med’ Drew Inspiration from Real-Life Event Witnessed By a Writer

by Suzanne Halliburton

The opening scene of Chicago Med Wednesday was so real and dramatic it made the actors tear up when they shot it weeks ago.

It involved a young man who doctors incorrectly diagnosed with schizophrenia. He was over medicated. But police didn’t know that and they drew guns on him. If not for one of the newer doctors on Chicago Med who happened to be a former cop, police might’ve shot the man dead.

The social media account for Dick Wolf Entertainment, which produces Chicago Med, tweeted a video of the opening scene. The storyline was based on a real event, witnessed by one of the show’s writers.

“The police encounter in tonight’s Chicago Med was inspired by a real-life mental health episode our writer Eli Talbert witnessed firsthand. It is important to our team to highlight real-world issues no matter how painful or tragic.”

Actor Who Plays Chicago Med Character Says Episode Was ‘Hard for Me to Watch’

Guy Lockard plays Dr. Dylan Scott. He joined the show this season. And on the series, he plays a former cop turned pediatrician. Lockard live-tweeted the episode.

“Hard for me to watch,” he wrote. “Whole set was in tears man. … having the guns in my face was….not fun. Even though I knew they didn’t have any bullets.”

The young man is Roland, who lives with his mother on the south side of Chicago. The mom says Roland started having a mental breakdown on the bus.

Dr. Scott asks that the two policemen drop their guns. He talks to Roland, who is begging for help. But he says he can’t see the doctor. Scott tells him to listen to his voice. Finally, Roland can see him. Scott gives him a big hug as they collapse on the sidewalk. The mother joins the hug. It’s not lost on how the situation might’ve been different, if someone hadn’t been there to deescalate.

Lockard tweeted: “These 2 DID THAT! First time I (and the other actors) got a full, long round of applause from the background actors and crew after wrapping a scene.”

Doctors Ended Up Changing Roland’s Medication

Later in this Chicago Med episode, Scott talks to Roland’s mother. She tells him “if you hadn’t come. It was almost my family today.”

Oliver Platt, who plays Dr. Daniel Charles on Chicago Med, tells Scott doctors often misdiagnose black men with schizophrenia. Roland was given the wrong medication. They switched his prescriptions and Roland became more lucid.

Then Scott pitched a new program he’d like for the Chicago police to implement. It would be able to deescalate incidents involving the mentally ill.

“They’re not equipped to handle mental illness,” Scott tells Charles. “There are a few bad cops, the rest are doing the best they can with the tools they’ve been given.”