If you’ve watched the TV shows The Good Doctor, Chicago Med, Royal Pains, and Elementary, it’s likely you’ve seen the work of Duke neurosurgeon Oren Gottfried, MD.
Gottfried serves as a medical consultant to the shows, working with a team of writers and producers. As a consultant, he provides input on the accuracy of the medicine depicted in the story line. “My goal is to help tell a story that’s accurate, educational, and shows good medical care and best practice,” he says.
As consultant to a team of writers for NBC’s Chicago Med, Gottfried participated in the production of an awake craniotomy scene – not only as consultant but actor, making a cameo appearance in the OR.
As a neurosurgeon, Gottfried specializes in complex spine surgeries. However, as a consultant to medical TV shows he gives insight into a wide range of medical conditions and procedures. If a condition is outside his medical expertise, Gottfried reviews the scientific literature and consults with other doctors, residents, and staff at Duke.
Taking care of his patients fills up each day, so Gottfried typically works on a script in the late evening hours.
“Patient care will always come first for me,” says Gottfried. “If anything, I think the research required for consulting has helped me be a better doctor.”