Strong Medicine | 1999
Drama series about two women -- one, a doctor at a large hospital; the other, a doctor at a small, under-funded and conflict-ridden women's clinic -- who are forced to work together to save the clinic.
Dr. Dana Stowe is a no-nonsense surgeon with a specialty in women's medicine at Rittenhouse Hospital, the best and most prestigious hospital in Philadelphia. Dr. Luisa "Lu" Delgado runs a financially strapped, women's free clinic in South Philadelphia with her male midwife and nurse, Peter Riggs, and receptionist, Lana Hawkins. For Dr. Delgado, practicing medicine isn't about research, theories or power, it's about helping each invididual patient, even if it sometimes means bending the rules.
Rittenhouse Hospital's chief of staff, Dr. Robert Jackson, sends Stowe to the clinic to ascertain whether or not the hospital will grant assistance to the financially troubled group. When Dr. Stowe fails to approve the loan, Delgado goes to the hospital to confront her. Visiting the hospital is Dr. Emerson, a renowned physician who is recognized as a leading expert in the field of women's health. Ultimately, it is Dr. Emerson who helps the chief of staff unite the two women doctors, as she convinces the reluctant Drs. Stowe and Delgado that they both have something to offer to the profession and to each other. They will run a new women's medical clinic that will merge Dr. Delgado's clinic with Dr. Stowe's practice in a new wing of Rittenhouse Hospital.
In Season 1, the series delved into storylines ranging from a teenager's confusion over what constitutes sexual abstinence, the controversy surrounding the sterilization of young drug addicted women, and the anguish of a mother compelled to stage a hunger strike in an effort to save her son from the electric chair.
In Season 2, the series explores the emotional and medical struggles a young couple must make when forced to choose which life of their conjoined twins to save, the torture of early-onset Alzheimer's Disease, fetal alcoholism, presciption medication addiction abuse, breast cancer in men, and the concept of paying egg donors. While Dr. Stowe continues her relationship with a younger male colleague outside the confines of the hospital, Dr. Lu Delgado strives to find a balance between her unwavering commitment to her underprivileged patients and the responsibilities she faces as the mother of a teenaged son.