Is Dr. Glassman Leaving The Good Doctor? Why Fans Think His Brain Cancer Has Returned
Tragedy after tragedy, Dr. Glassman’s journey on The Good Doctor has been far from easy. Could a crucial mistake he made on a patient result in Dr. Glassman leaving The Good Doctor for good? (Warning: Spoilers ahead!)
As one of the original cast members of ABC’s hit medical drama, Richard Schiff has played the skilled medical professional since the show’s inception in 2017. Dr. Aaron Glassman is a neurosurgeon at St. Bonaventure Hospital and briefly served as the hospital’s president. Most importantly, he holds a very special relationship with Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore). The two first met when Murphy was just 14 years old, and Glassman regularly gives Murphy advice throughout the show as his mentor and father figure.
There have been multiple moments in The Good Doctor that have been concerning for Schiff’s character—especially when Dr. Glassman was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor at the end of season 1. After undergoing tests, the cancer was categorized as inoperable, and it seemed like Glassman wasn’t going to make it to season 2. But when Murphy suggested that Glassman take a further look, they realized that he had a higher chance of survival than they previously thought. In a miraculous recovery, Glassman survived and it was revealed in season 2 that he was now cancer free.
In another unlucky turn of events for Glassman, he and his then-wife IIana Reeves (Ann Cusack) lost their teenage daughter Maddie Glassman (Holly Taylor) to an overdose, causing the couple to split. His second wife Debbie Wexler (played by his real-life wife Sheila Kelly) walked out on him, despite many efforts by Glassman to try to save the marriage. In season 6, he tragically lost his home to a devastating fire that was caused by an electrical fire that started in the kitchen. Exterminators who were at his house dealing with a termite infestation had disconnected all the smoke detectors, and the house could not be saved. This was made even worse since so many memories with his late daughter and his family happened in that very home.
Now, with another problem looming over Glassman’s character, it’s unknown whether he will move past this one. Read on to learn about why fans believe that Dr. Glassman is leaving The Good Doctor and how his days are numbered.
Is Dr. Glassman Leaving The Good Doctor?
Is Dr. Glassman leaving The Good Doctor? A cliffhanger at the end of season 6, episode 17, hints that Glassman may be in big trouble. The concern stems from a mistake the neurosurgeon made on a brain cancer patient. Shaun confronts Dr. Jared Kalu (Chuku Modu) and asks why he only used eight sutures instead of 10, as the complication led the patient to bleed after the procedure. We later find out that it was Glassman who put in the sutures, not Kalu. Using an incorrect number of sutures is extremely out of character for Glassman—not to mention it’s a rookie mistake for a professional and experienced surgeon.
This blunder led fans to speculate that Dr. Glassman’s brain tumor has returned from season 1. Or, perhaps the mistake could have been a result of the immense stress he’s been under following two failed marriages and the shocking loss of his daughter. Although there are a lot of unknowns, what we do know is that if Glassman’s cancer is back, we could expect direct consequences to his character, as well as his involvement in hospital moving forward. Answers will likely be revealed during season 6, episode 18, which airs on Monday, April 3, 2023 (fans will have to wait a little longer due to The Bachelor’s upcoming three-hour finale).
It’s worth stating that neither Schiff nor ABC has made any announcements or updates regarding Glassman’s status on the show. As of now, Dr. Glassman will remain a series regular as we wait to learn more about his current situation (and just how that dire mistake could have been made). On March 9, Schiff posted an Instagram with fellow costar Freddie Highmore from the set of the show. The pair were jokingly asking where Sheila is (as we mentioned earlier, his wife Shelia departed the show in season 4). He also regularly shares photos alongside other The Good Doctor costars, including Christina Chang and Paige Spara.
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In light of recent The Good Doctor cast departures, the medical series said goodbye to Savannah Welch earlier this season. Welch played the surgeon-in-training Danica “Danni” Powell, a recurring guest star in the drama. Her character was fired after she attempted to carry out an unsupervised operation on an old friend with supplies she took from the hospital. Welch’s final episode was during season 6, episode 11.
There are also rumors that Hill Harper, who plays Dr. Marcus Andrews on The Good Doctor, could be exiting to enter a career in politics. According to a report by Puck News, the Harvard-educated lawyer and actor is planning to run in the Democratic Senate race in the state of Michigan. It’s unclear how his candidacy might affect Harper’s role on The Good Doctor and if he’ll be back for Season 7. Harper is one of the only season regulars (other than Murphy and Glassman) who have been on the show since the very first season.
The Good Doctor airs on Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC.
For more on medical dramas, check out our photo gallery on the all-time greatest soap opera doctors ranked.