Is New Amsterdam based on a true story and is the hospital real?

Since it arrived on Netflix, New Amsterdam fans have had plenty of questions about the hit medical drama

New Amsterdam
(Image credit: NBC)

It has been over a year since the final episode of New Amsterdam aired but with the medical drama having landed on Netflix recently, new viewers are keen to know if the show is based on reality. 

From whether the New Amsterdam Hospital is a real place to whether the series itself was inspired by true events, along with if maverick Dr Max Goodwin is based on someone real, new viewers are keen to get their fix on info surrounding the US programme. 

Is New Amsterdam based on a true story?

New Amsterdam is somewhat based on true events. While New Amsterdam itself is a fictional show, some events in the series were heavily inspired by the work of Dr. Eric Manheimer.

A talented physician who was dedicated to improving the lives of patients, Manheimer was appointed Chief Medical Officer of Bellevue Hospital in 1997.

During his tenure, the medic was an avid journaller and documented his time at the NYC hospital - resulting in 150 notebooks filled with illustrations, stories and almost every medical malady.

Eventually, his diaries were later published as a memoir entitled Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital and it was this that inspired New Amsterdam.

New Amsterdam

(Image credit: NBC)
Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital by Eric Manheimer |  £8.60 (was £14.86) at Amazon

Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital by Eric Manheimer |  £8.60 (was £14.86) at Amazon

The novel by Eric Manheimer that inspired New Amsterdam is available to buy on Amazon now.

Is New Amsterdam a real hospital?

Sadly, New Amsterdam Hospital isn’t a real hospital. However, it is based on Bellevue Hospital in New York City - which is one of the oldest hospitals in America.

According to the hospital’s website, the infirmary only had six beds when it opened in 1736 and was located on the second floor of the New York City Almshouse.

Nearly three hundred years after that first patient, the hospital is now one of the largest in the US with over 720,000 people visiting its clinics each year.

Despite how busy the location is, the cast were even able to film scenes inside the New York hospital - which is why the Netflix drama feels so authentic.

Fans can watch all five seasons of the heart-stopping drama on Netflix.

(Image credit: NBC/Getty)

Is Dr Max Goodwin based on a real person?

Having been inspired by Eric Manheimer' story, producer David Schulner made sure that New Amsterdam’s protagonist Dr Max Goodwin was just as unorthodox as his real life counterpart.

Not only are the two men dedicated to their patients, they both undergo treatment for throat cancer whilst working as a medic.

After retiring from Bellevue Hospital in 2012, Manheimer was even brought on as a producer and writer for the medical drama.

He also supported actor Ryan Eggold with his portrayal of Dr Max Goodwin, with Manheimer sharing how he would have treated specific patients.

The former Chief Medical Officer told TV Insider, "Ryan [Eggold] and I have had a lot of conversations about the kinds of issues that come up, the conflicts, the ethical, and moral dilemmas.

"He’ll ask, 'Eric, how would this play out?' And that’s an opening for me to give him a few options on the kinds of things that would be going through my head."

While Dr Max Goodwin might not be taking on patients, it’s good to know that there was a real-life inspiration behind the character.

Entertainment Writer