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What's Next for Dr. Charles on Chicago Med in Season 8?

The Head of Psychiatry at Gaffney Medical is a bonafide fan favorite. 

Oliver Platt and S. Epatha Merkerson Talk All Things Med | NBC's Chicago Med

Chicago Med has an impressive cast of memorable characters, but the show wouldn't be the same without Gaffney Medical's Head of Psychiatry, Dr. Daniel Charles, played by Oliver Platt

Dr. Charles is an endearing character for countless reasons. He represents the mental health side of Chicago Med, often providing valuable insight that the other doctors neglect to consider. He's endlessly kind, and despite not having all of his ducks in a row, he always knows how to lend a helping hand to his patients and fellow physicians when the going gets tough.

Chicago Med's Dr. Charles: the Mental Backbone of Chicago Medical Center

Dr. Charles is one of the Chicago Med OGs, helping patients tackle their darkest demons since Season 1. Dr. Charles is known for his witty one-liners, valuable counsel, and heartwarming vulnerability that helps patients each day. While Dr. Charles is excellent at lending a helping hand, he often struggles with navigating his own challenges as effortlessly. 

Dr. Charles has been married four times, has a history of depression and self-medicating, and tends to live his life on the lonelier side. At the end of Season 7, we left Dr. Charles as he ended sessions with his therapist, Dr. Richardson (played by SNL alum Nora Dunn) because the pair began developing feelings for each other. While Dr. Charles has a rocky personal history, we've seen the physician mature and grow substantially throughout the show.

Lucky for Chi-Hards everywhere, all three One Chicago shows are officially back with new seasons. As the resident patriarch of the gang, Chicago Med viewers are likely wondering what's in store for Dr. Charles in Chicago Med Season 8. NBC Insider chatted with Chicago Med showrunner Andrew Schneider to get an idea of where Dr. Charles is heading in Season 8.

What's next for Dr. Charles on Chicago Med?

Life hasn't been easy for Dr. Charles lately, especially after losing his therapist at the end of the last season. Season 8 has brought forth many changes for Dr. Charles, including the arrival of numerous new doctors at Chicago Medical Center. Dr. Charles is struggling with these changes, and while he was once well-acquainted with the world of mental healthcare, he is learning quickly that the field has dramatically changed.

Chicago Med's Schneider talked with NBC Insider about how Dr. Charles' search for a new therapist will reflect the changing tides of mental healthcare in America. "Through his own search, we're going to kind of explore the state of psychiatry in the US now as opposed to when he was coming up in medical school in his residency," Schneider revealed. "It's very different now."

Chicago Med viewers got their first taste of these challenges in Season 8 Episode 3, "Winning the Battle, but Still Losing the War." The episode begins with Dr. Charles sitting in a therapist's office, answering an endless lineup of questions. Toward the end of the interrogation, the receptionist reveals that she is not the therapist, and the questions are a preliminary measure. Dr. Charles then leaves, telling the receptionist to cancel the meeting altogether. 

While working, Dr. Charles begins to butt heads with a younger psychiatrist, Dr. Nellie Cuevas (Lilah Richcreek Estrada). Dr. Cuevas embraces a medication-first approach, placing less emphasis on her bedside manner or developing trust with her patients. Dr. Charles lashes out at Dr. Cuevas, insisting that the textbooks and educational pamphlets can't be the stepping stones to grounded psychiatry. While Dr. Cuevas and Dr. Charles apologize and come to an understanding, it's clear that Dr. Charles' frustration is due to his obstacles in finding reliable healthcare of his own. 

Finding adequate healthcare can be a tremendous struggle, especially when searching for mental health resources. While there has been growth in the field, it's harder than ever for Dr. Charles to find a therapist that's the right fit for a seasoned psychiatrist such as himself. Dr. Charles is only just beginning to get a taste of the evolving world of psychiatry, and viewers can only hope that he will get the help he needs. 

Watch Chicago Med Wednesdays at 8/7c on NBC and the next day on Peacock.

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