Should New Amsterdam Fans Be Nervous About The Newest Doctor Joining Season 4?

Changes are coming to New Amsterdam in Season 4, and not just because Season 3 ended with Max and Helen finally taking a big step forward in turning their platonic relationship into something romantic. A number of new characters are on the way, but the newest leaves me wondering: should viewers be worried about what her introduction means for the existing doctors of New Amsterdam?

New Amsterdam has cast Sandra Mae Frank of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist fame to play a deaf surgeon by the name of Dr. Wilder for Season 4, with showrunner David Schulner saying of the new character to TVLine:

Young, talented and self-assured, Dr. Wilder is one of the few deaf surgeons in New York City. She’s also one of the best surgeons, period. But when Max tries to lure her to New Amsterdam, she refuses to join his team. Many times, in fact. In high demand all over the country, what’s it going to take to get Dr. Wilder to practice at this fabled hospital? And who is she replacing? These are just a few of the questions that will be answered in the season premiere.

Almost all of David Schulner's description of Sandra Mae Frank's Dr. Wilder sounds pretty exciting, if you ask me, and Frank was unforgettable in her guest star appearance on Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist with her ASL performance of Rachel Platten's "Fight Song." The one aspect of what the showrunner previewed of the character that puts me a bit on edge is the question of who Dr. Wilder will be replacing.

zoeys extraordinary playlist abigail sandra mae frank fight song screenshot

Now, unlike over on ABC's The Good Doctor and Grey's Anatomy, most of the major characters of New Amsterdam aren't actually surgeons, so even though the Season 3 finale set up Iggy to step back from patient care and potentially put a plot in motion that could jeopardize Bloom's job, Dr. Wilder presumably wouldn't come in to take over their positions. Plus, Sandra Mae Frank is joining the show in a recurring capacity, not as a series regular like Tyler Labine or Janet Montgomery.

Jocko Sims' Reynolds got a big promotion at the end of Season 3, so it's possible that New Amsterdam could bring Wilder in as a cardiovascular surgeon to lighten the load while he has more responsibilities, which would be a relief as opposed to her coming in because another character is leaving. Daniel Dae Kim's Cassian Shin isn't around anymore as a trauma surgeon, so Dr. Wilder could technically be replacing him, even if Shin is already gone at this point.

It's probably safe to say that Dr. Lyn Malvo isn't going anywhere based on how Reynolds' plot with her thickened in the Season 3 finale, and her surgeon husband presumably isn't going anywhere. Could Dr. Wilder be a neurosurgeon, stepping into the neurology unit that was in flux for much of Season 3 after the departure of Anupam Kher's Dr. Kapoor? Or could Dr. Wilder simply be replacing a background or minor character, and there was no reason at all to worry?

Fans may have to wait until the Season 4 premiere to find out exactly, but I'm almost entirely excited to see Sandra Mae Frank on New Amsterdam. She delivered a fantastic performance on Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist that was packed with emotion despite only coming on for one episode, and a highly sought-after surgeon who also happens to be deaf and repeatedly refuses Max's efforts to recruit her is something New Amsterdam hasn't covered before.

Even if Dr. Wilder does replace a notable character, there's a lot to look forward to. New Amsterdam returns for Season 4 on Tuesday, September 21 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC. There are plenty of new and returning shows on the way in the coming months, so be sure to check out our 2021 fall TV premiere schedule for what to watch and when to watch it.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).