Shaun Murphy Savant Syndrome

The Good Doctor’s Shaun Murphy is known for his long-term battle with autism and savant syndrome. 

Dr. Murphy is the leading titular protagonist of the American Medical Drama television series The Good Doctor. He is known to have high-functioning autism. 

The English Actor Freddie Highmore plays the 31-year-old surgeon. He is also known for playing Charlie Bucket in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Jared Grace and Simon Grace in The Spiderwick Chronicles, and Norman Bates in Bates Motel.

In the Japanese dub, Shaun is voiced by Nobuhiko Okamoto, best known for voicing Katsuki Bakugo in My Hero Academia.

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Shaun Murphy Savant Syndrome Battle: Illness And Health Update

Dr. Shaun Murphy was diagnosed with autism and savant syndrome in The Good Doctor. It is not disclosed the exact time when the diagnosis was made. He was once quoted saying, “I have autism. It’s part of who I am.” 

Savant syndrome is a rare health condition in which someone with mental disabilities exhibits above-average abilities. If a regular person has this syndrome, they become incredibly brilliant in specific fields of their interest.

But if an autistic person, like Shaun, has this syndrome, they become almost a super-human. That explains why Dr. Murphy is so intelligent and comes across as a medical genius. His savant abilities include noting minute details and changes and near-photographic recall.

Shaun Murphy Savant
Dr. Shaun is a talented young surgeon who has autism and savant syndrome. (Source: ABC 7 News)

However, he does have a problem dealing with cognitive empathy. It means he has trouble understanding why someone is upset or if he did or said something that upset them.

Nevertheless, with time, Dr. Murphy has successfully improved his empathetic ability, where he understands a person’s emotional state better.

During season one, the hospital’s board deliberates over hiring a surgeon with autism. Although they were initially reluctant to do so, Shaun’s heroic airport save broadcast across the local news makes them reconsider the decision.

His eventual moving speech in front of the board makes the board members rescind their decision. They welcome Shaun into St. Bonaventure’s residency program under the condition that if he cannot deliver excellence, Dr. Glassman will need to give up his presidency.

Who Is Shaun Murphy From The Good Doctor?

Shaun Robert Murphy is the primary titular protagonist of the CBS show The Good Doctor. Also called Dr. Murphy, he is a surgical resident at St. Bonaventure Hospital, where he must learn the ropes of hospital work.

He faces unique challenges and particular strengths due to his autism and savant syndrome diagnoses.

Shaun Murphy was born in San Francisco, California, United States, on July 20, 1992. He lacked social skills and found it challenging to understand how the school worked, which outraged his Father, and his mother did not care enough.

His younger brother, Steven Murphy, was the only family member who supported him. Shaun and Steve ran away from home when they were young. 

Unfortunately, Steve died in an accident. Shaun went on to study medicine, got his High School Diploma, and went to med school.

Shaun’s friends or allies include Claire Browne, Neil Melendez, Lea Dilallo, Jared Kalu, and Aaron Glassman (mentor). At the end of season 5, Shaun marries Lea Dilallo. In season 6, he completes his residency and becomes a surgical attending.

English Actor Freddie Highmore primarily plays Shaun. Despite his realistic portrayal of a person with autism, Freddie does not have the condition or any other developmental disability.

Dr Shaun Murphy The Good Doctor
Freddie Highmore has finally won a Golden Globe nomination for The Good Doctor. (Source: Vanity Fair)

In contrast, teen Shaun is portrayed in flashbacks by Canadian Actor Graham Verchere, who starred in Stargirl, Fargo, and Summer of 84.

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