Dr. Aaron Glassman is the former president and a surgeon at St. Bonaventure Hospital. He acts as a fatherly figure to Dr. Shaun Murphy, having known him since he was a young teenager. He cares very deeply about Shaun, even to the point where Shaun feels suffocated by it. He backs off when Shaun wants to leave the hospital, saying he wants to make his own mistakes and get out from underneath Glassman's wing. He also shows a great deal of caring towards other hospital staff, such as when Claire makes a minor mistake that turns out to be fatal for a surgical patient. He has recently been diagnosed with a presumably inoperable glioma and will have to go through chemotherapy and radiation therapy, predicted to be seen in the second season.

Glassman is shown to be lonely, due to his wife and kids having left him. While their reason for leaving is a bit unclear, it was presumably because he spent so much time on work and caring for his patients.


Early LifeEdit

Aaron has been a doctor for at least 20 years (the exact length of time is unknown). He lived and practiced as a doctor in Casper, Wyoming at one point before relocating to San Jose.

Around a decade prior to the start of the show, he met Shaun and Steve Murphy when they arrived at his office on foot. The brothers had hoped he would be able to save Shaun's pet rabbit, though it had already died when their father threw it against the wall. When Shaun asked if the rabbit had gone to heaven, Glassman awkwardly replied he was sure that was what had happened.

By the time Shaun and Aaron reconnected, Steve had died and Shaun was to be taken back to his parents. He refused to go home, and police were lost on what to do with him. Glassman decided to take the boy in for the night, and promised him tomorrow they’d “figure out the rest." Ultimately, he ended up acting as a surrogate father to Shaun well into the future.

Season 1Edit

At the end of season 1, Glassman is diagnosed with brain cancer. Thanks to Shaun's insistence on testing, the cancer is determined to be treatable.

Season 2Edit

Throughout season 2, Glassman undergoes treatment for his cancer while dealing with the various side effects, including an increasing degree of memory loss.

At the end of "Quarantine," Glassman discovers that his cancer has apparently returned. In "Quarantine: Part Two," Glassman is diagnosed as having meningitis instead of his cancer having returned which explains his memory loss and is treatable.

In "Aftermath," Glassman makes the decision to accelerate his cancer treatment after his successful meningitis surgery. He completes his chemotherapy in "Believe." In "Breakdown," Glassman's final test results show him to be completely cancer free. His personal thank-you gift to Dr. Blaize leads her to suggest that Glassman's ordeal has changed him for the better.

In "Trampoline," Glassman attempts to propose to Debbie who rejects him at first, but later accepts his proposal. He also reveals to Lea Shaun's feelings for her after Shaun ends up in the hospital following a fight at a bar. Though no longer President of the hospital, Glassman remains on the board and fights to get Shaun rehired, using Shaun's ability to inspire Claire to see things through his eyes to save a patient as proof that he belongs at the hospital. To everyone's surprise, Andrews backs Glassman up and fires Han in order to be able to rehire Shaun.


Season 1
"Burnt Food" "Mount Rushmore" "Oliver" "Pipes" "Point Three Percent" "Not Fake"
"22 Steps" "Apple" "Intangibles" "Sacrifice" "Islands: Part One" "Islands: Part Two"
"Seven Reasons" "She" "Heartfelt" "Pain" "Smile" "More"
Season 2
"Hello" "Middle Ground" "36 Hours" "Tough Titmouse" "Carrots" "Two-Ply (or Not Two-Ply)"
"Hubert" "Stories" "Empathy" "Quarantine" "Quarantine: Part Two" "Aftermath"
"Xin" "Faces" "Risk and Reward" "Believe" "Breakdown" "Trampoline"


Episode StillsEdit

Season 1Edit

Season 2Edit


  1. "Point Three Percent": Season 1. Episode 5. David Hoselton (writer) & Larry Teng (director). [October 23, 2017].