The show's primary plot -- a female doctor's efforts to win the trust of the townspeople -- battles traditional gender roles. A variety of storylines promote strong family values, with themes like honesty, responsibility, kindness, and respect. Characters' missteps always have realistic consequences, and although most problems come to some kind of resolution by the episode's end, no solution is ever come by easily. The show touches on delicate issues like race relations, treatment of Native Americans, and homosexuality, but the topics are handled in a thoughtful manner.
Guns and other weapons are present in a historical context. Men often carry them or have easy access in their homes, and some sequences do show characters hunting or engaging in gunfire with enemies. Scenes involving Native Americans are similar in content, although their weapons are axes or bows and arrows.
Content is very chaste, and kissing is as far as things go. Teen relationships and crushes are handled in traditional, conservative tones.