It’s been a while since we’ve done a top 10 list about television, which is why we decide to take a look at those characters that took an oath to “do no harm” this week. We’re counting down the best doctors TV has to offer. Specifically, we’re focusing on actual medical doctors (or at least people who practice medicine) and not famous characters who spent eight years in school and owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans for a degree that will pretty much just let them teach undergraduates who are more worried about getting wasted than who won the Battle of Hastings (all due respect).
Either way, this was a tough list to narrow down, just because on any given day there are dozens of doctors on TV, so I made the executive decision not to include soap operas. So, prepare yourself for 10 CCs of awesome coming right at you.
10. Dr. John A. Zoidberg from Futurama (Billy West)- Oddly enough, I’ll start with a character who does not actually have his medical doctorate (it’s revealed that he actually has a degree in art history). Still, he’s one of the most beloved doctors in television history. Despite the fact that he has a poor understanding of human anatomy and tends to do more harm than good (not very Hippocratic), Dr. Zoidberg is still (usually) available for a medical emergency. He tends to practice medicine more often than the crew of Planet Express is comfortable with, and that counts for something.
9. Dr. Doug Ross from ER (George Clooney)- Remember when George Clooney was a nobody? Well, thanks to his role in the long- (and I mean LONG-) running television series ER, you don’t have to. Ross is an emergency doctor who specializes in pediatrics, which is hilarious, because he doesn’t even know his son’s name. Wait, did I say hilarious? I meant heartbreaking. To be honest, his personal life tends to be more interesting than the medical miracles he performs, but that’s all part of his charm. The thing is, he’s a doctor with his heart in the right place, but more often than not, he ends up screwing over the rest of the doctors, who are forced to deal with the fallout from his choices. But whatever. He’s not the only self-centered doctor on this list.
8. Dr. Doogie Howser from Doogie Howser, M.D. (Neil Patrick Harris)- Before Neil Patrick Harris became America’s sweetheart, he was a teenage medical doctor. While the show itself was pretty entertaining, I personally wouldn’t want a doctor whose balls haven’t dropped yet fixing me. Then again, any port in a storm. Of course, there’s also the fact that he’s an actual genius. I mean, this kid has a medical doctorate. The guy is performing surgery before he can legally get his driver’s license. What really made this show work is that it emphasizes his teenage insecurity despite his accomplishments, which makes me feel a little less intimidated by him. After all, at the end of the day, Doogie is just your typical child prodigy.
7. Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy from Star Trek (DeForest Kelley)- Damn it, Jim. I’m a medical doctor, and that’s it! Bones is perhaps one of the most famous doctors in television history, simply because he served on a spaceship packed to the gills with those damned redshirts. Think about it for a second. Bones wakes up, goes to get his coffee, and it’s a redshirt serving it to him. He goes to use the bathroom, and a redshirt is cleaning it. He goes to the bridge, and five of them are doing random jobs. He’s surrounded by guys Captain Kirk is going to choose to go with him to an alien planet, and they’re all going to catch space herpes or brain slugs or gut shots or something. His stress levels have to be through the roof. Still, he does the best damn job he can, and that’s why we love him.
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