Hospitals are a great setting for television, as it is where unimaginable circumstances can quickly take place. The stress and drama inevitably puts doctors to the test, allowing medical dramas to creatively present different perspectives on the work life of healthcare professionals.

Here we present four more of the best doctors (not in any particular ranking order) portrayed on TV.

1. Dr John Dorian (Scrubs)

Scrubs follows the experiences of John Michael Dorian, or JD, the main character and narrator, as an intern at the fictional Sacred Heart Hospital.

The audience are privy to JD’s internal thoughts, which can be rather dreamy, spirited, and juvenile – he even keeps a stuffed, "soul-searching unicorn”, Justin, that he pets while pondering over difficult medical decisions. Despite that, it becomes evident in the show that he is a skilled doctor with great compassion, which sets him apart from the rest.

Doctors recognise much of JD’s internal thought process reminiscent to their own when they were a young intern. The comedy-drama TV series is a window into the more mundane aspects of the medical profession, and is all the more real for it.

2. Captain Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce (M*A*S*H)

Captain Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce is the Chief Surgeon of his Mobile Army Surgical Hospital unit, and an interesting character who quickly becomes the driving force of the series.

Sticking to his guns (metaphorically, as he never carries one) amidst the death and destruction of the Korean War, Hawkeye is a brilliant, compassionate surgeon with a penchant for pranks, drink, and flirting. A hard worker, he has little respect for the military that always seems to get in the way of his work.

3. Dr Doogie Howser (Doogie Howser, MD)

He “can’t buy beer… [but] can prescribe drugs”, Dr Doogie Howser is the youngest licensed doctor in America, having completed his medical degree at the age of 14, and graduated from Princeton at age 10.

At the beginning of Doogie Howser, MD, Howser is a second year resident surgeon, and throughout the series, we see Howser deal with both professional issues and teenage problems.

Despite his amazing photographic memory and genius intellect, Howser is like everyone else and seeks acceptance from the people around him, those around his age as well as his professional colleagues.

4. Dr Gregory House (House, MD)

‘Misanthrope’, ‘cynic’, ’narcissist’, ‘curmudgeon’ - these are all words used to describe the titular character of House, MD, who leads a team of diagnosticians as the Head of Diagnostic Medicine at the fictional Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in Princeton, New Jersey.

Likened by some fans as the counterpart of Sherlock Holmes in the medical field, Hugh Laurie as Dr Gregory House is an utterly captivating and exciting character – he exhibits brilliance in his unorthodox approach and radical medical decisions, which usually results in clashing ideas with his team.

However, his unpleasant personality is no surprise due to his need to be right and constant narcissism while having little compassion for his patients, nor understanding and tolerance for his colleagues. He also habitually pops painkillers to manage his chronic leg pain.

Nevertheless, House has proven to be life-saving at least on one occasion, as a German university clinic that ran a series of lectures based on the TV show proved, when a man came in with severe heart failure that was unexplained. Medics recalled an episode in which a character had the exact symptoms and correctly identified the man as suffering from cobalt intoxication – just like on the show. MIMS

Read more:
4 of the greatest fictional doctors on TV
8 memorable film portrayals of doctors
Medical dramas: An accurate portrayal of our healthcare sector?