It’s National Doctors’ Day, which is the best day to admit that everyone with a television has some basic medical training, right? (No, we don’t).
I love TV doctors (I’m even related to one), so to honor all the hardworking real doctors out there (shoutout to the med school friends for your relentless grind), here’s a list of our favorite fictional doctors none of whom should perform an operation, but we sure love to watch them.
Leo Spaceman, 30 Rock
Okay, medically, Dr. Spaceman is absolutely the worst. But what he lacks in proficiency at his actual job, he makes up for in laughs and generally shady side projects.
Literal Doctor, Arrested Development
The literal doctor was known for delivering any manner of news in the worst way possible, so that even moments of comfort and relief were often prefaced with dread. He may have angered and upset the Bluth family, but he always makes us laugh.
Let’s make this list old school with Hawkeye Pierce and the O.G. medical/war drama. Alan Alda appeared in every single episode of the series defusing the stress of war with jokes and booze. A modern take on Hawkeye would be the medical equivalent of House of Cards, and that is not a pitch.
Doug Ross, E.R.
George. Clooney. As. A. Doctor. Even decades later, this feels like the stuff of my fanfiction dreams. Doug is a foxy E.R. pediatrician with daddy issues, which means that he’s a perfect angel at doing his job but a fuckboy when it comes to dating. I don’t even want to unpack that.
Perry Cox, Scrubs
The most trustworthy doctor on Scrubs was certainly not our protagonist, J.D., but his mentor, the abrasive Perry Cox. Cox was like House Lite squawking and rude, but soft enough to recognize that he was J.D.’s role model. He shared moments of kindness and trust with many of his colleagues, especially Carla.
Jack Shephard, Lost
Despite his grating hero complex and inability to believe, Jack is a truly gifted doctor. It’s the power to save lives that made him the survivors’ begrudging de facto leader. Remember when he performed a blood transfusion with sterilized sea urchin needles? Or the time he mended his future wife’s apparently irreparable broken back?
Cristina Yang, Grey’s Anatomy
Cristina isn’t the only doctor on this list who was known to be highly skilled if a little socially lacking, but her connection to the other characters particularly to her “person,” Meredith, made her a staple of the show for 12 years. Also like many on this list, she leads a tumultuous personal life rich with drama, but if you need surgery she’s the best in the biz.
Gregory House, House
Hugh Laurie’s dispassionate, vicodin-fueled genius remains an iconic television character and the sole reason the show ran for eight seasons. Even though his bedside manner was reprehensible, he trusted his instincts and often saved patients who would’ve died anywhere else.
Mindy Lahiri, The Mindy Project
Though The Mindy Project was always a romantic comedy about a heroine trying to find herself, Mindy’s medical expertise has never been in question. She’s a skilled OB/GYN, devoted to her work even when it clashes with her personal life any man who can’t handle the hustle can just roll on out.
Dr. Akopian, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Noelle Akopian deals with her textbook nightmares in Rebecca Bunch, who you may remember once crawled into her doctor’s house through a doggy door to steal and forge a prescription. She breaks ground with Rebecca in Season 2 (in real life, not spirit form), but as of that finale, she’s about to have her work cut out for her.