Inspired by my love of the irascible Dr. Gregory House, and last night's incredible episode of "House", I searched through my own memory banks to come up with a list of my favorite TV doctors. The list includes past and present M.D.s. Sure, they can recite fancy medical jargon with their eyes closed and save a dying patient--all in an hours time--but just as importantly they all look great doing it. Here's my list.
1. Dr. Gregory House ("House") - The resident curmudgeon at Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital, Dr. House (Hugh Laurie) has no bedside manner, an acerbic demeanor, and copes with his own physical pain with a vicodin addiction. Even with these strikes against him, viewers can't dispute the guy is downright brilliant, and if I was a patient I'd want no one else as my doctor. He's sexy too, in an anti-social, sociopathic kinda way. Maybe its the wounded soul vibe you get from House, all a result of Hugh Laurie's brilliant multi-layered portrayal of the character, but you always get the sense that there is something redeeming just beneath the surface and as a woman you want to be the one that uncovers the diamond in the rough.
2. Dr. James Wilson ("House") - The ying to Dr. Gregory House's yang, Wilson (Sean Robert Leonard) is the caring oncologist who has managed to dissect House enough for us to see the heart -- two sizes too small - which beats inside the wounded beast. The wonderful camraderie, trust and friendship between these two polar opposites is refreshing and endearing, and the witty banter between these friends is a plus. Wilson is the kind of good looking, sweet and caring guy you could easily imagine bringing home to mom.
3. Dr. Pete Wilder ("Private Practice") - Dr. Wilder (Tim Daly) practices alternative medicine at Oceanside Wellness Center. In yet another case of my love of tortured souls, Dr. Wilder is a widower who still grieves for his wife and lost love. Though there's some potentially sizzling chemistry between Pete and Dr. Addison Montgomery, the new doctor at the center, Pete seems unwilling or unable to leave his memories behind. How can you not love someone who still loves their dead spouse? Of course, the root of my current attraction for Dr. Wilder could be easily explained as a byproduct of my lingering feelings for pilot Joe Hackett from Wings -- also portrayed by Daly.
4. Dr. Doug Ross ("ER") - Originally I wasn't a big fan of Dr. Ross (George Clooney), he was too much of a womanizer for my taste. In the end, for me, his redemption came from his love of Carol Hathaway (Julianna Margulies) and the sense that he geniunely cared about his patients. In a move sure to win over most hopeless romantics, including me, who could forget Carol flying to Seattle to reunite with Doug--the love of her life--and her walking down that short pier to find him working on his boat, followed by that long-awaited kiss which left you dreaming of a happily ever after.
5. Dr. James Kildare ("Dr. Kildare") - Let me quickly say that this show was before my time and I never actually watched an episode of "Dr. Kildare" with Dr. James Kildare (Richard Chamberlain)--but its always been in my subconscious thanks to Richard Chamberlain. From what I've read, the show was quite a phenomena thanks to Chamberlain's rise to teeenage heartthrob status during the life of the show. I will openly admit that this entry is purely based on my love of Richard Chamberlain from his Father Ralph de Bricassart role on the sweeping mini-series "The Thorn Birds." As a teenager, Ralph and Meggie's tragic love story broke my heart, and helped to make me the hopeless romantic I am today.
Who would you include on the list? Here's a few extra choices which didn't make it to my shortlist: Dr. Derek Sheperd 'McDreamy' (Patrick Dempsey) from "Grey's Anatomy", Dr. Phillip Chandler (Denzel Washington) from "St. Elsewhere", or if you're male, maybe you'd prefer Dr. Michaela Quinn (Jane Seymour) from "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman".