There's a reason actors don't practice medicine and instead choose to play medical professionals on TV: any respectable hospital would unceremoniously fire many of these fictional doctors. While it's not a crime to be ridiculously good-looking (we're looking at you, Dr. Shepherd), it's a violation for a surgeon to hide a medical condition that results in a hand tremor (hello, Dr. Bell and Dr. Burke). The former may be a simple distraction for a patient, while the latter could cost a patient their life.
Some TV doctors are intentionally ridiculous, like Dr. Spaceman from 30 Rock or Dr. Riviera from The Simpsons, but these "good doctors" are trying their hardest to replicate real-life physicians accurately. The worst fictional doctors on TV range from psychiatrists to dentists to neurosurgeons. TV patients put their lives in the hands of these professionals, and the results are sometimes disastrous.
What would you do if you found out the surgeon performing your operation had an addiction to painkillers or was only 16 years old? Would you voice concern if your doctor yelled at you for no real reason? It would be wise to avoid these terrible TV doctors - your negligence may cost your life.
Randolph BellPhoto: The Resident/Fox
Dr. Randolph Bell (Bruce Greenwood) is chief of surgery at Chastain Park Memorial Hospital on the Fox drama, The Resident. On the surface, he seems like the perfect surgeon. However, he hides a medical condition that causes a hand tremor. A shaky hand is detrimental to any surgeon's career - thus, every time Dr. Bell operates, he is putting his patient's life on the line.
When performing surgery, Dr. Bell is effectively implying that his medical career is more important than saving a human life.Is this a bad doctor?
- Photo: ER/NBC
Dr. Robert Romano (Paul McCrane) became a recurring character on ER during the acclaimed medical drama's fourth season. Though this general surgeon demonstrated talent, he was also incredibly rude. One of his most cold-hearted acts came during Season 7 when he contributed to the firing of psychiatrist Dr. Legaspi (Elizabeth Mitchell), primarily because she was a lesbian.
Romano had few friends in the ER, and his colleagues universally disliked him. He also faced a sexual harassment accusation in Season 5. It's a bad sign when a doctor encounters animosity from almost everyone he meets and becomes alienated from his entire staff. In Season 10, a falling helicopter killed Romano.Is this a bad doctor?
- Photo: Grey's Anatomy/ABC
Featured on the wonderful medical drama, Grey's Anatomy, Dr. Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington) is one of the most celebrated and talented surgeons around. He is the top physician for anyone with a heart condition, until his pride takes over, making him a danger to his patients.
In the show, Burke gets shot in the shoulder, and the bullet wound causes nerve damage in his arm. It's enough to cause his hand to shake, which is disastrous for a surgeon. Despite this, Burke continues to perform surgery. He also involves his fiancée at the time, Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), in his cover-up. She often has to step in to take over complicated heart surgeries when she knows Burke can't perform at his best.Is this a bad doctor?
- Photo: Frasier/NBC
Audiences first met Dr. Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) on the beloved sitcom Cheers. In 1993, Grammer agreed to take his character from Boston to Seattle, and one of the most successful spinoffs in television history debuted. Frasier is a well-educated and kind psychiatrist. However, he is also extremely judgemental, snooty, fussy, and pompous.
On Frasier, the titular doctor is a host on a psychotherapy call-in radio program called "The Dr. Frasier Crane Show." The program allows him to help other people, which he genuinely enjoys doing, but it also gives him a platform to talk endlessly about himself. The show offers the doctor a fair share of celebrity, too - which only strokes his ever-growing ego. If a caller refuses to heed his sage advice, Fraiser publicly berates them.
If a patient is in need of psychiatric help, is an arrogant and narrow-minded elitist the best person to consult? Fraiser may mean well, but he's ultimately self-involved and shallow.Is this a bad doctor?