Change of seasons creating havoc with your allergies? Sprained an ankle from stepping in a rabbit hole while mowing (been there, done that)? Job stress causing migraines? You need to see a doctor!
To assist you in selecting the proper physician, we pick our classic TV favorites from the 1960s through the ’80s. Whether you want a brain surgeon, a family practitioner, or you’re just interested in a good-looking bachelor, the right M.D. awaits you:
1. Captain Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce (Alan Alda) – Sarcasm and wit mask the inner feelings of a deeply compassionate surgeon who can operate under the worst of conditions. Often consults with his friend “Trapper” John McIntyre, who has a successful private practice later in life.
2. Dr. James Kildare (Richard Chamberlain) – Long before Grey’s Anatomy’s McDreamy and McSteamy, Kildare ruled the airwaves as TV’s first heart-throb doctor in the 1960s. But don’t let his good looks fool you–he’s intelligent and caring. Plus, if you pay an office visit to him, you can get a second opinion from Blair Hospital’s senior M.D., Dr. Leonard Gillespie (Raymond Massey).
3. Dr. Richard Kimble (David Janssen) – Hey, you’re thinking, he’s on the run from the law on The Fugitive! That’s true, but he was wrongly convicted. He’s also very sensitive, has a way with kids (he was a pediatrician), and still appears to be current on the latest medical procedures.
4. Dr. Cliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby) – Looking for an obstetrician who accepts new patients? Then, try Dr. Huxtable…if you live in New York. In addition to having a good reputation as a doctor, he’s funny and also great with kids! Furthermore, if you’re the victim of malpractice (from another physician, of course), you can hire Cliff’s wife Clair as your attorney.
5. Dr. Marcus Welby (Robert Young) – No physician has a better bedside manner than the kindly, fatherly Dr. Welby. He always goes the extra step for his patients. An added bonus is his hip young partner, Dr. Kiley (James Brolin), who can get through to the new generation.
6. Dr. Ben Casey (Vince Edwards) – This intense, idealistic surgeon needs to tone it down from time to time, but everyone says he’s brilliant. It also helps that Dr. Zorba (Sam Jaffe) is around to provide a calming influence on the young Casey–and to offer second opinions.
7. Dr. Adam “Doc” Bricker (Bernie Kopell) – If you’re sick or injured on a luxury liner, then Doc Bricker is your man. Be forewarned, though; he does consider himself a ladies’ man and he doesn’t spend a lot of time attending to patients.
Honorable Mentions: Dr. Joe Gannon (Chad Everett) from Medical Center; the staff of Boston’s St. Eligius Hospital (aka St. Elsewhere); and Dr. Alex Stone (Carl Betz) from The Donna Reed Show. I’m sure I missed others, too, so please leave a comment if desired.