They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. After seeing this guy
, make sure of it.
Did you even take
the Hippocratic Oath? Romano:
I had my fingers crossed.
He's a very skilled doctor, so dedicated to his job that he doesn't seem to have any other kind of life; but he appears to have little to no compassion
, is often narcissistic
, a maverick, rebuffs any friendly gesture, and speaks only in snide put-downs
or irritable complaints about how stupid human beings generally are
. He spits in the face of the image of doctors as saintly humanitarians — but of course, he's so prevalent now that he's become a trope of his own.
His attitude is often explained by the notion that, in order to become such a good physician, he's had to make a habit of treating people as machines and "never letting his feelings get in the way". In his worldview, it would be unthinkable to cut another human being open and tinker with their insides, so he forces himself to view others as if they're not
people. (Despite this he still admits It Never Gets Any Easier
; he just suppresses it.) In many ways, he's often the ultimate Jerk with a Heart of Gold
, since he often demonstrates that he really does care about people deep down by doing whatever it takes to save their lives.
This character's attitude towards patient care can go two different ways: Either he will do anything within his power to heal the sick
, or else he's in hospital administration
and would shovel the patients into a furnace if it saved money. Either way, he's abnormally prone to Pet the Dog
moments, so watch out. See also Morally Ambiguous Doctorate
and Mad Doctor
, when you have to question who in their right mind would give this person a license in the first place.
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Anime & Manga
- Soul Eater has Doctor Franken Stein, who is not only the school surgeon, but also the biology teacher and combat instructor. He is a complete sociopath due to having an insane wavelength, and upon meeting his apprentice Maka, he tried to dissect her. Justified in that he was trying to show his students that they needed to work together, and no one was actually harmed, but as the series progresses his advances towards Maka's(and his other students') organs become more sincere. He also tends to bash his patients for their carelessness.
- In One Piece, Dr. Kureha, a tough, sarcastic old lady, is the only doctor on a small island where the inhabitants all call her a witch for her strange, violent, and greedy behavior. She won't just ask for a set amount of bills, but 50% of your income for the month. If you tip her, she may lower it to 49%. She's also willing to injure patients who don't follow her orders.
- Her protege Chopper tries to be this whenever he's complimented, attempting to put on a tough act and belittle the complimenter while grinning ear-to-ear and doing a Happy Dance. It never works.
- Dr. Hogback is a much worse, being probably the best surgeon in the world and an actual villain. Even with the love of his life, he only cares about her body and thus patches her corpse up and lets her be revived with another person's soul.
- Dr. Black Jack is probably one of the first; generally more of the Dr. Jerk with a Heart of Gold variety.
- Probably the original trope namer, considering he purposely plays himself as a devil, but gets repeated Pet the Dog moments, including how much he beats himself up for his mistakes, i.e. he treats his patients like crap, and manipulates them, but angsts over every single death. Plus, the Diabolus Ex Machinas that follow him...
- Dr. Black Jack is parodied with Dr. Iwata in Excel Saga (complete with an x-shaped scar on his face, given to him by his cousin who he loves to exact horrible revenge on every opportunity he gets). Though he doesn't show up enough in the anime for his jerkassery to really shine through, in the manga he's a money-grubbing, skirt-chasing, selfish bastard. At one point, he's shown prescribing medication to people because the pharmaceutical company that makes it pays him for each patient he gets to take it, regardless of whether or not it will actually help them. Fortunately, he's usually accompanied by his nurse, who uses violence on him frequently to keep him in line. The sad part: he does actually show signs of competence — he just doesn't care.
- Subverted with Ryuuken Ishida. Introduced from Uryuu's point-of-view, he seems abrasive, materialistic and uncaring. Eventually, it becomes clear he wants his son to think the worst of him for unknown reasons that loyal friend Isshin knows all about. Behind Uryuu's back, he's much more gentle, protective and fatherly.
- Subverted with Tenjirou Kirinji. Introduced as having a violent, abusive, delinquent mentality, he's eventually revealed to be much more gentle with his servants, as he seems to put his tutees and patients through various kinds of Secret Test of Character.
- Dr. Knox from Fullmetal Alchemist. He's quite a good man, though a bit grumpy, and punches out Lan Fan and May Chang to prevent them from starting a fight, partly because of their injuries, partly to avoid them getting infected by his samples, and partly out of principle.
- Which was also his Crowning moment of Awesome (and Funny!):
May: (wimpering) "Quit trying to..."
Dr. Knox: "I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE AFFAIRS OF YOUR COUNTRY, DUMB-ASS!!"
- Tenma's boss in Monster is the heartless administrator variety, until he gets killed. Tenma himself inverts this trope, as he's one of the nicest people imaginable.
- Dr. Shamal from Katekyo Hitman Reborn!. Only towards men, though. And unfortunately for him (and them), 99% of the cast is comprised of Bishōnen.
- Fruits Basket has Hatori, who's more of The Woobie, but he's still grumpy.
- Caren Ortensia from Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA, an elementary school nurse who has the tendency to consider patient's injuries 'boring' and ask they get hurt much more badly next time they come to see her. To add insult to non-injury, she often tells visitors to get lost because "healthy people make her sick."
- Fairy Tail has Porlyusica. While she will try her hardest to save her patients, she can't stand being around people, and will kick them out as soon as they are healed. She also doesn't like the friends of her patients hanging around waiting for them to get better.
- The fanfic Heart of Azazel has Dr. Bitch Spasms (gee, I wonder where that name came from). Not only is he a complete disaster as a doctor, but he also makes for a terrible husband! Just read it and tell me you weren't cheering for Azazel near the end!
- Dr Allison Mann in Y: The Last Man spends much of her time either belittling Yorick or threatening his pet monkey with dire fates. When they finally part ways Yorick's last request is to see her smile for the first time in four years ? Mann's response is to break down in tears of frustration instead. She angrily denies that love is anything but a biological reaction, but is clearly desperate for love herself eventually finding it with Australian spy Rose Copen.
- Dr. Big McLargehuge from Empowered, who Ninjette describes as '"Dr. House the size of a house", has a total lack of bedside manners and is quite adamant that Emp gets her normal friend out of the suprahuman-specific wing ASAP so he can deal with more important cases.
- Dr. Stephen Strange was one before the car accident that crippled his hands. He was so hated that the only jobs he was offered were of the Kicked Upstairs variety, which he had too much pride to take. He squandered his fortune on quack remedies, becoming almost destitute until, nearly at the end of his rope, he heard of an old man known to work miracles. That old man turned out to be the Ancient One, the current Sorcerer Supreme, and Strange's life changed dramatically after they met. After becoming Master of the Mystic Arts when his mentor passed away and bequeathed the title to him, he mellowed out and lost most of his Jerkass qualities.
- Scarecrow, AKA Dr. Jonathan Crane of Batman fame. An accomplished psychiatrist and former college professor. Now a supervillain and part of Batman's Rogues Gallery.
- Thomas Elliot counts as well. He used to be the son of two wealthy Gothamites, until he decided he deserved their money more. So he became an orphan. Thomas Wayne then saved his mother, so he had to wait for the money. His own psyche then made him go after Bruce Wayne because he had it so easy what with his mom and dad having died at an early age..
Film — Animated
- In Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme, Strange is very much this, albeit with a dead little sister to make him slightly sympathetic.
Film — Live Action
- Dr. Gillespie in the Dr. Kildare film series. Reduced to a wispy old man in a wheelchair from an accident (Real Life Writes the Plot, there, as actor Lionel Barrymore was crippled and could only play stationary characters), he's become bitter and highly temperamental from not being able to act on his own. He "fires" his successor-to-be, Dr. Kildare, in a fit of pique with every movie, only to re-hire him in a roundabout fashion.
- Dr. Lazarus in Outland (1981) is a rare female example.
- As is fitting for Lifetime Movie of the Week, any male doctor to ever walk in on screen will go out of his way to be a jerk, especially when it isn't beneficial for anyone, not even himself. See Harrison Ford's character Dr. Stonehill in Extraordinary Measures.
- Ken Jeong's Doctor Kuni in Knocked Up is a bit of a jerk, and the couple don't like him, but ultimately he's all there is when the big moment comes. The character is played by Ken Jeong, a Real Life doctor before he took up comedy and acting.
- In 50/50, the main character's doctor completely ignores him and dictates into a voice recorder, then unloads a bunch of medical jargon on him before offhandedly mentioning that he's got cancer.
- Dr. Silberman from the Terminator franchise, especially in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. He's not so much interested in helping Sarah Connor recover as he is in getting his "work" with Sarah published in medical journals.
- Ton Phanan of the X-Wing Series is this, sort of, by the time we see him. He once wanted to do everything in his power as a doctor, but after an Emergency Transformation he found that his extensive cybernetics ate his future, so he dropped out of medicine and became a pilot hoping to get back at those who had hurt him. Assigned as squadron medic, he had no bedside manner and snarked a lot - once his commander told him to "see our doctor" after an injury, and Phanan said "I'm far too important a doctor to see such a lowly person as myself" — but he was a very sympathetic character, all told.
- Especially in The Reveal of his tragic past. And his subsequent death, which includes pushing Face off Phanan's path.
- Dr James "Mossy" Lawn of Discworld has elements of this, especially in his first appearance in Night Watch. His deep cynicism comes, paradoxically, from the fact he seems to be the only doctor in Ankh-Morpork who cares if his patients get better, since the fee gets covered either way. Living under the regime of Lord Winder doesn't help; he's had to treat people questioned by the Cable Street Particulars, and when Vimes takes a CSP officer to have a broken arm treated, Lawn offers instead to point out some sensitive places Vimes could kick him.
- According to Lawn, the Discworld version of Hippocrates is most famous for the quote "Am I going to get paid for this?"
- Professor Nemur from Flowers for Algernon.
- O'Mara, the chief psychologist at Sector General, is bad-tempered, cutting, and sarcastic to pretty much everyone he meets...except people he thinks are in actual need of his services, with whom he is quiet and considerate. The Dr. Jerk behavior is therefore sort of reassuring to the rest of the hospital staff, because they know that when he drops it, they're in serious trouble.
- Jayfeather, a ThunderClan medicine cat from Warrior Cats, who even at one point proclaims, "I'm a medicine cat. If you want sympathy, go to the nursery."
- In The Wheel of Time, the Yellow Ajah (the healers) are known for being arrogant and impatient.
Live Action TV
- Dr. Gregory House is the poster boy for this trope — or maybe even the exaggerated version. This is the type of man who, if you saw him shambling up the corridor, you would duck into an elevator to avoid. In fact, pretty much the only reason he even still has a job, despite being an utter jackass, is that he's a damn good doctor.
""Would you rather a doctor who holds your son's hand while he dies, or ignores him as he gets better?"
- House has an excellent female version of this with "Cut Throat Bitch" Amber, who didn't make the final cut on House's team... but who was so memorable and delightful a character that the fandom rejoiced when she returned as Wilson's girlfriend, and then cried when she died, and then rejoiced again when she returned as House's hallucination. Apparition Amber was even meaner than the genuine article(!), modeled as she was on House's vague recollections and fragments of his own cruel psyche.
- The Knick: Dr. John Thackery is an excellent and even pioneering surgeon, but he's also a total asshole and a casual racist.
- Body of Proof: Dr. Megan Hunt.
- Dr. Romano. Even though he died after a chopper crashed against him, nobody even seemed to notice his absence until they were told so by the authorities. Dr. Corday was the only person who seemed to get along with him, and she was the only one who attended his memorial service. It's almost as though they wanted him to become The Woobie though. The poor man had his arm cut off by a helicopter in an earlier episode, spent some time trying to rehabilitate said arm, only to seriously burn it and need to have it properly amputated. And then the bloody chopper killed him. Probably the same helicopter, too. And they spent a long time showing him being afraid of it and putting him in a safer position out of fear. Where it managed to Crash. Then, when he gave all of his wealth to the Hospital in his will, they used it to fund the one thing he would not have wanted it spent on.
- Peter Benton was Cook County's resident jerk before Romano got there, but they spent years making the audience know he was a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Dr. Jeffrey Geiger in Chicago Hope.
- St. Elsewhere:
- Dr. Mark Craig.
- Dr. Victor Ehrlich, at least in the early seasons of the show, which makes sense as he's Craig's protege. Both characters softened somewhat as the series went on.
- Dr. Harris in Mercy.
- Charles Emerson Winchester III uses snobbery rather than snarkiness (he often reminds everyone of his degree from Harvard), but appropriate Pet the Dog moments show he is a good example of the first variety. And his fellow surgeons NEVER complain about his underlying competence.
- Frank Burns is a rare example of an asshole doctor who is really incompetent, and has a fool's gold heart (he openly admits he was just in it for the money, and is one of the biggest bigots in the series). He also openly admitted (during the series that is) that he was in it for the skin care to get rid of his pimples, and he hoped to earn big money. In the TV series, he once stated that he flunked out of two medical schools and took twice the normal time to become a doctor. He was also tricked into admitting that he paid $400 dollars (a large sum at the time) for the answers for a critical exam. He was worse in the original book. Burns was at the last era in history where a practicing physician could get a license without going to medical school. In Frank's case, he served an apprenticeship under his father. In the film, he is extremely religious in public, hypocritical about it (see Maj. O'Houlihan), and falsely blames a man's death on a very timid orderly.
- In the spin-off AfterMASH, the characters of Mike D'Angelo (season 1) and Wally Wainwright (season 2) were jerkass hospital administrators.
- On Trapper John, M.D., Dr. Stanley Riverside II fit the arrogant-but-dedicated mold.
- This trope is a daytime soap staple: David Hayward on All My Children, Chris Ramsey on Port Charles, Patrick Drake on General Hospital.
- Star Trek: The Original Series has Dr. "Bones" McCoy, whose cantankerous reminders of his actual occupation qualify for this trope. He certainly qualifies in "Friday's Child," where he persuades an obstinate, haughty patient to let him ease her pain... by slapping her in the face.
Kirk: Never seen that in a medical book.
McCoy: It's in mine from now on.
- That's not to say his approach didn't work, it most certainly did. Go figure...
- In "This Side of Paradise", when he's under the influence of Kirk's Applied Phlebotinum, designed to make him irritable.
Sandoval: "We don't need you. Not as a doctor."
McCoy: "Oh, no? Would you like to see how fast I can put you in a hospital?"
- Dr. Pulaski on Star Trek: The Next Generation, a one season Suspiciously Similar Substitute / Replacement Scrappy for Dr. Crusher. It's apparent from her character that they were trying to make her an Expy of Dr. McCoy, but failed to consider that the characters McCoy played off of (Spock and Kirk) had no real analogue in TNG. Thus, she's abrasive, argued with everyone including the captain, and was about as fun as heart surgery. The writers also, stupidly, introduced the character by making her bigoted towards Data, one of the most popular (and likeable) characters. Pulaski's first true showing came seven episodes later in "Unnatural Selection", where she displayed courage, professionalism and tremendous integrity, while her relationship with Picard grew, and she was one of the few crewmembers to protest that saving the lives of an entire planet trumped the Prime Directive in "Pen Pals". Unfortunately, for many people this was far too little, far too late.
- Even Deep Space Nine had the early Julian Bashir, though he was less mean and more completely tactless, calling Bajor 'the frontier' and 'wilderness' right to the face of the Bajoran who would be second in command of the station and didn't like the Federation being there. This was the first time they met. He gets better though.
- The Emergency Medical Hologram a.k.a. "Doctor" on Star Trek: Voyager. Exactly why the Doctor was such a buzzkill varied between seasons. At first, he was annoyed that people treated him like an actual person rather than hologram; that is, being intended as a temporary supplement to a living doctor suddenly pressed into full service, he often found himself annoyed at being left on with nothing to do. Later, as he starts to develop more as a member of the crew, that reverses, making him more irritable because he wasn't treated equally. Not helped by his social skills being programmed by Reginald Barclay. His creator, Dr. Zimmerman, is the original Dr. Jerk (though he's Not That Kind of Doctor) and based the Doctor's personality on his own. Eventually, the entire EMH line was scrapped and replaced with more jocular models.
Zimmerman: "Emergency Medical Hotheads." "Extremely Marginal Housecalls." That's what everyone used to call the Mark Ones until they were bounced out of the Medical Corps.
- Notably, one episode had as a plot point that having this kind of personality is actually a fairly important flaw for a doctor — the Doctor was the only Mk. I still in active duty as a medical hologram by that point, because Starfleet had been very quick to get Zimmerman to develop new versions, with new personalities and looks (apparently, while the actual healing part had worked fine, the bedside manner had made the original quite unpopular). Zimmerman, having based the Mk. I's personality and appearance on his own, was a tad bitter about that.
: "He is made up of 200 memories and 47 individuals so if there’s anybody you want around in a medical crisis it’s the EMH. However his bedside manner leaves a lot to be desired. Crusher would bore you to death, Bashir will try and shag you and the EMH will insult you – great choice of Doctors!"
- The 2004 Battlestar Galactica series:
- Dr. Cottle. The man is a wisecracking sarcastic jerk who actually smokes on the job. His catankerous attitude seems to be mostly related to authority figures trying to tell him what to do, making him a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, as he feels obligated to heal the sick, period, human or Cylon, regardless of what Adama's steely blue eyes would seem to dictate. Of course, he gets that sort of slack because he's just so damn good, as he managed to save Commander Adama's life from a pretty brutal assassination attempt despite what most would consider fatal amounts of internal bleeding. Not to mention that with humanity reduced to under 50,000 people after the Cylon assault, he might well be one of the few doctors left alive.
- Gaius Baltar could also count as this, the best example being his blunt attitude towards Sharon Valerii while testing to see if she's a Cylon sleeper agent. "So now we'll find out whether you're a human or an evil Cylon." He's also an egomaniacal jerk with the poetic sarcasm of Gregory House.
Cottle: I don't like what you're doing. It's unnatural and damned dangerous.
Baltar: Yes well given the patient's current condition, I'm not sure I can see the downside.
- There's also Nurse Bedside Manner, who informs Chief that he can't give blood to his son because he's not the biological father, and gets irritated when Starbuck is talking to her unconscious husband because brain dead people can't hear. I've heard she was originally a field medic and doesn't like being cooped up in Galactica's sickbay.
- Jack Shepherd from LOST has a terrible bed-side manner and often brutally honest with his patients about their chances, but otherwise is a miracle-worker. His father Christian, on the other hand, was a snarky, condescending drunk that got a patient killed.
- In one instance, Jack actually tells a paralyzed woman that she has absolutely no chance of regaining the use of her limbs. Then he attempts surgery and cures her anyway. She later becomes his wife. Who leaves him, I think, because of his "heroism addiction".
- Dr. Owen Harper in Torchwood, though he mainly works with the corpses of aliens, and of victims of the paranormal so he has few patients to distress. He appeared to be soften a little in series 2. "Fragments" showed that prior to his fiancée's death, he was originally much less jerkish and got into medicine to save people and make the world a better place.
- Dr. Martin Ellingham in Doc Martin, a top Harley Street surgeon who, after developing a fear of blood, retrains as a local G.P and moves to Cornwall. He's a brilliant doctor, but he's also a sour, pompous and miserable git almost entirely lacking in charm and bedside manner.
"It was easy to find you, I just followed the trail of outraged people".
- There's a minor Running Gag that Martin will accurately treat/diagnose people on the fly, but repeatedly fails to remember what their name was, even when he actually bothered to ask for it!
- The Dr. Jerk is played straight in the 4th series with the character of Dr. Edith Montgomery, who not only shares Martin's lack of bedside manner but has even less care or empathy for her patients.
- Dr. Jerome on Ed was one of the nastiest examples. In a way, he's a lesser-known precursor of both Cox and House, with none of their redeeming qualities. His cruelty to Dr. Burton was as over-the-top as anything on that show, which made over-the-top a regular feature.
- Heston Carter in Doctors is of the pompous and arrogant variety, though he got better.
- Grey's Anatomy: Hahn, Yang, Karev, Stark...
- In "Ariel", Mal and Zoe met a Dr. Jerk while looking for the "payment" for Simon's Burglary-with-good-intentions. Of course under the circumstances he had reason to be jerky. He just didn't know it.
- Simon himself starts out like this before he trusts Reynolds.
- Sort of deconstructed on Golden Girls. One episode has Dorothy convinced there's something wrong with her. She goes to a doctor but he can't figure what's wrong with her specifically and brushes her off, writing her claims as "you're old and senile." After a visit to another doctor or two, it's revealed that she was right, something IS wrong and it's treatablenote . As they're out to dinner to celebrate she runs into the first doctor again, and tells him off about not having compassion for his patients. Thank goodness SOMEONE on television had the brains to realize "doctor jerks aren't helpful." The doctor in question was played by the same actor who played Sumner Sloane. It's not the least bit surprising that he's so unsympathetic.
- Dr. Harry Harper of Casualty.
- Dr. Connie Beauchamp of Holby City is a rare female version.
- Dr. John Becker of Becker. He's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, as he has stated the reason why his practice is in the crowded Bronx, is so he could provide medical care for people who normally wouldn't have access to it. Of course, because of that, a few of his patients are idiots... Personality-wise, Becker pretty much is House in a sitcom.
- In the And Now For Something Completely Different JAG episode "Each of Us Angels" Patrick Labyorteaux (the actor that normally plays Bud) plays a character fitting this description.
- Even though he isn't a medical doctor, Dr. Rush from Stargate Universe has a rather... abrasive personality.
- Same with Dr. McKay from Stargate Atlantis, albeit McKay is more incredibly arrogant and bad with people than a deliberate jerk. And again, not a medical doctor.
- Rush has a slight justification in that his wife died not too long ago, although he was too busy solving the mysteries of the universe to be with her during this time.
- Doctor Franklin of Babylon 5 becomes more and more of a jerk as his personal story arc plays out over the first few seasons. Of course, he was also battling a stimulant addiction, and losing.
- The first, sixth and twelfth incarnations of the Doctor in Doctor Who.
- Doc Cochran in Deadwood is an alcoholic, partially shell-shocked Frontier Doctor who is as abrasive as he is intelligent. His conduct so alienates Alma Garret that he must beg her to accept his help in spite of his "defects of character" when her life is at risk.
- Professor Richard Craig of All Saints. Thanks to his world-class surgical skills, he is able to get away with habitually disregarding the opinions of the nurses in spite of their proven diagnostic abilities, criticising his protege Luke for being willing to listen to them, regularly antagonizing patients when they decide against his (usually experimental) treatment suggestions, and in one case lying to a patient about his wife surviving their car accident. It's hardly surprising that Bron conceals the fact that he's her father, especially after he blackmails her into leaving the hospital in exchange for him saving the life of a friend. (To his credit, it's actually Bron that holds herself to this agreement, even though Bob died in surgery and Craig left at the same time.)
- Community has Professor Ian Duncan, an amoral psychologist who has used sessions to hit on clients and is more interested in getting his papers in respectable journals than the well being of his patients.
- Dr. Simon Hill in Combat Hospital. He's really a Jerk with a Heart of Gold though.
- Dr. Wu from the first season of Glee comes off as a this, though it's probably because his patience with Terri and Kendra (who are batshit crazy) is wearing thin.
- Dr. Bykov in the Russian show Interny ("Interns") is an Expy of House and Cox. He's a complete jerk to his patients and interns, as well as his boss and best friend. He often punishes the interns for slightest offenses or even for no reason at all (this usually involves being given impromptu night shifts, especially if they have plans). Like House, he has a strenuous (sometimes romantic) relationship with his female boss, who only tolerates his antics because he does the job well. Also, for a bit of irony, Bykov is played by a priest, who took time off from the church to do the show. The newest intern, Polina Ulyanova, only got hired because she accidentally pissed off all the other major characters whom she attempted to vouch for her in front of Bykov. Bykov, in his true style, immediately hires her to annoy everyone else.
- After the original head nurse leaves to join her boyfriend (a former intern on the show who went to the US as part of an exchange program), Bykov convinces his girlfriend/boss to hire his ex for the position. Naturally, the girlfriend/boss is reluctant, especially when she finds out Bykov lied about meeting the ex earlier to discuss this. Bykov then bluntly tells her that she should think as an administrator and hire the woman because she's damn good at her job and leave any personal concerns out of it.
- Northern Exposure's Joel can be this, especially at the beginning of the series, but can also be very caring.
- As the World Turns had this in Dr. Reid Oliver, who was constantly being compared to Dr. House, though he was more like Dr. Cox.
- Monday Mornings features transplant surgeon Dr. Buck Tierney, who is abrasive, unpleasant, and extremely self-important, and neurosurgeon Dr. Sung Park, who always seems to be angry about something and is convinced that he can do no wrong.
- Dr. Ben from Louie invokes this, though he's more of a facetious asshole rather than a bitter one; for example, after giving a physical exam where he mentions he'd sooner remove the memory of Louie's penis over witnessing his fathers suicide, he phones him with the physical results:
: How are you? I got back your blood work. Louie
: Yeah? Dr. Ben
: Yeah, listen — oh, sorry about being an arse by the way
— thing is, I need you to come in to do some more tests. Louie
: [shocked] What— what for? Dr. Ben
: Well, your blood work shows that you may have slight... big, fat, ginger ugly-itis. [chuckles] Louie
: [angry] Oh my God. You're such a dick. Dr. Ben
: [stops laughing] No, you have AIDS. That's what I thought. But don't worry, the cancer is going to kill the AIDS.. [giggling] ...before it kills you quite slowly and painfully.
- Carlos on Third Watch was a Paramedic Jerk. After his first day on the job, his supervisor "Doc" Parker, seeing Carlos alone, comments that seeing people suffering can get to you, but Carlos says he's surprised because it didn't get to him. He didn't care at all about the people they took care of. Doc is surprised, but Carlos eventually turns out to be a very good paramedic with excellent technical skills. The fact that he's not the nicest guy in the world doesn't stop him from saving lives.
- In contrast Doc is too empathic and the job slowly takes a terrible toll on him until he snaps, shoots up the firehouse and ends the series in a mental institution.
- On Person of Interest Sam Shaw was revealed to have once been a medical resident. She was an excellent technical doctor who went above and beyond to save her patients. However, she has a personality disorder that causes her to have very little empathy for strangers. This culminated in her eating an energy bar while notifying a family that their father has died. Her logic was that she was hungry and the manner in which she notified the family wouldn't have changed the fact that the man was dead. Others did not see it her way and her supervisor asked her to leave the program since he did not feel that she could be trusted to always place her patients first. Shaw then became a top notch government assassin.
- Emergency!: Dr. Morton. And there was a character of the week who made even him look nice.
- Riget: Swede Dr. Stig Helmer is a racist against Danes and borders on being a sociopath.
- An extreme example is Fake Healer from the Metal Church album Blessing In Disguise (1989). This doctor is least bothered about treating illnesses, and most bothered about earning big money. He'll lie to patients about terminal disease and take full advantage of their ignorance, to extract plenty of money. He's also open to leaving poor patients to die if they can't afford his services.
- Agent Dietrich "Medic" Luzwheit in Dino Attack RPG. He is a very skilled doctor capable of performing complicated and dangerous operations with great success, but, as a result, he thinks of all his fellow doctors, including Dr. Alan Pierce, as incompetent and inexperienced fools who should not belong in the operating room, and he doesn't hesitate to make his feelings towards them clear.
- There was also a minor doctor named Burns who, on top of being a jerk, was quite incompetent. It doesn't help that his namesake is Frank Burns.
- Victor Niguel, of the Trauma Center series. He's genuinely dedicated to his medical research (as his character description in the manual and his reactions during the Pempti operations show); but he also apparently hates everybody, and is the only one to curse in written or spoken dialogue. Consider his description of Paraskevi: "This one is fibrous... which basically means it's a pain in the ass". Conveniently, that's what the player will be probably thinking in the following seconds.
- Dr. Turner Grey from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All. One of his nurses is accused of malpractice, and dies in an auto accident a few weeks later. Upset that business at his clinic is bad, he wants to commission a spirit medium to call her back from the dead, so she signs a note admitting the incident was her fault. Morgan expresses distaste for his motivation for calling the nurse's spirit, but it appears that he was actually correct and the nurse was indeed the one responsible.
- The Medic class in Team Fortress 2 is this trope on a GOOD day. He may be the team healer, but a vast majority of his lines include a word meant to insult the addressee, be it in English or German. Not only that, but apparently the healing is an unintended side-effect of his own morbid curiosity and an eagerness to rip apart people's chests. To top it off, it's heavily implied that he got his medical degree in Nazi Germany, though Word of God has explicitly stated that "he is not, and has never been, a Nazi". He can be friendly to his teammates (unless he thinks they're being stupid like ignoring the mission objective), though he still uses them for experiments. He also, to no one's surprise, lost his medical license.
- In Myst: The Book of Ti'ana, Jarl of the Guild of Healers actually tells Ti'ana that it would be better for Gehn, who is only half Ronay, to die.
- Dr. Kaufmann in Silent Hill. Serving as a supplier for a drug dealing cult that sacrifices children to their dark goddess probably puts him far enough across the Moral Event Horizon for him to be quite a bit more evil than a typical Dr. Jerk. The Dr. Kaufmann in "Silent Hill: Shattered Memories" fits this trope much better. He's an abrasive, condescending, manipulative therapist who is nonetheless trying to help the patient.
- The possibly prejudiced Dr. Borville in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. While he claims to be ignorant about Zora physiology, he doesn't seem to care at all about Ralis' critical condition, and he's not above stealing items from patients in order to pay off his astronomical bar tab. He largely gets away with his lack of bedside manners and exorbitant fees due to being the only doctor in town.
- Anders of Dragon Age II is an excellent Spirit Healer mage who goes out of his way to provide free medical care for the poor of Kirkwall despite his own fugitive status. He's also snarky, self-righteous, and always ready to go on insulting tirades against anybody who does not completely agree with his sometimes radical opinions. What's interesting about Anders, though, is that, unlike a typical example, he is never a jerk to his patients, to the point that many of the residents of Darktown are willing to risk their lives for him. Everyone else, though...
- The prevalence of this in Fallout 3's medical doctors adds a subtle challenge element to the game, in that the player will more than likely only resort to talking to them when they really, really need their help.
- The doctors in MOTHER 1 have this to say to you if you can't pay for their services:
Doctor: Fine, die all on your own. I'll phone a mortician.
- In Starcraft II the Medivac pilot, unlike her ground based counterpart. The lore mentions one who shot a few marines for calling her ship a "heal bus".
Oh, suck it up! You act like you got both arms blown off.
- The fourth CSI game had Dr Bandareet, the victim. Only counting what was uncovered in the case about his medical practices, he's the reason his wife is blind. Due to pride, he refused to have anyone else operate on his wife's cataracts despite not being trained in that specific type of surgery. He even made her sign a waiver, forbidding her from seeking legal repercussions against him. While she did kill him, it was for an entirely different reason.
- Continuing the lengthy trend of this type of character on Star Trek, Star Trek: Borg gives us Dr. Thaddeus Quint. Simply put, when Q chooses to impersonate him, he doesn't even have to change his personality to convince everyone.
- Lucid TV is an entire series of this, played for laughs. Very dark, very evil laughs. Think Scrubs in the style of Perry Bible Fellowship.
- The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Dr. McNinja is normally a very good doctor, though he does occasionally punch out his patients. He hates diabetics (because he considers them overdemanding to the point of whininess), and on other occasions ignored his patients while possessed.
- In one story, when heading out to do plot instead of treating the patients who had appointments, he tells his patients, "There's a man outside who was murdered because he was a patient of mine," naturally causing all of his patients to hastily leave. Also, he is known to get very irate at anyone who questions his more outlandish diagnoses (such as the mother who was incredulous about "Paul Bunyan's Disease." Incredulous right up until her son transformed into a giant lumberjack).
- Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name features Doc Worth, a chain-smoking med-school dropout who operates out of an alley and enjoys tormenting and shouting at anyone who makes him angry. However, he is solidly in the Jerk with a Heart of Gold category, since he seems pretty laid back when he's not screaming in Conrad's face, genuinely cares for Hanna, and doesn't appear to charge him for his frequent visits.
- The good Doc actually subverts this a bit, since Tessa likes to point out that he is in fact not a skilled doctor - he's probably a mediocre one at best. Or he would be, if he had ever finished med school and actually become a doctor.
- Fetch Quest: Saga of the Twelve Artifacts: Dr. Lindsay Troy crosses this with Jerk with a Heart of Gold; she is perpetually ill-tempered and shockingly efficient, yet she knows just what the purpose of a doctor is.
- Doctor Sun of Girl Genius is a Deadpan Snarker who is infamous for his "Sun-ny bedside manner". He's also perfectly willing and able to beat his own patients unconscious if that is what it takes to get them some bedrest.
- Dr. Hofschneider in The Oblongs.
- Ratchet, in almost every incarnation of the Transformers franchise.
- G1 Ratchet is portrayed in fanon as being similar to his later incarnations, as a talented doctor who was also grouchy, constantly threatening his patients with various punishments. The Marvel G1 version was actually supposed to be a party animal, who was known for making the best high-grade around. This aspect of his portrayal was dropped fairly early on, though.
- Micron Legend (Armada) Ratchet, known to Western fans as Red Alert, is The Spock and thus seemed to be emotionally detached from his patients in the first episodes.
- Film Ratchet is basically the same as G1 Ratchet, once even threatening to weld Jazz's vocal unit shut. Oddly, he fits definition one for this trope despite starting out as a politician in the UK comic.
- Animated Ratchet is a crotchety old man due to his Shellshocked Senior status. He's also the resident medic.
- Prime Ratchet also has the old and crotchety thing going on ("My pistons may be rusty, but my hearing is as sharp as ever!"), in addition to being a snarky scientist type who gets extremely annoyed whenever any of his equipment is damaged. Unfortunately for him, that tends to happen a lot. He starts to mellow out, but it's a slow process.
- Interestingly averted (mostly) with Knock Out. Yes, he's a self-admitted sociopath, but unless given a pretty good reason not to, he shows some genuine concern for his patients. Well, some of them, at least.
- Dr. Ball on the second Star Wars Robot Chicken special.
- One episode in King of the Hill has Bill be diagnosed with diabetes by a very cruel and uncaring doctor. The doctor tells the nurse that he has a medical degree while she has a lesser degree, thus he is more intelligent and important than she is and the doctor just blatantly assumes that Bill, like many other patients before him, is someone that just doesn't listens to a doctor's orders and feels he is just wasting time treating Bill. To make Bill feel even worse, the doctor tells Bill that he will just lose his legs in a year so he may as well get a wheelchair while his health insurance is still good. Bill accepts this fate but after a few positive events, Bill not only cured himself of diabetes, he also goes to confront the doctor that treated him like crap and kicks his ass.
- Dr. Daisy Blake (one of Daphne's identical sisters) from Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated is very rude, stuck-up, and condescending.
- Dr. Potterswheel in Moral Orel who has a Lack of Empathy.
Bloberta: (who was trying to seduce him) You don't really care about me . . .
Dr. Potterswheel: Well, I care FOR you . . .
- As Cracked explained (twice), the prevalence of this trope in the 19th century was the reason why it took so long for hygienic practices to catch on in hospitals. As medicine was seen as a gentlemanly profession at the time, doctors in that era ridiculed and attacked scientists like Ignaz Semmelweis who merely suggested that they wash their hands after handling corpses in the morgue, as it seemed to imply that they were unclean enough to kill people just by touching them (coupled to the fact that the doctors were unwilling to stick their hands in corrosive and carcinogenic carbolic acid, Semmelseis' perferred antiseptic, on a daily basis). Before Louis Pasteur's germ theory proved once and for all that such basic hygiene was the right course of action, it was more dangerous to give birth in a hospital than in the street due to how rampant disease was within hospitals (hence why we see women giving birth at home in period works so often).
- In fact, many older doctors (in fiction and real life) can come off as jerkish to modern people as they are trained to believe in the concept of "medical paternalism" (i.e. doctor knows best). They are generally much forceful in prescribing treatments, sometimes to the point of overulling the patient (a big no-no nowadays), and can actively go out of their way to deceive the patient if they feel it is for their own good. Dr. House, essentially, is what happens when the ultimate "old-school" doctor (treat the disease first, the patient be damned) starts practicing medicine in a modern (informed consent-based, i.e the physician must abide by the patient's wishes, even if it means the patient will die) environment.