He's a very skilled doctor, so dedicated to his job 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's an amusing subversion 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. He is almost Always Male.
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 are 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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Soul Eater has Doctor Franken Stein, who is not only the school surgeon, but also the bioilogy 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.
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.
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. (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.
Bleach: subverted with both Ryuuken Ishida and Tenjirou Kirinji. The POVs of their initial appearances make Ryuuken seem abrasive and materialistic, and Tenjirou seem violent and abusive towards his tutees and patients. Then the camera zooms back. Ryuuken and his son Uryuu seem to bring out the worst in each other as Ryuuken is vastly more gentle, protective and fatherly when Uryuu's not around to see it, is considered a very good friend by Isshin and appears to have mastered the art of the Jerkass Façade. Tenjirou is much more gentle with his servants and, once his patients are healed and out of his way, admits he was only putting them through some kind of Secret Testof 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.
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."
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. Large McHuge from Empowered, who the title character 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. After becoming Master of the Mystic Arts, 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. 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.
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.
In Fifty Fifty, 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. 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?"
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."
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.
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.
Charles Emerson Winchester III uses snobbery rather than snarkiness, 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.
Kirk: Never seen that in a medical book. McCoy: It's in mine from now on.
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. Unfortunately, for many people seven episodes was 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 Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager. His creator, Dr. Zimmerman, is the original Dr Jerk and based the Doctor's personality on his own. Exactly why the Doctor himself was a Dr Jerk varied between seasons. At first, he was annoyed that people didn't treat him enough like a 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 byReginaldBarclay.
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 only 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.
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.
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 treatable*
. 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. 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.
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 antagonising 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. 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 offences 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.
Northern Exposure's Joel can be this, especially at the beginning of the series, but can also be very caring.
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:
Dr. Ben: 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.
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. 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.
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Dr. McNinja is normally a very good doctor, though he does occasionally punch out his patients. He has made fun of a diabetic, and on other occasions ignored his patients while possessed.
In the story that recently finished, 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.
Ratchet, in almost every incarnation of the Transformers franchise.
G1 Ratchet is portrayed, especially in fanon, as a talented doctor who was also grouchy, constantly threatening his patients with various punishments, although some lore described him as something of a party animal who's known for making the best high-grade around.
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.
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.
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.
As Crackedexplained (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 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.