'"'Primum nil nocere.note (Lat.) First, do no harm."''
— The Hippocratic Oath
Funny thing about adventure: People tend to get hurt. Especially the heroes. And injuries are terribly inconvenient for questing, resulting in time lost recuperating (or making an out-of-the-way trip to the nearest Trauma Inn) at best, and a Total Party Kill at worst. So, it's wonderfully convenient to have someone in the party who can make the hurting stop.
Enter the Medic. In modern or futuristic settings, the Medic is often a trained physician or EMT (emergency medical technician) and relies on whatever medical technology is available in that era and on-hand — anything from miraculous herbs, injections and bandages to Nanomachines. In fantasy settings, the Medic is a often a cleric or Mysterious Waif of some kind, using the powers of a White Mage or White Magic to restore people with Healing Hands (or something similarly glowy). May wield the Healing Shiv.
Often caring and concerned, Medics tend to be The Chick or (if a guy) The Heart. Alternatively, they're less personable than rational, and they are thus a Smart Guy, even if the team already has a Smart Guy. Regardless, team Medics will inevitably become the Team Mom —they simply leave the team if they can't. (Though they are, of course, entitled to issue Doctor's Orders.)
Medics are typically Squishy Wizards, possessing little in the way of raw strength or offensive combat ability. If guns are standard, they'll usually have the smallest and weakest possible. In fantasy settings, they don't usually wear any armor, and tend to usestaves as often as hammers or maces. They don't always get the flashiest abilities and their skillset tends towards Boring but Practical, although they will occasionally pick up a few offensive spells. Holy Hand Grenade is popular among the rare Medics who fight.
Still, the Medic is prone to be Actual Pacifist and hold to Thou Shalt Not Kill (except, possibly, Mercy Killing), although he may not stick to it when he is literally the only person who can attack — especially not if the villain is willing to attack him or worse, the wounded. In Real Life, this is required; medical personnel are non-combatants, and so are protected under The Laws and Customs of War, but forbidden to fight themselves lest they forfeit this protection.
If there's only one team member capable of healing, that person is automatically the Medic, even if they have other abilities, even if healing is their least proficient ability. But if multiple teammates can heal, then the Medic is the one who is either the best at it or takes it most seriously. Even if the Medic should have awesome attack magic, or have the fortitude to handle melee combat, his role as healer, supporter, and protector is his top priority.
A subtrope of Support Party Member. See the Five-Man Band, The Squad and the Command Roster for Ensembles likely to have a team Medic. In particularly large or specialized teams, it is not uncommon for the Medic to do almost nothing except heal the Stone Wall - in which case they are that fighter's "backpack" (this is standard practice for groups in World of Warcraft). A backpack may also occur when one member has a specialized healing ability and another requires that specialized healing (typically robot/techie, undead/necromancer, or an invertedRevive Kills Zombie situation).
A Medic who specializes in healing and support magic (sometimes with a dash of attack magic) is known as a White Mage. White Magician Girl is a specific type of White Mage that occurs with faithful regularity in videogame RPGs.
Also in videogames, when the enemy has one, Shoot the Medic First. The Combat Medic is a variant which can heal and support while beating down the enemies, and a medic who specializes in both healing and defense is often a Barrier Warrior. The Deadly Doctor has gone rogue and decided to use those same healing abilities to take people apart. Compare After Action Patchup, After-Action Healing Drama.
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Anime and Manga
Haou Airen: Shui Long. He comes from a family of these, actually.
Slayers: Guest Star Party Member Sylphiel, a shrine maiden, acts as this as well as a defensive tactician for the four protagonists. The third season, Slayers TRY, has Filia fill this position. When neither of them are around, Amelia usually does most of the healing, being a specialist in White Magic.
Galaxy Angel II replaces her with Nano-Nano Pudding, also the youngest of her group (she's actually one, being an Artificial Human made of the aforementioned nanomachines). Unlike Vanilla's fragile ship, Harvester, Nano-Nano could actually fight decently in First Aider, although you'd still want to keep her in healing mode.
Michael the Missionary from Tower of God. Rumored to be a quack.
In Record of Lodoss War, Etoh the cleric was the team healer, but Deedlit the elf was The Chick. Deedlit had healing magic herself, too, but she wasn't specialized in the Medic role like Etoh.
Orihime Inoue may have the power to make people's heads explode, but it often fails for the simple fact that she doesn't want to make heads explode and her targets are too strong for half-hearted attacks. On the other hand, she also has the power to protect and heal; since she prefers very much to do that, her considerable powers operate at full strength in that department. She is also the strongest healer in the series, as her healing attacks don't actually heal wounds, they make it so they never happened in the first place.
7th Seat Hanataro Yamada healing specialization goes so far, that his Zanpakuto is actually a Healing Shiv. Unfortunately, he's also the Butt Monkey, which means he frequently misplaces his sword, when it's actually pretty powerful (heal enough wounds with it, and it can return the damage healed in a massive attack).
Elf dust in Berserk can heal wounds. This is sometimes an unfortunate fact for Puck, the elf that travels with Guts — when he needs healing, Guts has no problem with grabbing Puck and shaking him over whatever wounds need to be healed.
Josuke can easily do this with his Stand power, which is to ability to restore anything that is broken. But he cannot do it to himself.
Giorno CAN heal himself, but has to take something and turn that into new flesh for whatever he is trying to heal; such as using the bullets you were shot with to fix your organs. (This leads to an... odd moment later on in the story.)
In YuYu Hakusho, Botan, Genkai and Yukina all have healing powers, but Yukina is the only one to use it more than once. However, the actual team medic is Kurama, the plant master.
Konoe Konoka in Mahou Sensei Negima! increasingly fills this role as she becomes more experienced with healing magic. After a while, team members just don't bother restraining themselves during training, since all their injuries can be healed by her anyway. Unfortunately, this also makes her the team's biggest Achilles' Heel, as in a battle she is always targeted first. In one Mood Whiplash chapter, she manages to completely heal the protagonist after he took a stone spear to the chest, pulled it out to sucker-punch the villain who delivered it, collapsed, and bled on the floor for a minute, all until she got to him.
With anime adaption on air, this has come to the trope: While most magi in the Nasuverse are trained in first aid, Irisviel von Einzbern in Fate/Zero is the designated Medic for Saber, her partner and her husband's Servant. Due to this she also suffers from a variation of The Worf Effect, where the first sign of trouble came when Saber took a hit and Irisviel couldn't heal it.
Fuu from Magic Knight Rayearth; one of her wind spells is a healing technique which she can apply to herself and her teammates.
At first glance, it's easy to mistake Tony Tony Chopper of One Piece as the Team Pet. Regardless of this, he's also one of the One Piece world's most talented doctors. Among other feats, he successfully healed two crew members who had been frozen solid, despite having never seen such a thing and having no idea what to do at first. He also adapted his medical knowledge to combat, twice giving advice that was instrumental in defeating the giant Living Shadow-powered zombie Oars.
Three characters have been shown to use healing, all ironically being male. Oboro Mochizuki is technically the team healer, and contrasts with the normal personality associated with the job. He switches between being extremely childish and mature, and it has been hinted at him becoming somewhat sinister. In fact, he ended up using his healing abilities to convert a Tavoo into a tumorous state, saying that he was trying to see if he could fix it to save the numerous composite bodies it was made up of, when he really only wanted to test his abilities. Also, his powers work best through hugging.
The other two are Van, who plays this role for the Elmore kids (and is probably the strongest of all the healers), and Ian, who is The Mentor to both Van and later Kabuto, who uses Ian's unique Sense ability.
Megumi Takani, Dr. Genzai (in the anime) and the Mutou siblings (both Shougo, who is a qualified medic trained in Occidental medicine, and his sister Sayo) in Rurouni Kenshin.
In the Pokémon Special manga, Yellow is blessed by the Viridian Forest, meaning that she has the magical power to instantly heal Pokémon with a single touch. While this (and her other Viridian blessed powers) makes up for her sub-par battling skills, overusing it will cause her mental strain, forcing her to fall asleep.
Nurse Joy from Pokémon. And Brock and his Chansey. Iris is showing signs of this too.
A Certain Magical Index has the Heaven Canceler, who's almost always only referred to as the Frog Faced Doctor. He can heal any injury, even mortal ones. The only thing he can't do is cure brain damage and he's still better at that than normal brain surgeons. It does seem as though he needs proper medical equipment to work however.
Shaman King has Faust VIII, who starts out with only really awesome but technically possible medical knowledge and a complete lack of squeamishness, but ends up being able to magically regrow limbs.
Asia Argento of High School D×D. She has pretty much zero fighting skill, but her healing powers are extremely handy to the group.
Kotoha and Rami of Arata Kangatari occasionally serve this role in Hinohara's group.
Joshua "Josh" Foley, aka Elixir, from X-Men. Elixir is quite possibly the most powerful mutant because he can manipulate DNA in order as his power and accelerate cell division. It manifests early on as healing powers, but he can just as easily kill you as he can heal you.
Lifeline from the G.I. JoeAnimated Show and comic books. Gets lots of attention because he will never intentionally hurt someone, but is a master of a martial art that will redirect energy. A charging enemy will find himself fifteen feet away, out of breath, wondering what the heck threw him. There was also, in the original comics and some alternate universes, Doc, who was noted for his calm under fire, described as coming to you in the middle of a firefight "like he was a making a house call".
Shaman of Alpha Flight is the team Medic, being both a medicine man and a top notch surgeon (described as the 'best cutter in Canada'). He does, however, have plenty of combat ability.
The Gronk in Strontium Dog comes from an entire species who are skilled medics, and is constantly healing Johnny and Wulf after their latest scrap.
Raven from the Teen Titans. Healing is her primary power and she is a pacifist who hates violence. These aspects are downplayed (though still present) in the cartoon.
5 from 9. He isn't so much a Squishy Wizard as simply a Non-Action Guy/Action Survivor, and his Weapon of Choice for the few occasions he has to fight is a crossbow. He's also definitely The Chick of the group. It figures that he would be suited for the role, as he seems to embody the Scientist's caring, supporting side, and in the Russian version, in which the dolls aren't facets of the Scientist but people the Scientist knew, he actually was a professional medic.
Pretty much any war movie (especiallyWorld War II movies) that are focused on The Squad invoke this trope.
The ship's doctor from The Hunt for Red October. He was naive(he didn't have the slightest idea that a hijacking was going on), but he was a good officer who kept order among the crew when the Red October was abandoned, he was caring about the sailor's welfare, and he would well qualify as a Worthy Opponent.
Monk, the SEAL Medic in The Abyss, is (duh) one of these. Of all the SEALs that board Deep Core, he is the only one who seems inclined to deal with the rig crew as human beings. When faced with a medical situation he is not trained for (Jammer's coma) he does what little he can and apologises that he can't do more. Of course, since he has a religious name in a James Cameron film, his being a basically good guy was pretty much guaranteed from the get-go.
Doc Potter in the 2007 remake of 3:10 to Yuma. He gets dragged along with the posse against his will, and his medical knowledge does come in useful a few times (despite the fact that he's actually a veterinarian) before he's killed off, because he's played by Alan Tudyk.
Played with in When Trumpets Fade with Chamberlain, who seems very much the traditional WWII medic character, right up until the climax of the film, when he takes off his medic badges and assumes a combatant role to help destroy two German tanks. Of course, when he thinks Manning has been wounded, he reacts like a medic....
In NERO Earth casters qualify as this. Earth Templars are Combat Medics although even Earth Scholars get combat applicable spells like Pin and Web, they just don't do any physical damage.
In J. R. R. Tolkien's stories there are lots of characters with healing abilities (some conventionally mundane, some a bit magical) of various races, some having it as their 'main job' while others do it just as it comes up. Most well known healer is probably Elrond.
In J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn is a sword-and-archery ranger and warrior, but perhaps the only member of the Fellowship of the Ring with medical knowledge. Admittedly, his medical knowledge seems to primarily consist of "athelas is awesome" — and his Royal Blood — but that tends to be good enough.
Athelas is used only for exposure to the deadly "Black Breath" Nazgűl. Aragorn was raised in Rivendell by Elrond, the greatest healer in all Middle-Earth, and was second only to Elrond in medicine. Aragorn cures Frodo's and Sam's wounds in Moria; and After the Battle of the Pelennor, Aragorn tends to all the wounded and heals them, regardless of the severity of their wounds. Finally, Sam and Frodo are so bad-off at the end of the adventure, that they lay comatose for two weeks after Aragorn tends to them; but they are fully healed by Aragorn (in body, at least, while Frodo's cure can be found only in Valinor). Pippin is likewise fully healed, despite being crushed by a troll. (Aragorn's skills seem limited to physical ailments, however, as Éowyn suffers from a melancholy that he admits is beyond his skill, and which deeply troubled him even while facing unspeakable peril. That emotional damage is actually healed by Faramir, whom Éowyn befriends and later falls in love with).
In 'Team Kimba', the group of the protagonists at the Super Hero School Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe, the Medic is mainly the role of Fey, who is a wizard with healing powers. She's also an empath. But she's not really a Squishy Wizard, since she is learning to wield a scimitar, and has hugely powerful offensive spells, even if she might want other members of the team to provide the muscle to give her enough time to perform her best spells. Another member of the team, Bladedancer, is the go-to girl for herbs and soothing balms.
The most dedicated medic among the students that we've seen so far, however, may just be the blind devisor Jericho, who isn't actually on the team (though friends with some of them after a few harrowing encounters) and has to do it all by inventing the tools he needs himself because he has no actual innate healing powers.
Subverted in the Sven Hassel World War II novel OGPU Prison. A medical orderly robs the wounded, demands a huge bribe for getting Sven onto a hospital train and brutally kicks a crawling amputee out of his path. On an earlier occasion another orderly is shown abandoning a truckful of wounded and making off with a submachine gun and a Red Cross bandolier on each arm (knowing that at least some Russian soldiers won't shoot at him). Though Sven's friends wish the orderly a well-deserved death, one cynically comments: "That kind lives through any war."
Belknap in Dan Abnett's second and third Ravenor novels. Treats the indignant illegally, after he was caught at fraud: trying to get medical help to the people who weren't supposed to get it. And when he thinks Ravenor and company are a gang, does his best to get Zael away from them. All this goodness in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, no less.
Dorden and Curth in the Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novels. Dorden, being an Actual Pacifist fits the type even closer than Curth does; a delirious Soric thought it wrong for Dorden to take his gun, because he was not violent, but Curth was able to persuade him to give it to her.
Also, Kolding in Blood Pact. Although he nearly revolts at having to treat a Blood Pact prisoner, Gaunt does get him to do it — and we learn that he was present, fifteen years earlier, when Blood Pact broke into his father's hospital to slaughter the doctors and wounded. Kolding was the Sole Survivor. In Salvation Reach he has joined the Ghosts, and fully wins a place by saving Cant's life when even Dorden didn't think it could be done.
Stephen Maturin in the Literature/Aubrey-Maturin series—he's the ship's surgeon and a Badass Bookworm to boot, being incredibly skilled with both swords AND guns. Captain Aubrey and the rest of the crew have undying faith in his prowess. It's well-founded, as he was able to perform a successful evacuation of a subdural hematoma (bleeding into one's brain) aboard ship during a battle, and with 19th century technology, too!
All the more notable since Maturin is a physician, not a surgeon. (It was even more of an issue then as opposed to now, since surgeons did not attend medical school and the overwhelming majority of physicians considered surgery a common craft beneath their professional station. For Maturin to know even the first thing about surgery, let alone undertake and succeed at half a dozen different procedures just in the first novel, is unusual in the extreme.)
Heck, it is even more impressive that a physician would even consider a job in the navy. Physicians are usually drawn from the upper-class and would consider a a job at sea to be sacrilegious. At that time (c. 1800) there are only a dozen physicians compared to one thousand surgeons in the Royal Navy.
This describes Polgara's job in the Belgariad pretty well. She uses conventinal medicine, knows almost every sickness in the whole world and has a small box full of drugs always around. Her huge knowledge is comprehendible, after all she is 3000 years old.
An interesting take on the 'magical girl healer' idea is seen in the Vernor Vinge sci-fi novel A Fire Upon the Deep. Johanna, a 12 year-old girl from a spacefaring society, is stranded on the medieval world of the dog-like Tines. Each Tine is a pack of up to half a dozen members linked into a Hive Mind. Because two Tines cannot make bodily contact without being confused by the other's thoughts, Johanna's ability to physically nurse them gives her healing powers on a psychological level. (An assassination attempt on her fails because all the injured she had tended leapt to her defense.)
The Star Wars Expanded UniverseX-Wing Series of novels had Ton Phanan, a rarity in commando squads: a fully-trained and licensed doctor and surgeon. He had none of the bedside manner, however, and was something of a Combat Medic/Deadly Doctor. He did adhere to the Squishy Wizard stereotype by getting himself injured in battle (and eventually getting killed), though this was somewhat counteracted by his having to get cybernetic implants for more extensive injuries as he was "allergic to bacta".
In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 novel Faith & Fire, the Hospitaller Verity. Watching the Gladiator Games/Human Sacrifice, she was overcome with horror and jumped out to help the injured. During the terrorist attack on it, she ministered to the wounded and administered last rites (losing count when she realized that the number would make her cry). And when she does shoot one terrorist, she is horrified.
They are almost eerily good at this — in particular, they can re-attach lost limbs and perform transplants using only needle and thread, and also possess the ability to completely suppress the patient's immune system incompatibility with the donor organ through means unexplained. They also have the ability to bring back people who have actually died, if it's recent enough (and if they're allowed to — dwarves in particular will not allow Igors to bring them back. Igors are said to be "naturally disappointed" by this). As of Unseen Academicals, Lord Vetinari has been compelled to make a law about this, because murder trials have a tendency to go wrong when the (formerly) deceased walks through the door: "If it takes an Igor to bring you back, you were dead. Briefly dead, it's true, which is why the murderer will be briefly hanged."
In Steve Parker's Warhammer 40,000Imperial Guard novel Gunheads, Wulfe's Back Story includes an incident where a medic jumped to save him from a wound that would have killed him. A few days later, the medic was captured by orks and tortured to death. Wulfe thinks that he's still trying to avenge him.
Kaita, her friend Evelinden (before she died), and the other Callisorian healers in the Shadowleague books.
In Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games and still more in Catching Fire, Katniss's mother and Prim. (Unavailable in the arena, alas.)
Although, Katniss herself could qualify, even though the process of healing someone tends to disgust her. Despite the fact that Katniss herself admits that she's much better at killing, she was able to keep Peeta alive in the arena (no small feat in itself) by cleaning his wounds and draining his pus.
The Wheel of Time series features many different cultures and their medical traditions, but the medics are almost always women who can channel. Nynaeve is the most prominent medic for the main characters.
In Nelson DeMille's novel Word of Honor, Lt. Tyson's medic in Vietnam, Steven Brandt, testifies against Tyson when he is court-martialled for the massacre of doctors, nurses and civilians in a Vietnamese hospital. Brandt is mentioned to be a good medic but is morally corrupt; he eats plastic explosive to make himself ill so he can get out of the field and tried to kill Tyson by injecting him with a lethal dose of morphine. Tyson and his RTO Kelly caught Brandt taking photos of naked women being tortured by South Vietnamese police officers, and later raping a 12 or 13 year old girl. As revenge, Tyson makes him sit in a leech-infested dyke.
Simon Tam from Firefly is an accomplished trauma surgeon on the run, who parlays his medical knowledge into passage on the ship. Simon also fits the trope on being completely incompetent with guns, although he makes up for it with his proficiency with drugs and poisons, as Jayne found out when he tried to take over in "The Train Job" and later betrayed Simon and River in "War Stories". (In a later episode, Simon injects him with a paralytic.) He fits both the "personable" and the "rational" which makes him a well-made character. He's a pretty good tactician too, s was shown in "Ariel".
Rory Williams Pond, who is a nurse by profession, and pretty good at it too. The Eleventh Doctor is a lot better about not standing on Rory's toes than the Tenth was with Martha.
Jack Shephard from LOST (along with the magical power of water) functioned as the survivors' Healer for quite some time, but the addition of Juliet has left him free to become his group's resident Bad Ass.
Eugene Roe and Ralph Spina from Band of Brothers are real life examples of the trope. Both men cared very much for the men in their company. Gene was noted by Bill Guarnere as "the best medic we ever had. He was born to be a medic. He took care of us physically, mentally, every way. He was compassionate." Gene was even nominated for a Silver Star for bravery under fire (and received it after the war was over). Note that neither was the Team Mom though.
Steven Franklin from Babylon 5 took Thou Shalt Not Kill to debatably unreasonable levels. In his younger years, he traveled the galaxy studying various alien biologies, being one of the few humans to meet and study a Minbari at the time. When the humans and the Minbari went to war, he destroyed his research rather than let the Earth military use it to develop more effective weapons against the Minbari, despite the fact that the Minbari were waging a war of extinction against the humans.
Samantha Carter was often the team medic off-world if the plot called for it, despite being a physicist and not knowing very much about medicine.
Even in episodes of Stargate Atlantis where he had nothing else to do, there was a darn good chance you'd see Beckett at the end of any episode patching up the heroes. Bigger Team Mom than any of the other doctors on either show. Until he got offed as well.
Charley Dixon of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, who gets pulled into the whole time-traveling killer machine mess. He eventually loses his wife to one of the Terminators.
Generation Kill has HM2 "Doc" Bryan, the squad's corpsman. Averts the Squishy Wizard part; Bryan doesn't look weaker in any way compared to the others, and he does not hesitate to call out Captain Swetje on his incompetence while others who share the opinion, despite having the opportunity to do it without reprimand, just shuffle their feet. He doesn't delay in engaging the enemy and even gains a kill count; though he's bothered by "feeling nothing" after shooting other human beings, he has no trouble functioning afterward.
Claire Bennett of Heroes has the unique ability to heal, not to mention the fact that her blood can also heal others, and even bring them back from the dead.
How about Owen Harper from Torchwood? He's even quite fond of making it quite clear that he's DOCTOR Owen Harper in "Everything Changes".
And pretty much every time he meets anyone new.
Mikey( er...Not Mikey? ) is this in the JAG episode Each Of Us Angels. Of course that one is a medical drama and most of the characters are medical personal. But the others are mostly nurses while "not Mikey" is a front line Corpsman.
Not only Leo from Charmed is a whitelighter that could heal anyone but he was a World War II medic when he was alive.
Dr. Melinda Warner from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is the medical examiner, which means she's usually performing autopsies, but she's proven herself very capable in more traditional medical roles. She also has the distinction of being the only M.E. in the franchise to become a regular.
Chris Swaine Blake is this as well as the main coxswaine. While he is happy married and more settled then most of his comrades he's kind of hard to call a chick.
[[Mash is the Trope Codifier for television, focusing on an entire unit of Medics. Though they appear to be utterly unprofessional drunkards when they're off-duty, the doctors of the 4077th have no problem putting generals in their place when it comes to saving a wounded soldier's life.
Doc Robbins on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. He's primarly a coroner, but he's done his share of patch-ups on the main characters as well. Grissom got advice from him about his ear problem, and he treated Catherine right before her departure, when she was Faking the Dead.
Smallville has Emil Hamilton, who Oliver brought onto the payroll when he realized that the team needed someone with medical training who could also cover them when they showed up at the local hospital with bullet wounds and other hard-to-explain injuries. He quickly graduated to also being a Gadgeteer Genius and one of the team's three Smart Guys alongside Chloe and Tess.
Melissa McCall on Teen Wolf. She is a top-notch nurse and it is something of a running joke among fans that she seems to be the only full-time staff member at the Beacon Hills Memorial Hospital, as she often treats ailments that would normally require a doctor.
Dino Attack RPG has over a dozen medical characters, each with their own unique personalities and skills.
Dr. Alan Pierce: The head of the medical department, and with good reason. He's a brilliant, well-organized surgeon and all-around Nice Guy who does whatever is possible to help a patient in need.
Dr. Giovanni Wade: Former army medic who works in the field, though true to this trope he never picked up a gun.
Dr. Marco Martinet: A somewhat stubborn but dedicated surgeon who also works on the field but refrains from being involved directly in combat.
Dr. Richard Copper: An elderly physician who provided assistance at Outpost 4 and later during the final battle.
Dr. Noomi Shaw: A shy, insecure, mentally unstable, and semi-religious young doctor. Still a nice girl who genuinely cares for her patients and more than capable of performing surgery even if she has to say the occasional prayer.
Dr. Nicholas Saran: A psychologist.
Dr. Naomi Carver: A young nurse who develops a close relationship with Hertz.
Dr. Clickitt: A doctor and surgeon who usually oversees Enter and Return's operations (being literally one of two doctors on the planet that actually approves of their methods).
Dietrich "Medic" Luzwheit subverts certain elements of the character, being a talented but also morally questionable surgeon and Combat Medic (not surprising, given his inspiration) known for getting a bit too much pleasure out of his work and being more concerned about his business than about actually saving lives.
There was also a minor doctor in the LEGO Island arc named Burns who subverted this archetype, spending most of his screen time being a complete Jerkass and nearly got Pierce arrested simply for choosing to help an agent over a member of Alpha Team.
Atton Rand has admitted to having a talent for writing these kinds of characters, having written six out of the fifteen major doctors in the RPG (Zenna, Pierce, Wade, Crusher, Copper, and Shaw).
A game actually called "Medic", "Dr. Dodgeball", or some variation thereof. It's sort of a cross between dodgeball and reverse freeze tag — two teams throw balls at each other, and players who get hit have to stop playing and sit or lie down on the ground. Each team has one medic roaming the field, healing elimated players by touching them — but he can't heal himself, so the game ends when the medic falls.note A variant has two medics to a team, which can lead to very drawn-out play. The best place to be is among the phalanx surrounding the medic, as you get instant heals.
Mortasheen has several monsters that fit the archetyp, such as Ticklestitch; a creepy but ultimately benevolent surgeon creature and Necroak; a frog creature that heals by feeding other creatures one of its many redundant organs.
Many table top games have a healer archetype for the party. Dungeons & Dragons clerics and druids tended to be looked upon as walking medical units rather than characters, so for 3rd edition the developers went...perhaps too far the other way, and a well-played cleric or druid can be easily the most powerful character in a game ("CoDzilla"). On the other hand, the representatives of gods and forces of nature being the strongest characters in the game makes a certain kind of sense. This was lampshaded in an earlyOrder of the Stick strip, where after a fight Durkon the cleric asked what we do next, and in the next frame turned into a box of Band-aids.
D&D's recently-released fourth edition seems to reverse this trend by making it easy for any player character to recover by just taking a five-minute break after combat and spending enough 'healing surges'. Even after running out of those, a good night's rest will restore a character to full hit points (and reset the healing surge count to maximum as well). Actual healing powers still come into play during combat encounters, though, and Leader classes are the best source.
D20 Modern includes 0 (that's zero) basic healing classes, and 1 (that's one) advanced class with healing abilities. In addition, there are 0 (zee-ro) instant healing items available in the vanilla setting. This makes combat significantly more dangerous, and a dungeon crawl is much more about avoiding damage than speeding through.
Technically, in a low-level or no-supernatural setting, the Wise Hero could serve as the healer, given that the Heal skill is based on the Wisdom score. Of course, this would come strictly in the form of minor healing and preventing a near-death character from dying, but such a character is often played as the medic anyhow.
There is a Surgery feat that lets a character heal a significant amount of damage, but requires several hours to do so.
Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition eventually created a base class known as healer. It's essentially the cleric, minus all the powerful buff spells that made it one of the most powerful classes in the game, without any offensive spells, without any armor proficiencies (in fact, explicitly unable to wear armor), and with a few more spells per day and some spell-like abilities (and a pet unicorn!), thus fitting this trope to a tee.
Making the class almost entirely useless, since despite the name, it is actually not all that good at healing, as clerics can access a large number of options that improve their healing, but the Healer, being from an obscure sourcebook, and thus largely unsupported with class options in other books, can benefit from only a pittance of these.
Furthermore, in D&D 3E, Attack bonus and Damage scale up numerically far faster than Armor Class (Defense), Hit Points (Health), or Cure spells, making Cure spells increasingly less useful as character level increases. Healing is not even listed as a viable combat role in most fan made game guides for this edition (the official guides do list it as one, but are widely considered to be full of Blatant Lies, so it's not like that means anything), because as one such guide points out - killing the enemy before he can hit your ally again effectively "heals" her of all the damage she would have taken - which is, 99% of the time, more than your Cure spell could heal her for. Cost effective healing in D&D 3E consists of healing only small amounts at a time, but doing so in unlimited quantity, allowing characters to refill Hit Points during downtime between battles without using up limited resources like Spell Slots or Scrolls. There are many means of achieving this, but all are considered secondary functions, not primary roles.
While true of many heroic fantasy RPGs, many darker games avert this trope by making healing magic rare, unavailable, weak, or corrupting. For example, you can play a physician (or equivalent) in any of The World of Darkness games, Unknown Armies, Paranoia, Dark Heresy, and Call of Cthulhu, but don't expect to get a near-dead party member on their feet quickly in most cases. Even Star Wars RPGs tend to allow healing abilities to only rarely provide significant short-term advantages; most likely your healer, even when using the Force, just lets you live long enough to make it to the bacta tank.
Many of these games also let any of their "classes" be the Healer, rather than forcing it on a certain role or build. For example, in all of the Old World of Darkness games where there is supernatural healing, pretty much every character in the game could decide to learn it or just start with it.
Valence 592's BioDocs avert this trope by behaving more like real-life medics: they can only stabilize the wounded, not bring them back up to fighting strength. They also have a rule that prevents Shoot the Medic First: all characters will think twice about attacking a BioDoc or someone they're tending to, as it is the universal way of saying "Go ahead, shoot mine too."
Duelists, on the other hand, can choose to heal other party members very quickly, including lost limbs if they are highly skilled. They also have the nasty habits of regenerating their worst wound every 10 seconds and pulling swords out of thin air.
The Cleric from GURPS: Dungeon Fantasy is a fantasy style healer that also requires actual medical knowledge in order to function properly.
Shadowrun. So your team's Medic got shot first, followed soon after by you? Sucks to be you. Hope you have an account with Medics-for-Hire, such as DocWagon. Conversely, you managed to drop their Medic. Nice work. Hear that siren in the distance? He had a DocWagon High Threat Response contract. They like to fly in with assault helicopters and extract their clients under cover from heavy weapons fire...better finish what you're doing, right quick.
In the backstory ofWarhammer: the only thing priests of Shallya (Goddess of Healing, Compassion and Birth) are good for in combat situations (well, except if servants of Nurgle, God of Pestilence, are involved). But oh boy they are good at it! In the game itself however, most models are removed after a single wound so you don't get the chance to heal - but certain magic lores (the Lore of Life for normal people and the Lore of the Vampires for the undead) can restore lost wounds to bigger/more important models and/or add models back to the unit, simulating the casualties being either brought back to fighting fitness or literally reanimated from the ground.
In Warhammer 40,000, some units have the option of taking a medic, which grants the entire unit Feel No Pain (50/50 chance (roll 4 or higher on d6) of ignoring any unsaved wound). This generally makes the unit absurdly tough.
Exalted generally averts this - while the eponymous Exalted have various methods of speeding up others recovery, it is still a matter of hours or days rather than weeks or months. About the only way to provide mid-combat healing for others is the Wood Dragon Celestial martial art.
Until the 2.5 Errata, which boosted the Solar healing charm Wound-Mending Care Technique; combined with Instant Treatment Methodology and Solar dice pools, it's a very effective - if expensive - "quick fix".
Patch 1.13 makes medics stand out even more. Any merc can learn medical skill, but those with Paramedic or Doctor talent can set up field hospitals and perform surgery, which speeds up healing.
The Squishy Wizard part of this trope is subverted in Battlefield:Bad Company, where the one class that can heal others actually has a light machine gun, compared to the other classes' relativly small arms (assault rifles, shotguns, and SMG's.)
Also subverted in Battlefield 2142. EA decided to merge some of the Battlefield 2 classes together, and that game's Assault and Medic classes were combined into the Assault kit in 2142.
And AGAIN in Battlefield 2. The Medic class was basically an Assault soldier, but trades his assault rifle's under-barrel grenade launcher and heavy armor for healing capability (Both Assault and Medic classes within a faction use the same base rifle).
The Assault's Medic Unlock Gun, the Voss however is nothing to slouch at. It is one of the most popular choices for an unlock compared to the Baur Rifle which is seen as tricky to fire.
Don't forget main character Chaz, who has the entire spectrum of single-target healing spells, several status-effect removing spells, and the lower level revival spell. In addition to being a swordfighter and capable of shooting lasers from his hands.
Of course, White Mage and White Wizard from the very first game. They're also capable of wielding hammers and maces, harming the undead and have access to the Holy Hand Grenade, thus making them probably the closest parallel to the D&D clerics of any FF game's healers.
For the first 40% or so of Final Fantasy VI, Terra and Celes alternate in this role, being the only two natural magic users in the game. Returner leader Banon also joins your party briefly, along with his amazing ability to heal everyone for free. Later on, everyone gets the power to use magic, so combat roles tend to become fuzzy at best, but most parties still include at least one designated healer (usually whoever has the worst offensive ability).
Final Fantasy X's Yuna is your primary healer through the early sections of the game, as she is the only character that starts with White Magic. Like Dagger, she's meek and becomes a rebel, eventually.
Qualifiers: one, the Sphere Grid, which a few items help you traverse in vast, screaming gallops, meaning you can make any character into anything. Two, Yuna has the summons, which potentially makes her all in all the most purely powerful character in the game offensively. Three, healing items are powerful and in some cases plentiful, so anybody can become a healer for one turn. Four, Rikku had access to even better items of all kinds including healing. Give any character her Use ability and an item with the Alchemy property and you have an ad hoc healer; an item with Alchemy and Auto-Phoenix combined with 99 Phoenix Downs (which you can buy) on any charater gives them the ability to bring you back from anything short of a one-hit Total Party Killwithout even using a turn. Long story short, with a little work, Yuna can be your DPS and a character of your choice, likely Rikku, the healer.
In addition to the White Mage, Final Fantasy XI has Scholars, Dancers, Red Mages and Blue Mages, and Summoners. A White Mage subjob is normally required for these jobs, but Dancer is an exception. The healer priority gets changed at the higher levels, where the TP-burn mentality is in full swing, as Red Mages suddenly get the top spot due not to having a stronger healing ability, but because they can Cast From HP and be more efficient healers... which results in a "Red Mage or bust" train of thought, though less stupid parties do invite other healers when possible.
Marle/Nadia of Chrono Trigger. Unlike Dagger and Yuna, she's a fiery chick (though not literally), and a straight-up Rebellious Princess. She is the first character to have a healing spell, and remains the strongest healer to the end. If Marle isn't in your party, Frog or Robo have to serve. Ironically, Chrono has the power to Revive fallen friends.
It's worth noting that Marle never acquires a single tech mass heal power, severely cutting to her utility later in the game when almost all attacks are multitargeting. Really, all the good healing available without maxing stats in the game comes from dual techs. Frog/Marle Double Cure is ok, but Slurp Kiss from Frog/Ayla is actually about equal costing in power just a fraction of Double Cure, and Frog/Ayla is a better pair offensively. Once Aura Whirl starts to lose efficiency, Marle's utility is diminished.
It doesn't take TOO many Magic Tabs to make Robo's Heal Beam effective enough that you don't need to worry about using healing Dual Techs. In fact, at maxed Magic, it is powerful enough to heal for over 900 every time.
In the endgame, Megalixers take the stage as the primary source of healing. And since you need Ayla to get an infinite supply...
Raine Sage of Tales of Symphonia. Kratos, Zelos, and Regal all also have healing abilities, but Raine is the Medic of the lot.
Though Raine subverts the pacifism aspect of the trope, being one of the more cold and pragmatic members of the party. Notably, the teens have to do some arm-twisting before she is willing to heal Sheena, an apparent enemy.
Estelle in Tales of Vesperia is clearly the Medic of the party, both plotwise and gameplay-wise (although arguably she's the actually the least effective healer because of the balance issues of spells with cast times). In a subversion of the Squishy Wizard aspect, she's actually the character with the most defense and can choose to use a sword. Well, her melee attacks are pretty awkward like throwing toy hammers at people. Slightly subverted in that with the right skills she learns the Holy Rain spell which blasts everything on the screen in a manner more associated with Black Magician Girl Rita. Estelle's mystic arte is also the only one that heals plus like Mint she too has her own nurse outfit.
Tales of the Abyss evades this trope by providing almost every character with a self heal, and two characters who are both very powerful healers while being very different. Tear has powerful offensive 'holy' style magic and AoE healing with some wicked knife artes, while Natalia has most of the 'buff' spells, powerful single target heals, and a wide range of bow skills.
In Resident Evil 0, Rebecca Chambers is the only medic in S.T.A.R.S. She's either already earned her medical doctorate, or she's still working on it. During her various zombie-overun field missions, all she can do is mix herbs together to make more effective healing items. And being the smallest controllable character in any Resident Evil game, she's understandably the weakest as well.
In the books, as well as being the medic, she's an accomplished biochemist, a genius, and a Mary Sue. Not everyone found this annoying.
Resident Evil Outbreak has two medics — Cindy Lennox, who specializes in herb hoarding and usage; and George Hamilton, who can turn herbs of various combinations into pills. When File #2 came out, their abilities were diverged further, with Cindy gaining an item to let her heal partners' bleeding and George being made into a Combat Medic thanks to his new ampoule shooter.
Ness from EarthBound, who is your only psychic healer for half the game. At the endgame, he has a huge capacity of PP, and Lifeup Omega, which refreshes your entire team at once. But by then you've also got Prince Poo, whose edge over Ness is the fact that he can revive reliably via Healing Omega, and he has Magnet to replenish what he uses up when his involvement isn't necessary. It's a toss-up, really.
Lucas of MOTHER 3 is a straighter example. He's more focused on positive support and healing whereas Kumatora is more into negative support and offense.
Both Ness and Lucas also have the most powerful physical attacks in their parties (not to mention powerful - though PP inefficient - multi-target psychic attacks).
Medic: Eins, zwei, drei- ugh, I do not zhink we brought enough body bags...
Also, in something of a subversion, TF2's Medics aren't all that squishy, either. Although they're a bit low on health (but not the lowest), they have passive health regeneration, they're the second-fastest class, and that seemingly harmless syringe gun is surprisingly useful at close ranges, provided that you have good aim. The unlockable Blutsaugernote means "Blood Sucker"in German. leeches health from enemies each time it hits (though it reduces the regular health regeneration). As a character, he subverts the trope too. He considers healing to be an unintended (but useful) side-effect of his real work.
The Engineer of TF2 can also fill a similar role, through his Dispenser buildings that replenish health and ammo.
The Medic from Team Fortress Classic subverted the Squishy Wizard part of this trope. He had a powerful weapon, great speed, and self-regenerating health and was generally the best offensive class. This, combined with his ability to fling himself around the map with concussion grenades, lead to a bizarre situation where the Medic was usually off running flags, rather than actually healing. Since he's the only class that can heal, though, he gets the title by default.
Star Wars Battlefront has the "Pilot" class. The CIS and Empire variants are ridiculously overpowered, with large supplies of health and ammo kits, the ability to build turrets, and frickin' grenade launchers.
There are also Engineers for the non space battle maps. They can also drop health/ammo kits, and repair turrets or other broken machines, and have an obscenely powerful shotgun.
World in Conflict however has no dedicated medic unit. Instead, one of the squad members in the basic Infantry unit is a medic, able to heal his teammates and infantry of other squads.
Age of Mythology makes healing a matter of the gods. Only the Egyptians get healing by default from their priests and pharaoh, the other factions rely on myth units, god powers or god-related upgrades for healing. Depending on what minor gods you choose you might not get any means of healing your units at all.
Starcraft II retired the medic unit except in the single-player campaign, replacing it with the Medivac dropship, which can fly troops to the battlefield and then heal them from the air. This was done because medics, being on foot, couldn't keep up with jetpack-wielding reapers, limiting their effectiveness.
Medics appear in Command & Conquer, but oddly for only one side. The Allies in Red Alert get one, while the Soviets do not; GDI in Tiberian Sun get one, Nod does not.
The Humans have the Priest unit, with a Heal spell, and the Paladin hero, whose Holy Light can heal non-undead or damage undead.
Orcs have Troll Witch Doctors, which can't directly heal, but can drop Healing Wards, and Shadow Hunters, which have Chain Heal.
Undead get Obsidian Statues, which restore health and mana passively. Death Knights can heal undead units (or damage non-undead) with Death Coil.
Night Elves have Druids of the Claw with Rejuvenation, a heal-over-time, and the Keeper of the Grove, with the area-effect heal Tranquility.
Since all the units in Total Annihilation are giant robots, any mobile unit with a Nanolathe (construction units and the Commander) can be the Medic .
The Golden Sun series has... a few. Water adepts make natural healers. While technically, with the right djinn, anyone can heal (in fact, when you first meet Mia, Isaac has more powerful heals), but Mia is the best choice for primary healer. In Golden Sun: The Lost Age, Piers, an arrogant, Really 700 Years OldBishounen, is the only good healer (until you meet up with the group from the original game, which includes Mia).
In total, there are 5 medics if you stick to base classes (i.e. all Djinn of the default element. Felix and Issac (weaker healing psyenergy with Revive ability), Piers (Stronger healing psyenergy but no revive ability), Mia (Same psyenergy as Piers as well as some weaker ones that affect the whole party), and Jenna (Slightly weaker versions of Mia's, and no single-character spells.) Ivan, Sheba and Garet all get party-healing psynergy with the right djinn combinations though.
Mia is always the best healer though. With the right combination of equipment, she can restore over 800 hp to each party member every turn.
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn has six assuming everyone is kept in their base classes. Matthew, like his father(Issac) and uncle(Felix) starts as a strong single-target healer but later only has the Revive spell going for him. Fellow Venus Adept Himi is more utilitarian due to her much higher psynergy pool and not needing any set Djinn to use Revive. Karis' unique Fresh Breeze spells are the weakest of all healing spells, but being multi-target and not requiring any set Djinn makes them extremely practical. Sveta has access to a unique line of single-target healing spells that are twice as strong as Matthew or Himi's as well as status-restoration. Rief has the strongest single-target healing spells, the strongest multi-target healing spells, and status-restoration. He tends to be put on the sidelines for being less practical than Karis early on, but like his mother(Mia) certain equipment setups allow for 800 hp to be restored to the entire party in a single casting. Amiti is largely identical to Piers.
While several people know heal spells in Super Robot Wars Original Generation, the best one is Russel Bagman, who learns both healing spells, and is one of the best support players in the game. A Repair module can be equipped on any mech to make it a medic.
Princess Peach in Super Mario RPG. The only alternative is Mallow, but he's more of a Red than a White.
In the games, some Pokémon learn moves to heal other members on the party, like Heal Bell and Arometherapy, which heal the Standard Status Effects. Others like the Chansey line and Miltank have the moves Softboiled and Milk Drink to heal others outside battle.
Generation 5 gave us our first true Pokémon that would count as the Medic, Alomomola. Two of its Abilities can heal itself while the third heals its teammates of status conditions like Sleep and Paralysis. Its moves include Heal Pulse, Protect, Wish, Safeguard, Helping Hand, Wide Guard, Healing Wish, Pain Split, and Endure. Even if you know nothing about Pokémon, this should give an idea of how Alomomola works.
There is also Audino, which play a similar role but on land instead. They also function as a Pińata Enemy.
Persona 3: While several other Persona-users know healing spells as well, Yukari Takeba often ends up as the designated Medic whenever she's in the party, as she's the only character who learns both party-wide healing spells and revival spells. She even lampshades her role in some incidental dialog towards the beginning of the game.
Persona 4 has the Red Mage and Squishy Wizard Yukiko, who, while having the best healing spell in the game (Salvation, which fully heals all party members and removes status effects), does not have high and is one of the two characters whose evolved Persona still has a weakness.
In Planescape: Torment, Fall-from-Grace is the only healer you can get in your team, making her quite useful. Her healing magic is even glowy. On the other hand, she is all but useless as a fighter and doesn't have many offensive spells.
The playerbase of City of Heroes is divided on this issue. New players who import mindsets from other games assume that the Empathy powerset, which focuses on restoring HP, is an absolute must for team success, and they insist that Defenders — who can choose it as a primary powerset — should always have it. Those more familiar with the game understand that the Defender Archetype is not your typical Healer Class. Its purpose is loosely, "keep allies from dying," and all its myriad possible abilities work toward this in some fashion. Yes, this includes making enemies dea- er, "arrested" if need be, but more often involves Status Buffs and debuffs. These proactive options are generally more effective than Empathy, so the more experienced players tend to look down on the ignorant Empathy-demanders.
As Empathy is exclusive to the hero side of the game, villain players are very used to playing without a dedicated healer on their teams and look even more down on hero players who will not do anything without an Empathy healer standing by.
And the drama only got worse when the developers recently gave Pain Domination, an "evil" healing set, to the villain players.
It should be noted that the Controller Archetype on the hero side can choose Empathy as a secondary powerset, and thus serve as the "literal" Medic of a team despite being the "Mezzer" class. But furthermore, anyone — including villains — can pick the small Medicine pool of abilities as a tertiary set of powers.
The real issue is when players who are used to serving as this trope in other MMOs come here and think that turning 'Healing Aura' on automatic and following the tank- that's it- is contributing to a team. Also that, especially in higher levels, healing very much pales in comparison to Status Buffs: stacked buffs make characters godlike. Working as intended. We don't need your puny heals here.
Or more generally, the issue is that avoiding the need for a "balanced party" seems to have been an early design goal. Party competence isn't so much about organizing a group of people to fill preassigned roles as being able to figure out what the people with you are going to be doing and find a way to support them in it. This can make pickup groups either infuriating or interesting. Or both.
Carlie from Seiken Densetsu 3 is the only character to possess healing magic for every single class of hers, and remains by far the best at it throughout the entire game. Her dark-aligned classes can also do decent damage with summons, while her light-aligned classes focus more on party buffs. Strangely enough, the only two other characters to learn healing magic, Duran and Kevin, are otherwise devoted physical powerhouses.
The Medic unit in StarCraft: Brood War. Which revitalised infantry, since a bunch of medics made them much less squishy.
Revitalised? More like made entirely viable. M&M (Marine & Medics, with the odd Firebat thrown in) rushes became a fairly effective blunt-hammer attack, especially with Medics able to heal the self-damage caused from the Stim Packs the Marines keep popping in order to move and shoot faster. Certainly they made the computer opponent that much more dangerous, as the computer used Heal so effectively it's like the game had an autocast option...
Subverted in the Mobile Suit Gundam spinoff RPG MS Saga. Most of the characters are competent healers. However, Flitz, the machanic, happens to be a loudmouth, insensitive jerk with bad fashion sense and an annoying voice. He also tends to be really, really good at shooting stuff, depending on the particular mech setup he's given. Also, although Tristan is generally used as the tank, he gets the best healing spell in the entire game, which may or may not turn him into the Medic at the end game. The character who the player would be most likely to assume to be the Medic and White Magician Girl, personality-wise, instead is used as a buffer/de-buffer, and has powerful ranged attacks as well.
Etrian Odyssey has a Medic Class, whose abilities are primarily steeped in healing. The Protector class can also use low-level healing spells if sufficiently levelled up.
In the third installment, healing is mostly divided between the Princess/Prince class (who wields a number of HP and MP-restoring effects in addition to party buffs) and the Monk class (who has scads of instant heals and status-curing moves, in addition to some fairly impressive martial arts skills).
Any Roguelike inverts this by requiring all classes to become proficient at healing. You won't last long otherwise. In ADOM, choosing to play as a healer merely determines your class powers and starting skillset. They also gain double HP regeneration,making them effective melee fighters. A trollish healer born under the sign of the Candle is a Wolverine-class Healing Factor-equipped club-wielding melee fighter,and thus enormous fun.
Alex Nolan from Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2. As the medic, he can fully heal squad members (whereas you or your sqaudmates can only restore a downed squadmate's condition back to red), and is the only person that can heal the player. However, he is only armed with a P90 sub-machine gun, and it thus unsuited for medium to long range engagements.
Cream the Rabbit serves this role in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, and how. She is incredibly good at restoring the entire party's PP (as well as hers, and in her second and third levels of this ability, can restore more than it costs. ), can make the opposing party miss a lot more, she's the only character who can revive others, and she can heal on the off chance that your entire party isn't doing good.
By alternative, Tails has an ability that replenishes HP and PP simultaneously at deployment and for the next three rounds, and it STACKS! He also packs an armor debuff, an attribute debuff for organics and machines alike, a defense buff for one person, and a buff that grants the target an extra action, AND he acts twice compared to Cream's once. He's more of a Green than a White, though, but it's a good idea to have both for when the team needs to split up. Oh, did I mention Cream's optional and missable?
Knights of the Old Republic averts most of this by having the medics (read: people with Force powers) also being the best melee combatants in the party. Except for Jolee, who might count as a straight example.
Suikoden II features the main character's Bright Shield Rune. The primary purpose of the rune is to heal and protect, and it does a better job of it than any other rune in the game, making the main character the de facto healer for the game. Which is a shame, because he eventually becomes extremely powerful. The opposite the Bright Shield Rune, the Black Sword Rune, is focused entirely on dealing damage, and does that better than any other rune in the game. Sadly, you don't control it for 95% of the game.
In the Might and Magic series, your team would be pretty doomed without at least a capable healer (by capable, meaning at least a Paladin, Monks took too much to start first-aid duty.), but, most of the time, you could easily find yourself overwhelmed without a secondary capable healer (Cleric with Druid or Paladin makes a very survivable party). Of course, a good alchemist could take the role to an extent, making healing contraptions, but the relative rarity of ingredients made him more of an emergency last resort (since some potions healed more than any healing spell and any character could use it on any other). However, by the end-game of some installments, the Squishy Wizard far surpassed the medic in healing skills as long as he had enough victims in the screen for Soul Drinker, a top-tier Dark Magic spell.
Interestingly, in the Heroes of Might and Magic (sorta) spin-off, the medic-type hero had a kind of more extreme role. Instead of healing single units (which was largely useless in the scale) his role was bringing them back from the dead em-masse. The heroes of The Undead were the heroes most likely to become The Medic because of the fact that the spell to revive undead was much more accessible than the living counter-part, though both relied on Earth Magic.
Also, in a pinch Raise Undead even works on living units, making it possible to use them as a buffer (since they'd be lost by the end of the battle when resurrected that way).
Archangels qualify as a unit variation, being able to resurrect allies once per battle. First Aid tents with the appropriate skill can do so aswell, but they heal for meager amounts.
In a broader gameplay sense, there's the Engineers, who carry enhanced healing items, tank repair tools, and a couple of ways to help protect their comrades.
Mega Man X: Command Mission has Cinnamon, whose Action Trigger healed the whole party by an amount largely determined by your ability to spin the second analog stick in a circle. She also had an exclusive Sub Weapon, Energy Field, which increased the amount of weapon energy all characters gained on their next turn (characters regenerate weapon energy each turn in Command Mission). Being a Sub Weapon, it could be used on the same turn as an attack or (if you had enough WE) the healing move. With a relatively easily obtained set of equipment, she could alternate between the two each turn.
The Magician->Cleric->Priest->Bishop Job branch in MapleStory. No party in its right mind faces any boss without at least one unless they're way over the required level. To elaborate: The Cleric can heal, the Priest can give a huge stat boost, boost Exp gains, and make a two way door to the nearest town to restock, and the Bishop gets the single most powerful attack spell in the game.
The Overlord series has the Blues. They are the most fragile of the Minions and are rather useless in battle. They make up for it by being able to revive dead Minions and by being able to swim. And in the sequel they can clean up the magical ooze that hurts you and mutates your other minions into enemies.
Touhou's Eirin Yagokoro is Gensokyo's resident doctor (technically a pharmacist). Fanon (and, at times, canon) sometimes skews this into Mad Doctor territory.
Any mage in Dragon Age: Origins can learn healing spells, but the Spirit Healer specialization is all about healing. In particular, Origins had Wynne as your designated party healer, while Anders fulfilled the role in Awakening and Dragon Age II. With Skill Point Resets in Awakening, you could retrain Velanna and the mage PC into a Spirit Healer; DA2 disallowed that, and the only mages who could specialize in Spirit Healer were Mage!Hawke and Anders (Bethany only has basic healing spells and Merrill has no healing spells at all).
Half-Life has scientists that can follow Gordon around and give him injections of some sort of healing... stuff, while Half-Life 2 has resistance fighters who wear special uniforms identifying them as medics and have the ability to pull medkits out of thin air.
Alien Swarm has the Medic class. The medics here are more like CombatMedics since they can use almost any weapon like everyone else can and dish out as much pain. However, only Medics have access to two items that are exclusive to their class. The Healing Beacon heals all players that step into its radius while the Healgun works just like the one used by a certain other Medic by healing others on the go. The Healgun can also be used on yourself. These items are the only things that can save teammates from being killed by the parasites, making Medics an extremely valuable ally.
Odium has the team medic Joan McFadden, who restores 15% more HP when she uses healing items on herself or party members.
Also has two characters who are mentioned to be doctors in their flavor text (although you don't have to play the Medic perk if you play them). One is a paramedic and the other is Doctor Dave, a SteampunkDeadly Doctor.
The Breath of Fire series loved giving this role to the characters you'd least expect to have it. In two out of five games in the series, your sword-wielding hero is one of the characters in this niche... and others have included a fist-fighting armadillo and a dog-girl with a BFG.
Kaidan in Mass Effect 1 was the only squadmate with the Medicine section of the skill tree, and was also the most merciful/compassionate of the group.
Averted in the multiplayer of Mass Effect 3 - all classes can heal their allies. The best "medics" are actually the Infiltrators, who can use their Invisibility Cloak to help wounded allies with no risk to themselves. The different [Lethal Joke Character volus] characters also make excellent medics thanks to their Shield Boost power, which lets them instantly recharge the shields of all nearby allies.
Lost Odyssey's Cooke specialises in White Magic, with barely any offensive spells. However, she lacks the pacifist side of the trope entirely, being a short-tempered, Bratty Half-Pint, who likes to beat up the team pervert and dreams of becoming a pirate like Action Girl Seth. The immortals can learn white magic from Cooke/accessories, while the mortals can use them with the appropriate accessory equipped.
In Disgaea and other Nippon Ichi titles, the Healer and Medic classes gain healing spells as they level up. Some storyline characters also naturally learn healing spells, but the games generally have a method to give any spell to any class, including reincarnation, apprentices, and item/character fusion.
In The Order of the Stick, Durkon Thundershield is a cleric, and the team's resident healer. But being a dwarven cleric of Thor, he's sporting metal armor, a shield, a hammer, and the ability to occasionally throw lightning bolts or grow to gigantic size for emergency muscle.
Too bad he seems to have lost his white magic for good in a recent arc.
Piffany in Nodwick. She generally has to bring Nodwick back from the dead every other week five minutes, which for some reason involves wrapping him in duct tape, although other methods turn up from time to time, such as pouring him into a mould if he's been powdered (and adding water). She's also got the usual repertoire of D&D Cleric skills (Shoo Undead, Happy Thoughts... okay, maybe not so usual).
While Ratchet was the medic, he wan't the only one. Pretty early in the series, he forms a friendship with the human Sparkplug, who even got a little staircase to help repair damaged Autobots. Season two of the G1 cartoon also had Hoist, though unlike Ratchet and most Autobot medics, he transforms into a tow truck instead of an ambulance. His bio seems to indicate that his job is more within preventative care rather than repairs, though the cartoon still shows him doing repairs.
In the third season of G1, Ratchet was supplanted by First Aid, who was a strict pacifist but by no means a weak character. He was Defensor's arm, after all.
Pumyra from Thundercats was the medic of the group when she appeared along with Lynx-O and Ben-Gali. Her talents came in handy in a few episodes, but she suffered Chickification and ended up being underdeveloped, appearing in the fewest episodes of the series.
Although not his primary role, Tunnel Rat of G.I. Joe: Renegades patches up his fellow soldiers when injured.
We don't see her doing much healing as the character isn't in a series where there's a lot of fighting and injuries that need urgent fixing on the spot, but Fluttershy of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic qualifies as she's sometimes shown doing some healing, albeit on animals.
Dominique-Jean Larrey, the Crowning Medic of Awesome. He revolutionized medicine in the French Army during the Napoleonic Wars, invented the field ambulance, and greatly increased sanitation and medevac in the French Medical Corps.
Florence Nightingale, nicknamed "The Lady with the Lamp," ran hospitals during the Crimean War.
Similarly and perhaps in a more badass way, Scottish-Jamaican Mary Seacole also nursed soldiers during the Crimean War - right on the battlefield. She also paid her own way to the Crimea as Nightingale refused to have a black woman working for her.
Dasha Sevastopolskaya, Florence Nightingale's Russian counterpart during the Crimean War.
Pretty much any Army combat medic or Navy hospital corpsman (note that the Marines don't field their own medics, they borrow HMs from the Navy). The Navy Hospital Corps is particularly notable for being the most decorated corps in the Navy, having earned 22 Medals of Honor, 174 Navy Crosses and thousands of lesser awards, all despite being non-combatant.
Fact: The US Army Medical Command is the branch of the Army with the highest amount of Medal Of Honor recipients. I think that fact speaks for itself.
Which is why in WW 2, PTO medics dyed their bandages green and tried to make their red cross badges less conspicuous and in the ETO, medics did the opposite as the Europeans generally honored the cross.
Similarly, the United States Air Force has awarded the Air Force Cross (second only to the Medal of Honor in the Air Force) to twenty-two enlisted Airmen. Half of them were Pararescuemen, personnel who are trained to jump out of airplanes and rescue personnel behind enemy lines.
Likewise only three people have ever been awarded a Bar (a second award) to the Victoria Cross. Two of them were RAMC surgeons.
Elsie Inglis and her friends were British women who volunteered for medical duty in WWI. A Russian observer said: "No wonder England is a great country if all the women are like that!"
Bandsmen were often detailed for medevac duty in eighteenth century warfare. If there was no one assigned to this to many soldiers would weaken the line escorting comrades to the rear, and using bandsmen kept them from losing the firepower of musketeers leaving the line.