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Dr. Jerk

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They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. After seeing this guy, make sure of it.

Kerry: Did you even take the Hippocratic Oath?
Romano: I had my fingers crossed.

He's a very skilled doctor, so dedicated to his job that he doesn't seem to have any other kind of life; but he appears to have little to no compassion, is often narcissistic, a maverick, rebuffs any friendly gesture, and speaks only in snide put-downs or irritable complaints about how stupid human beings generally are. He spits in the face of the image of doctors as saintly humanitarians — but of course, he's so prevalent now that he's become a trope of his own.

His attitude is often explained by the notion that, in order to become such a good physician, he's had to make a habit of treating people as machines and "never letting his feelings get in the way". In his worldview, it would be unthinkable to cut another human being open and tinker with their insides, so he forces himself to view others as if they're not people. (Despite this, he still admits It Never Gets Any Easier; he just suppresses it.) In many ways, he's often the ultimate Jerk with a Heart of Gold, since he often demonstrates that he really does care about people deep down by doing whatever it takes to save their lives. He's also probably genuinely good at medicine, leading people to grudgingly admit Jerkass Has a Point.


This character's attitude towards patient care can go two different ways: Either he will do anything within his power to heal the sick, or else he's in hospital administration and would shovel the patients into a furnace if it saved money. Either way, he's abnormally prone to Pet the Dog moments, so watch out.

See also Morally Ambiguous Doctorate and Mad Doctor, when you have to question who in their right mind would give this person a license in the first place.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Soul Eater has Doctor Franken Stein, who is not only the school surgeon, but also the biology teacher and combat instructor. He is a complete sociopath due to having an insane wavelength, and upon meeting his apprentice Maka, he tried to dissect her. Justified in that he was trying to show his students that they needed to work together, and no one was actually harmed, but as the series progresses his advances towards Maka's(and his other students') organs become more sincere. He also tends to bash his patients for their carelessness.
  • In One Piece, Dr. Kureha, a tough, sarcastic old lady, is the only doctor on a small island where the inhabitants all call her a witch for her strange, violent, and greedy behavior. She won't just ask for a set amount of bills, but 50% of your income for the month. If you tip her, she may lower it to 49%. She's also willing to injure patients who don't follow her orders.
    • Her protege Chopper tries to be this whenever he's complimented, attempting to put on a tough act and belittle the complimenter while grinning ear-to-ear and doing a Happy Dance. It never works.
    • Dr. Hogback is a much worse, being probably the best surgeon in the world and an actual villain. Even with the love of his life, he only cares about her body and thus patches her corpse up and lets her be revived with another person's soul.
    • Trafalgar Law's response when someone asked what was going to happen if Luffy kept running around right after Law had done surgery on him? That the wounds would reopen and he'd die.
      • Also when telling Chopper that he'd removed the poison from the systems of some children that had been experimented on, he phrased it in such a way that Chopper thought he'd dismembered them, since Law was talking about the amount of painkillers some might need. Law made no move to correct the panicking reindeer.
  • Dr. Black Jack is probably one of the first; generally more of the Dr. Jerk with a Heart of Gold variety.
    • Probably the original trope namer, considering he purposely plays himself as a devil, but gets repeated Pet the Dog moments, including how much he beats himself up for his mistakes, i.e. he treats his patients like crap, and manipulates them, but angsts over every single death. Plus, the Diabolus Ex Machinas that follow him...
  • Dr. Black Jack is parodied with Dr. Iwata in Excel Saga (complete with an x-shaped scar on his face, given to him by his cousin who he loves to exact horrible revenge on every opportunity he gets). Though he doesn't show up enough in the anime for his jerkassery to really shine through, in the manga he's a money-grubbing, skirt-chasing, selfish bastard. At one point, he's shown prescribing medication to people because the pharmaceutical company that makes it pays him for each patient he gets to take it, regardless of whether or not it will actually help them. Fortunately, he's usually accompanied by his nurse, who uses violence on him frequently to keep him in line. The sad part: he does actually show signs of competence — he just doesn't care.
  • Bleach:
    • Subverted with Ryuuken Ishida. Introduced from Uryuu's point-of-view, he seems abrasive, materialistic and uncaring. Eventually, it becomes clear he wants his son to think the worst of him for unknown reasons that loyal friend Isshin knows all about. Behind Uryuu's back, he's much more gentle, protective and fatherly.
    • Subverted with Tenjirou Kirinji. Introduced as having a violent, abusive, delinquent mentality, he's eventually revealed to be much more gentle with his servants, as he seems to put his tutees and patients through various kinds of Secret Test of Character.
  • Dr. Knox from Fullmetal Alchemist. He's quite a good man, though a bit grumpy, and punches out Lan Fan and May Chang to prevent them from starting a fight, partly because of their injuries, partly to avoid them getting infected by his samples, and partly out of principle. But mostly to keep them from wrecking his house.
    May: [wimpering] Quit trying to...
  • Tenma's boss in Monster is the heartless administrator variety, until he gets killed. Tenma himself inverts this trope, as he's one of the nicest people imaginable.
  • Dr. Shamal from Reborn! (2004). Only towards men, though. And unfortunately for him (and them), 99% of the cast is comprised of Bishōnen.
  • Fruits Basket has Hatori, who's more of The Woobie, but he's still grumpy.
  • Caren Ortensia from Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA, an elementary school nurse who has the tendency to consider patient's injuries 'boring' and ask they get hurt much more badly next time they come to see her. To add insult to non-injury, she often tells visitors to get lost because "healthy people make her sick."
  • Fairy Tail has Porlyusica. While she will try her hardest to save her patients, she can't stand being around people, and will kick them out as soon as they are healed. She also doesn't like the friends of her patients hanging around waiting for them to get better.
  • Entirely inverted by Fran Madaraki of Franken Fran, who is the nicest, biggest Love Freak you'll ever meet, willing to forgo payment on operations... but given the nature of these operations, you might actually wish she was actively villainous.

    Fan Works 
  • The fanfic Heart of Azazel has Dr. Bitch Spasms. Not only is he a complete disaster as a doctor, but he also makes for a terrible husband.
  • Dr. Onimemo in The Eyes Have It is the doujutsu doctor for Konoha and a complete prick. He tells Sakura he calls her Patient 719 because he doubts he'll ever see her again. In reality, he calls her that even after they'll be seeing each other regularly. It's later shown that he calls everyone by either their patient number or, if they a patient's friend/teammate/family, by a patient number plus an addendum. For example, Sakura's teammate Kiba is 719-c. He's later shown to be considerably ruder to people who don't make appointments outside extenuating circumstances (Sasuke's Sharingan developing further doesn't warrant an immediate visit but Sakura's developing doujutsu causing her pain does).
    • It bears noting that on the one occasion Sakura visits the doctor at his home, she discovers that he married a Manic Pixie Dream Girl and is a complete teddy bear in her presence.

    Comic Books 
  • Dr. Allison Mann in Y: The Last Man spends much of her time either belittling Yorick or threatening his pet monkey with dire fates. When they finally part ways, Yorick's last request is to see her smile for the first time in four years; Mann's response is to break down in tears of frustration instead. She angrily denies that love is anything but a biological reaction, but is clearly desperate for love herself, eventually finding it with Australian spy Rose Copen.
  • Dr. Big McLargehuge from Empowered, whom Ninjette describes as "Dr. House the size of a house", has a total lack of bedside manners and is quite adamant that Emp gets her normal friend out of the suprahuman-specific wing ASAP so he can deal with more important cases.
  • Dr. Stephen Strange was one before the car accident that crippled his hands. He was so hated that the only jobs he was offered were of the Kicked Upstairs variety, which he had too much pride to take. He squandered his fortune on quack remedies, becoming almost destitute until, nearly at the end of his rope, he heard of an old man known to work miracles. That old man turned out to be the Ancient One, the current Sorcerer Supreme, and Strange's life changed dramatically after they met. After becoming Master of the Mystic Arts when his mentor passed away and bequeathed the title to him, he mellowed out and lost most of his Jerkass qualities.
  • Batman:
    • Scarecrow, a.k.a. Dr. Jonathan Crane. 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...
  • The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye:
    • Pharma, head of the Delphi Institute, is one of the greatest medics the Autobots have, once managing to perform a four-way surgery with himself as one of the patients. He's also a colossal jerkass. Not to mention he's gone insane and started murdering some of his patients to harvest their organs for the D.J.D.
    • Ratchet is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold version. He constantly insults Drift's religiosity, abrasively punctures Rodimus's grandstanding, and is a little too willing to Pay Evil unto Evil or do ruthless things to survive (converting a friend's dead body into a gun, for example)...but he also spends an issue gently guiding his friends towards people who can help their emotional needs, and even proves willing to meet Drift halfway on the religion thing when they get married.
  • Sensation Comics: Dr. Pat tends to be fairly brusque and cuts people off if she feels they're wasting her time, but overall she's usually kind. Dr. Stanton on the other hand is an outright jerk, even when he's mellowed out a bit after getting back together with his eventual fiance Mona Blue.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): The Amazon surgeon Carrisa is short tempered, abrasive and rude, and is well known for her sharp tongue. She's an amazing surgeon though.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Dr. Gillespie in the Dr. Kildare film series. Reduced to a wispy old man in a wheelchair from an accident (Real Life Writes the Plot, there, as actor Lionel Barrymore was crippled and could only play stationary characters), he's become bitter and highly temperamental from not being able to act on his own. He "fires" his successor-to-be, Dr. Kildare, in a fit of pique with every movie, only to re-hire him in a roundabout fashion.
  • Dr. Lazarus in Outland (1981) is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who is ultimately the only person who helps our hero.
  • As is fitting for a Lifetime Movie of the Week, any male doctor to ever walk in on screen will go out of his way to be a jerk, especially when it isn't beneficial for anyone, not even himself. See Harrison Ford's character Dr. Stonehill in Extraordinary Measures.
  • Doctor Kuni in Knocked Up is a bit of a jerk, and the couple don't like him, but ultimately he's all there is when the big moment comes. The character is played by Ken Jeong, who was a Real Life doctor before he took up comedy and acting.
  • In 50/50, the main character's doctor completely ignores him and dictates into a voice recorder, then unloads a bunch of medical jargon on him before offhandedly mentioning that he's got cancer.
  • Dr. Silberman from the Terminator franchise, especially in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. He's not so much interested in helping Sarah Connor recover as he is in getting his "work" with Sarah published in medical journals.
  • Harte from the Irish film Calvary. His first reaction to seeing a woman who has recently attempted suicide (indicated by the bandages on her wrist) is to make a joke about her poor method. He also seems to think it's his duty to carry the banner of athiesm by posing utterly brutal questions to Father James, expecting him to account at once for all the misery in the world, just to see the priest get riled up.
  • Dr. Lancelot Sprat in the "Doctor in the House" series of films is overbearing with students and directly tells patients that examinations and diagnoses have nothing to do with them. But when students are in trouble, he will provide help for them, either directly, and behind the scenes.
  • Dean Walcott of Patch Adams supposedly is trying to train doctors to be capable of taking in the bitterness of dealing with people who may die under their care and not fall to pieces over it, but in reality, he (and pretty much every other doctor that appears on screen other than Patch and his friends) are Straw Vulcan versions of this, doing such inhumane things as flatly telling a patient that they have a few months to live and walk away without saying another word or only refer to them through their file number or their sickness and or through whichever humiliating treatments such as amputation they may have been discussing to apply (while the patient is standing right next to them).
  • Doctor Strange (2016): The titular character starts as one, although not as bad as the comic version. He is a brilliant neurosurgeon, but he is arrogant, prideful, and would refuse to look into untreatable cases that could adversely affect his career. It all ends with a car accident that cripples his hands.
  • Creepshow 3: Dr. Farwell, big time. He's openly insolent and rude to his patients, shows No Sympathy to a teenage girl with a brain tumor, mocks an old woman going blind, and gives a hot dog he just dropped to a homeless man.
  • Ghost Town (2008): Pincus starts out as a rude, misanthropic dentist. He even claims he'd chosen the profession because most of the time patients have things in their mouths and thus can't talk with him (he's very annoyed too when this isn't the case).

  • 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.
  • Seinosuke Yamada from Bleach Cant Fear Your Own World is a cynical man who claims healing patients who are begging for death is 'a bit of a hobby'. However, his jerkiness manifests as veiled mockery as opposed to insulting anyone directly.
  • 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. He's mellowed out noticeably when he appears in Going Postal, probably at least partly because he's in charge of a large and well-equipped hospital offering free medical care to the indigent, funded by a very generous endowment from the Duke of Ankh.
    • According to Lawn, the Discworld version of Hippocrates is most famous for the quote "Am I going to get paid for this?"
  • Professor Nemur from Flowers for Algernon.
  • O'Mara, the chief psychologist at Sector General, is bad-tempered, cutting, and sarcastic to pretty much everyone he meets...except people he thinks are in actual need of his services, with whom he is quiet and considerate. The Dr. Jerk behavior is therefore sort of reassuring to the rest of the hospital staff, because they know that when he drops it, they're in serious trouble.
  • Jayfeather, ThunderClan medicine cat from Warrior Cats and terror of multiple generations of lazy apprentices. He wanted to be a warrior, but congenital blindness (and StarClan-gifted psychic abilities) prevented that. Finding out his mentor was also his mother didn't help. He even at one point proclaims, "I'm a medicine cat. If you want sympathy, go to the nursery." He never gives up on a patient however, and legitimately cares for his Clan, making him also a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
    • Yellowfang is a rare female example, albeit for very good reason. You would be abrasive, too, if you had to give up a child, and watch from the sidelines as he grew up to be a mass murderer.
    • While not that mean, Willowshine tends to be this to cats that aren't Mothwing or Leafpool, often chiding Jayfeather, and when Crowfeather asks RiverClan for help in dealing with the stoats, both she and Jayfeather refuse, while Leafpool is more reasonable.
  • In The Wheel of Time, the Yellow Ajah (the healers) are known for being arrogant and impatient.
  • Hyrek from the Paradox Trilogy is a xith'cal who serves as a doctor on a human ship and is generally disdainful toward Devi, the protagonist. Mostly because she keeps getting hurt.
  • Calvar Syn in Legend by David Gemmell.
  • Kedrigern is a magical equivalent - an expert on counterspells. He has a reason for being grumpy - he hates travelling, and can't use magic to change into a falcon because he will need it to actually cure his patients.
  • Temeraire: Dr. Keynes is brusque and unfriendly during his tenure on the titular dragon's crew, but is an outstanding dragon-surgeon despite his total absence of bedside manner. When he's reassigned to England to help deal with The Plague, Temeraire is very sorry to see him go.
  • Mitch Tobin: Dr. Fredericks from the third book is a psychiatrist version. He's an aggravating man more obsessed with proving his theories than actually helping the patients, but he is genuinely good at causing them to reach important breakthroughs.
  • Let Me Call You Sweetheart: Charles Smith is a brilliant plastic surgeon, but he's also blunt to the point of being rude, arrogant, obsessive, vengeful and just generally off-putting. It's deconstructed, as Smith's jerk tendencies are actually costing him patients due to him making them uncomfortable.

    Live-Action TV 
  • House:
    • Dr. Gregory House is the poster boy for this trope — or maybe even the exaggerated version. This is the type of man who, if you saw him shambling up the corridor, you would duck into an elevator to avoid. He makes no bones about being a sadistic, misanthropic, and antisocial freak who maintains employment only because he happens to be smarter than everyone else, as well as massively over-qualified as an education diagnostician. (He could probably work for the CIA, and in fact, in one episode he did — while taunting all the G-Men and constantly threatening to blow their cover). He has effectively blackballed himself in medical circles, but he doesn't mind, because it gives him carte blanche to rule over a Princeton teaching hospital albeit at a sharply reduced pay rate. In fact, pretty much the only reason he even still has a job, despite being an utter jackass, is that he's a damn good doctor.
      House: Would you rather a doctor who holds your son's hand while he dies, or ignores him as he gets better?
    • House has an excellent female version of this with "Cutthroat Bitch" Amber Volakis, who didn't make the final cut on House's team... but who was so memorable and delightful a character that the fandom rejoiced when she returned as Wilson's girlfriend, and then cried when she died, and then rejoiced again when she returned as House's hallucination. Apparition Amber was even meaner than the genuine article(!), modeled as she was on House's vague recollections and fragments of his own cruel psyche.
    • In fact, starting in Season 2, it becomes a running theme in the series that any doctor who spends too much time in House's orbit eventually becomes this. Much of Dr. Foreman's character arc involves trying to overcome his own House-like tendencies, to varying degrees of success:
      Cuddy: [to Foreman] You're House Lite. Now, the only administrator who'll touch you is the one who hired House Classic.
  • The handsome and rugged Ben Casey, from the groundbreaking Medical Drama of same name. Though a brilliant neurosurgeon, Casey was arrogant and impatient, often arguing and throwing insults at his colleagues. The series was a smash hit from 1961-1966, and Vincent Edwards' portrayal of the surly doc won women over by the millions.
  • Dr. Michiko Daimon of Doctor X is extremely blunt, refuses to even shake the hands of the corrupt hospital bureaucrats (let alone play along with their machinations), and charges exorbitant fees as a freelance surgeon (which are mostly pocketed by her manager/mentor, and justified as she usually has cleaned up after the hospital's incompetence and let them take the credit). By the way, her mentor's cat is named after the above mentioned Ben Casey.
  • The Knick: Dr. John Thackery is an excellent and even pioneering surgeon, but he's also a total asshole and a casual racist.
  • Nip/Tuck: Both lead doctors, Sean McNamara and Christian Troy, have questionable bedside manner (even berating their son Matt when he was burned in a meth lab explosion), and are generally morally questionable assholes.
  • Silicon Valley: Richard Hendricks' primary care doctor, played by Andy Daly, is cheerfully rude, condescending and otherwise upsetting to Richard during every visit.
  • Dr. Ken is about a sitcom version of this trope and takes a significantly Lighter and Softer approach to exploring it. One episode had him going to an sensitivity seminar and discovering that while he's still rather prickly, there were doctors who were even worse.
  • American Horror Story:
    • Ben Harmon, the troubled psychologist in the first season American Horror Story: Murder House, seems to have a cold demeanor with patients and even becomes irritated with a few. Though, considering all he's gone through, this is a bit excusable.
    • Alex Lowe, the wife of Detective John Lowe in the fifth season American Horror Story: Hotel, is snarky and removed from her patients, and has zero tolerance for parents who don't vaccinate their kids. While most people probably agree with her, she often ends up coming off as ice cold, judgmental and bitchy. Again, she's been through a lot.
  • ER:
    • 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.
    • Initially Kerry Weaver is presented this way, since one of her defining qualities is her strict adherence to the rules. When the other doctors went maverick in order to help people - something that happened a lot with Doug Ross and a fair amount with John Carter - she was there to smack them down. She softens during her time on the show, though.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Geiger in Chicago Hope. Well, pretty much everyone on Chicago Hope, to some degree or another.
  • St. Elsewhere:
    • Dr. Mark Craig. Hilariously brusque, rude, sarcastic and unsentimental, with no bedside manner to speak of, almost everyone on staff — certainly all those working under him — finds Dr. Craig extremely difficult to deal with. However, he's brilliant at his job, is (frustratingly) usually right on the money in medical matters, and he will NOT let his interns or other staff members slack at ALL — he has no compunction about berating them in public if he feels they aren't performing at their very best. But it's also clear he drives no one harder than he drives himself. Essentially an early version of Dr. House.
    • Dr. Victor Ehrlich, sort of, at least in the early seasons of the show (which makes sense as he starts off as Craig's protege). However, Ehrlich's jerk-ish qualities are often more bumbling and wishy-washy than Craig's — he doesn't possess Craig's devastating, castrating wit, and while he's a gifted surgeon, Ehrlich doesn't have Craig's formidable breadth of experience and knowledge. Both characters softened somewhat as the series went on.
  • Scrubs:
    • This is frequently played with. Dr. Kelso is the sadistic asshole administrator. The show extracts a great deal of humor and drama from playing his focus on bureaucracy off of Dr. Cox's focus on patient care. However Dr. Kelso is also frequently shown to be doing the best he can with tight resources, and his personality may be a result of having to deal with this every day. He also one occasionally deliberately acts as the "asshole administrator", because if the staff aren't united in their hatred of him, they bicker among themselves so much that patients wind up in danger. Once he retires he becomes more than a bit likeable.
    • Dr. Perry Cox is an unsociable and snide locker-room jock who happens to be very courteous and professional underneath all the bluster. Ironically, when Kelso retires, Cox is selected as his replacement. He has to face the same decisions that Kelso did and relies on JD to take over his previous role as the guy who stands up to the chief of medicine to keep him on the straight and narrow.
    • Though not really the case, Turk does receive this exact nickname from his interns (mostly because it rhymes).
      J.D.: The girl one just called you Dr. Jerk!
      Dr. Turk: That's nothing, you should hear their nickname for Dr. Mickhead.
      J.D.: ...What?
    • The pediatrician Dr. Norris in one episode managed to out-jock the uber-jock Dr. Cox (although Cox gets him back.) He's played by Christopher Meloni, perhaps the only actor in the business who can convincingly intimidate John C. McGinley.
  • Dr. Harris in Mercy.
  • M*A*S*H:
    • Charles Emerson Winchester III uses snobbery rather than snarkiness (he often reminds everyone of his degree from Harvard), but appropriate Pet the Dog moments show he is a good example of the first variety. And his fellow surgeons NEVER complain about his underlying competence.
    • Frank Burns is a rare example of an asshole doctor who is really incompetent, and has a fool's gold heart (he openly admits he was just in it for the money, and is one of the biggest bigots in the series). He also openly admitted (during the series that is) that he was in it for the skin care to get rid of his pimples, and he hoped to earn big money. In the TV series, he once stated that he flunked out of two medical schools and took twice the normal time to become a doctor. He was also tricked into admitting that he paid $400 (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. Houlihan), and falsely blames a man's death on a very timid orderly.
    • In the spin-off AfterMASH, the characters of Mike D'Angelo (season 1) and Wally Wainwright (season 2) were jerkass hospital administrators.
    • On Trapper John, M.D., Dr. Stanley Riverside II fit the arrogant-but-dedicated mold.
  • This trope is a daytime soap staple: David Hayward on All My Children, Chris Ramsey on Port Charles, Patrick Drake on General Hospital.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series has Dr. "Bones" McCoy, whose cantankerous reminders of his actual occupation qualify for this trope. He certainly qualifies in "Friday's Child," where he persuades an obstinate, haughty patient to let him ease her pain... by slapping her in the face.
    Kirk: Never seen that in a medical book.
    McCoy: It's in mine from now on.
  • Dr. Pulaski on Star Trek: The Next Generation, a one season replacement for Dr. Crusher. When she first arrives, she's abrasive and often rude, especially to Data for being an android. The writers apparently were trying to make her a Dr. McCoy analog, though she didn't ultimately have the same dynamic with the crew. She ultimately gets some Pet the Dog moments later in the season.
  • Even Star Trek: Deep Space Nine had the early Julian Bashir, though he was less mean and more completely tactless, calling Bajor 'the frontier' and 'wilderness' right to the face of the Bajoran who would be second in command of the station and didn't like the Federation being there. This was the first time they met. He gets better though.
  • The Emergency Medical Hologram a.k.a. "Doctor" on Star Trek: Voyager. Exactly why the Doctor was such a buzzkill varied between seasons. At first, he was annoyed that people treated him like an actual person rather than hologram; that is, being intended as a temporary supplement to a living doctor suddenly pressed into full service, he often found himself annoyed at being left on with nothing to do. Later, as he starts to develop more as a member of the crew, that reverses, making him more irritable because he wasn't treated equally. Not helped by his social skills being programmed by Reginald Barclay. His creator, Dr. Zimmerman, is the original Dr. Jerk (though he's Not That Kind of Doctor) and based the Doctor's personality on his own. Eventually, the entire EMH line was scrapped and replaced with more jocular models.
    Zimmerman: "Emergency Medical Hotheads." "Extremely Marginal Housecalls." That's what everyone used to call the Mark Ones until they were bounced out of the Medical Corps.
    • Notably, one episode had as a plot point that having this kind of personality is actually a fairly important flaw for a doctor — the Doctor was the only Mk. I still in active duty as a medical hologram by that point, because Starfleet had been very quick to get Zimmerman to develop new versions, with new personalities and looks (apparently, while the actual healing part had worked fine, the bedside manner had made the original quite unpopular). Zimmerman, having based the Mk. I's personality and appearance on his own, was a tad bitter about that.
      Doc Oho: "He is made up of 200 memories and 47 individuals so if there’s anybody you want around in a medical crisis it’s the EMH. However his bedside manner leaves a lot to be desired. Crusher would bore you to death, Bashir will try and shag you and the EMH will insult you – great choice of Doctors!"
  • The 2004 Battlestar Galactica series:
    • Dr. Cottle. The man is a wisecracking sarcastic jerk who actually smokes on the job. His cantankerous attitude seems to be mostly related to authority figures trying to tell him what to do, making him a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, as he feels obligated to heal the sick, period, human or Cylon, regardless of what Adama's steely blue eyes would seem to dictate. Of course, he gets that sort of slack because he's just so damn good, as he managed to save Commander Adama's life from a pretty brutal assassination attempt despite what most would consider fatal amounts of internal bleeding. Not to mention that with humanity reduced to under 50,000 people after the Cylon assault, he might well be one of the few doctors left alive.
    • Gaius Baltar could also count as this, the best example being his blunt attitude towards Sharon Valerii while testing to see if she's a Cylon sleeper agent. "So now we'll find out whether you're a human or an evil Cylon." He's also an egomaniacal jerk with the poetic sarcasm of Gregory House.
      Cottle: I don't like what you're doing. It's unnatural and damned dangerous.
      Baltar: Yes well given the patient's current condition, I'm not sure I can see the downside.
    • There's also Nurse Bedside Manner, who informs Chief that he can't give blood to his son because he's not the biological father, and gets irritated when Starbuck is talking to her unconscious husband because brain dead people can't hear. It's been suggested 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.
  • 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.
  • Doc Martin:
    • Dr. Martin Ellingham, a top Harley Street surgeon, develops 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. There's a minor Running Gag that Martin will accurately treat/diagnose people on the fly, but repeatedly fails to remember what their name was, even when he actually bothered to ask for it!
      "It was easy to find you, I just followed the trail of outraged people."
    • In the 4th series, there's a new character of Dr. Edith Montgomery, who not only shares Martin's lack of bedside manner but unlike him does not have any actual concern for the well-being of her patients.
  • Dr. Jerome on Ed was one of the nastiest examples and has no 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.
  • Firefly:
    • 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 is a brilliant young doctor who is on the run becuase he's helping his troubled sister. He starts out like this aboard Serenity. He treats and heals the crew, but he's cold, distant and snarky. He gradually gets better when he starts trusting Mal Reynolds and others.
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid:
    • Surgeon Kagami Hiiro/Kamen Rider Brave is stoic, often unplesant and contemptuous, but wants to help people and mellows out a bit as time passes thanks to Emu.
    • Radiologist Hanaya Taiga/Kamen Rider Snipe is a contestant for the most unpleasant rider in general, whose selfish tendencies are overshadowed only by the main antagonist and rarely has even basic concern for patients at all. He seems to mellow out a bit after being stuck with a Morality Pet, who happens to be even more unpleasant that he is.
  • The Golden Girls: One episode has Dorothy convinced there's something wrong with her. She goes to a doctor but he can't figure what's wrong with her specifically and brushes her off, writing her claims as "you're old and senile". After a visit to another doctor or two, it's revealed that she was right, something IS wrong and it's treatablenote . As they're out to dinner to celebrate she runs into the first doctor again, and tells him off about not having compassion for his patients. Thank goodness SOMEONE on television had the brains to realize "doctor jerks aren't helpful". The doctor in question was played by the same actor who played Summer Sloane from Cheers. It's not the least bit surprising that he's so unsympathetic.
  • 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.
  • Doctor Franklin of Babylon 5 becomes more and more of a jerk as his personal story arc plays out over the first few seasons. Of course, he was also battling a stimulant addiction, and losing.
  • Doc Cochran in Deadwood is an alcoholic, partially shell-shocked Frontier Doctor who is as abrasive as he is intelligent. His conduct so alienates Alma Garret that he must beg her to accept his help in spite of his "defects of character" when her life is at risk.
  • Professor Richard Craig of All Saints. Thanks to his world-class surgical skills, he is able to get away with habitually disregarding the opinions of the nurses in spite of their proven diagnostic abilities, criticising his protege Luke for being willing to listen to them, regularly antagonizing patients when they decide against his (usually experimental) treatment suggestions, and in one case lying to a patient about his wife surviving their car accident. It's hardly surprising that Bron conceals the fact that he's her father, especially after he blackmails her into leaving the hospital in exchange for him saving the life of a friend. (To his credit, it's actually Bron that holds herself to this agreement, even though Bob died in surgery and Craig left at the same time.)
  • Community has Professor Ian Duncan, an amoral psychologist who has used sessions to hit on clients and is more interested in getting his papers in respectable journals than the well being of his patients.
  • Dr. Simon Hill in Combat Hospital. He's really a Jerk with a Heart of Gold though.
  • Dr. Wu from the first season of Glee comes off as a this, though it's probably because his patience with Terri and Kendra (who are batshit crazy) is wearing thin.
  • Dr. Bykov in the Russian show Interny ("Interns") is an Expy of House and Cox. He's a complete jerk to his patients and interns, as well as his boss and best friend. He often punishes the interns for slightest offenses or even for no reason at all (this usually involves being given impromptu night shifts, especially if they have plans). Like House, he has a strenuous (sometimes romantic) relationship with his female boss, who only tolerates his antics because he does the job well. Also, for a bit of irony, Bykov is played by a priest, who took time off from the church to do the show. The newest intern, Polina Ulyanova, only got hired because she accidentally pissed off all the other major characters whom she attempted to vouch for her in front of Bykov. Bykov, in his true style, immediately hires her to annoy everyone else.
    • After the original head nurse leaves to join her boyfriend (a former intern on the show who went to the US as part of an exchange program), Bykov convinces his girlfriend/boss to hire his ex for the position. Naturally, the girlfriend/boss is reluctant, especially when she finds out Bykov lied about meeting the ex earlier to discuss this. Bykov then bluntly tells her that she should think as an administrator and hire the woman because she's damn good at her job and leave any personal concerns out of it.
  • Northern Exposure: Due to the culture clash of being a native New Yorker pressed into serving as a Frontier Doctor in a small Alaskan town, Joel Fleischman can be irritable and condescending with his patients, though he's still a decent guy and he warms to the town over the course of his time on the series.
  • As the World Turns had this in Dr. Reid Oliver, who was constantly being compared to Dr. House, though he was more like Dr. Cox.
  • Monday Mornings features transplant surgeon Dr. Buck Tierney, who is abrasive, unpleasant, and extremely self-important, and neurosurgeon Dr. Sung Park, who always seems to be angry about something and is convinced that he can do no wrong.
  • Dr. Ben from Louie invokes this, though he's more of a facetious asshole rather than a bitter one; for example, after giving a physical exam where he mentions he'd sooner remove the memory of Louie's penis over witnessing his fathers suicide, he phones him with the physical results:
    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.
    • In contrast Doc is too empathic and the job slowly takes a terrible toll on him until he snaps, shoots up the firehouse and ends the series in a mental institution.
  • On Person of Interest Sam Shaw was revealed to have once been a medical resident. She was an excellent technical doctor who went above and beyond to save her patients. However, she has a personality disorder that causes her to have very little empathy for strangers. This culminated in her eating an energy bar while notifying a family that their father had died. Her logic was that she was hungry and the manner in which she notified the family wouldn't have changed the fact that the man was dead. Others did not see it her way and her supervisor asked her to leave the program, since he did not feel that she could be trusted to always place her patients first. Shaw then became a top notch government assassin.
  • Emergency!: Dr. Morton. And there was a character of the week who made even him look nice.
  • Riget: Swede Dr. Stig Helmer is a racist against Danes and borders on being a sociopath.
    • Krogshøj after a Face–Heel Turn.
    • The remake for US audiences, Kingdom Hospital, played Stig's counterpart, Stegman, as a massive, overbearing jerk as well - but did so more for laughs. Stegman never even comes close to poisoning Hook with tetradotoxin, and even his inevitable Villainous Breakdown becomes a lot funnier. Hook, the main protagonist, has his moments of jerkishness too — but he legitimately has a heart of gold.
  • Green Wing: To some extent, the entire medical cast, but there are a few characters for whom jerkiness is a fundamental part of their psyche:
    • Guy Secretan: A smug surgeon Casanova Wannabe who relentlessly bullies other staff members and once refused to resuscitate a women because she only had A-cup breasts.
    • Mac: An aloof Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
    • Alan Statham: An eccentric old-fashioned radiologist who has a hugely inflated opinion of himself but often seems to be more clueless than mean until Johanna breaks up with him and he turns into a raging misogynist.
    • Boyce: A junior radiologist who takes pranks to cruel and elaborate conclusions (such as propelling a drone with the word "homo" on it into Statham's office). By the end of the series, it seems much of his jerkiness comes down to being a Stalker with a Crush.
    • Joanna Clore: As with Scrubs's Dr Kelso, Clore is an administrator struggling to manage the hospital. Unlike Kelso, she is just as cruel - if not even more so - in her personal life, frequently humiliating Statham.
    • Holly, Mac's ex: She dyes her child's hair ginger to make Mac think it's hers and makes Dr Todd's life a misery.
  • Pulsaciones At the beginning of the series, Álex Puga acts as a complete jerkass towards his hospital co-workers, badmouthing Gloria for not promoting him when he's on his way out to a prestigious clinic.
  • MADtv: Dr. Phil is parodied to be this in every sketch where he shows up (or just Oprah's lapdog if she's also present). His "advice" usually consists of insulting people or punching them in the face. Also, he's not really a doctor.
  • Twin Peaks has Albert Rosenfield, an FBI forensic analyst who spends his entire time in Twin Peaks putting down everything from the medical facilities to everyone in the police department (especially Sheriff Truman) to the local doctor for mourning Laura Palmer. He later subverts the trope by declaring that he is an avowed pacifist who abhors violence and loves his fellow man, even if he's rude.
    Albert Rosenfield: Mr. Horne, I realize that your position in this fair community pretty well guarantees venality, insincerity, and a rather irritating method of expressing yourself. Stupidity, however, is not necessarily a inherent trait, therefore, please listen closely. You can have a funeral any old time. You dig a hole, you plant a coffin. I, however, cannot perform these tests next year, next month, next week or tomorrow - I must perform them now. I've got a lot of cutting and pasting to do, gentlemen, so why don't you please return to your porch rockers and resume whittling.
  • The Good Doctor:
    • Dr. Neil Melendez is very good at his job but also very full of himself and quite prejudiced and mean to the autistic protagonist Dr. Shaun Murphy. However, he gradually comes to respect Shaun and mellow into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. The same cannot be said for Dr. Jared Kalu, who takes advantage of other surgeons and takes credit for Shaun's life-saving idea at one point, though before he departs at the start of Season 2, he puts in a good word for Shaun.
    • Subverted with Dr. Marcus Andrews. He's mean to Shaun and Dr. Aaron Glassman, only agreeing to hire Shaun just so he can give him more responsible in the hope that he'll mess up, but he's kind toward his patients. Like Melendez, he softens up to Shaun over time, even firing Han at the end of Season 2 for his behavior towards Shaun.
    • Dr. Morgan Reznick is generally just a bitch toward practically everybody.
    • The latter half of Season 2 gives us Dr. Jackson Han, who is perhaps worse than Melendez, Andrews, and Reznick combined. He skips his own welcoming party to go straight to surgery, constantly berates Shaun because of his autism, refuses to listen to anyone else's attempts to speak up for Shaun (he even clashes with Melendez), and fires Shaun when he demands to be transferred back to Surgery and suffers a meltdown when Han adamantly refuses to assent to his wishes. In the end, he gets fired in the season finale.
  • The Night Of: All of John Stone's doctors are rather rude to him, but his pharmacist seems to take special pleasure in embarrassing him with loud comments about his symptoms and treatments.
  • In the Seinfeld episode "The Package," almost every doctor Elaine goes to acts like this. She goes in to have a bad rash she has checked, but every doctor she goes to won't treat it because, according to Elaine's file, she's "difficult."
  • Doctor Emil Behring in Charite is arrogant and socially conceited, treating people who are less intelligent and educated than him with contempt, Can't Take Criticism, and is unkind to his colleagues because he sees them as rivals. Nevertheless, he's a brilliant surgeon and immunologist whose scientific work results in a remedy for diphtheria, and he even puts his own health on the line to save a life.

  • An extreme example is "Fake Healer" from the Metal Church album Blessing in Disguise (1989). This doctor is least bothered about treating illnesses, and most bothered about earning big money. He'll lie to patients about terminal disease and take full advantage of their ignorance, to extract plenty of money. He's also open to leaving poor patients to die if they can't afford his services.

  • Agent Dietrich "Medic" Luzwheit in Dino Attack RPG. He is a very skilled doctor capable of performing complicated and dangerous operations with great success, but, as a result, he thinks of all his fellow doctors, including Dr. Alan Pierce, as incompetent and inexperienced fools who should not belong in the operating room, and he doesn't hesitate to make his feelings towards them clear.
    • There was also a minor doctor named Burns who, on top of being a jerk, was quite incompetent. It doesn't help that his namesake is Frank Burns.

    Video Games 
  • 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.
    • Gabriel Cunningham from Trauma Team also is this, though not to the extent of Victor.
  • 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, though apparently him overworking her led her to mix up the patients' medications.
    • Pal Meraktis from Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney counts as well. He botched a surgery for the the Kitaki family's Wocky, and both he and the nurse hid the botched surgery from Winfred "Big Wins" Kitaki so he wouldn't get blamed for it. While he did feel genuine remorse for what he had done (at least according to his rival) he nevertheless left a 19-year-old to die so the killer of that case the nurse could go on with their plan to inherit the fortune.
    • Pierce Nichody, the culprit of the DLC case in Spirit of Justice counts as well. After he's outed as the culprit and a surgeon, he compares the attorney, the judge, and the prosecutor to malignant cancerous tumors. However they have some sympathetic moments so they're not as bad as the above two.
  • The Medic class in Team Fortress 2 is this trope on a GOOD day. He may be the team healer, but a vast majority of his lines include a word meant to insult the addressee, be it in English or German. Not only that, but apparently the healing is an unintended side-effect of his own morbid curiosity and an eagerness to rip apart people's chests. To top it off, it's heavily implied that he got his medical degree in Nazi Germany, though Word of God has explicitly stated that "he is not, and has never been, a Nazi". He can be friendly to his teammates (unless he thinks they're being stupid like ignoring the mission objective), though he still uses them for experiments. He also, to no one's surprise, lost his medical license.
    • It has been said that he got his medical training in a time and place where the Hippocratic Oath had been downgraded to an optional Hippocratic Suggestion.
  • In Myst: The Book of Ti'ana, Jarl of the Guild of Healers actually tells Ti'ana that it would be better for young and sickly Gehn, who is only half Ronay, to die. Not unsurprisingly, she throws him out on his ass.
  • 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.
    • Doc Church in Megaton is the Player's first taste as being overworked and underappreciated (and having a few skeletons in his closet) has made him pissy.
    • The Mister Gutsy Sawbones in the Pentagon is one of the last as while he does know how to perform surgery he doesn't know how to do surgery (at least without doing harm). He also likes and wants to hurt humans but behavior limiters prevent him from purposefully hurting people if they aren't deemed a threat. He and his personality are based on the EMH Mk I from Star Trek: Voyager, including his penchant for poetry.
  • The doctors in Mother 1 have this to say to you if you can't pay for their services:
    Doctor: Fine, die all on your own. I'll phone a mortician.
  • In Starcraft II the Medivac pilot. The lore mentions one who shot a few marines for calling her ship a "heal bus".
    Oh, suck it up! You act like you got both arms blown off.
  • The fourth CSI game had Dr Bandareet, the victim. Only counting what was uncovered in the case about his medical practices, he's the reason his wife is blind. Due to pride, he refused to have anyone else operate on his wife's cataracts despite not being trained in that specific type of surgery. He even made her sign a waiver, forbidding her from seeking legal repercussions against him. While she did kill him, it was for an entirely different reason.
  • Continuing the lengthy trend of this type of character on Star Trek, Star Trek: Borg gives us Dr. Thaddeus Quint. Simply put, when Q chooses to impersonate him, he doesn't even have to change his personality to convince everyone.
  • Cyberpunk 2077 has Trauma Team, a cross between EMS and Private Military Contractors. Each member of Trauma Team is a Combat Medic armed with state-of-the-art weapons and are all too happy to demonstrate how proficient they are with those weapons if you should so much as stand too close to them while they are on the job.
  • Downplayed in Red Dead Redemption 2 with Dr. Joseph R. Barnes. He has good bedside manner and is deeply empathetic towards his patients, but generally puts money first so he can provide for his family, as seen when he reminds a man to pay up in the middle of an arm amputation, and asking Arthur Morgan for money before examining him for an obviously severe illness.
  • Harvest Town has Lee Yau, the doctor's son whose favorite line is: "Can you get out of my way?" Considering that he only became a doctor to gratify his own pride rather than any genuine concern for his patients' well-being, it makes sense that he wouldn't have the best bedside manner.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • Lucid TV is an entire series of this, played for laughs. Very dark, very evil laughs. Think Scrubs in the style of The Perry Bible Fellowship.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Dr. McNinja is normally a very good doctor, though he does occasionally punch out his patients. He hates diabetics (because he considers them overdemanding to the point of whininess), and on other occasions ignored his patients while possessed. In one story, when heading out to do plot instead of treating the patients who had appointments, he tells his patients, "There's a man outside who was murdered because he was a patient of mine," naturally causing all of his patients to hastily leave. Also, he is known to get very irate at anyone who questions his more outlandish diagnoses, such as the mother who was incredulous about "Paul Bunyan's Disease". Incredulous right up until her son transformed into a giant lumberjack.
  • Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name features Doc Worth, a chain-smoking med-school dropout who operates out of an alley and enjoys tormenting and shouting at anyone who makes him angry. However, he is solidly in the Jerk with a Heart of Gold category, since he seems pretty laid back when he's not screaming in Conrad's face, genuinely cares for Hanna, and doesn't appear to charge him for his frequent visits. The good Doc actually subverts this a bit, since Tessa likes to point out that he is in fact not a skilled doctor - he's probably a mediocre one at best. Or he would be, if he had ever finished med school and actually become a doctor.
  • Fetch Quest: Saga of the Twelve Artifacts: Dr. Lindsay Troy crosses this with Jerk with a Heart of Gold; she is perpetually ill-tempered and shockingly efficient, yet she knows just what the purpose of a doctor is.
  • Doctor Sun of Girl Genius is a Deadpan Snarker who is infamous for his "Sun-ny bedside manner". He's also perfectly willing and able to beat his own patients unconscious if that is what it takes to get them some bed rest.
  • Schtein from String Theory, though he's Not That Kind of Doctor.

    Web Original 
  • Unfortunately some (purportedly real) examples of this have appeared on Not Always Working.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Ratchet, in almost every incarnation of the Transformers franchise.
    • G1 Ratchet is portrayed in fanon as being similar to his later incarnations, as a talented doctor who was also grouchy, constantly threatening his patients with various punishments. The Marvel G1 version was actually supposed to be a party animal, who was known for making the best high-grade around. This aspect of his portrayal was dropped fairly early on, though.
    • Micron Legend (Armada) Ratchet, known to Western fans as Red Alert, is The Spock and thus seemed to be emotionally detached from his patients in the first episodes.
    • Film Ratchet is basically the same as G1 Ratchet, once even threatening to weld Jazz's vocal unit shut. Oddly, he fits definition one for this trope despite starting out as a politician in the UK comic.
    • Animated Ratchet is a crotchety old man due to his Shellshocked Veteran status. He's also the resident medic.
    • Prime Ratchet also has the old and crotchety thing going on ("My pistons may be rusty, but my hearing is as sharp as ever!"), in addition to being a snarky scientist type who gets extremely annoyed whenever any of his equipment is damaged. Unfortunately for him, that tends to happen a lot. He starts to mellow out, but it's a slow process.
    • Interestingly averted (mostly) with Knock Out. Yes, he's a self-admitted sociopath, but unless given a pretty good reason not to, he shows some genuine concern for his patients. Well, some of them, at least.
  • Dr. Ball on the second Star Wars Robot Chicken special.
  • One episode in King of the Hill has Bill be diagnosed with diabetes and a kind doctor and after his attempt to keep it under control fails and he ends up in the Hospital again, he ends up getting a very cruel and uncaring one. The doctor tells the nurse that he has a medical degree while she has a lesser one, believing 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'll just ignore a doctor's orders and feels he is just wasting time treating Bill. To make Bill feel even worse, the doctor tells Bill that he will just lose his legs in a year so he may as well get a wheelchair while his health insurance is still good. Bill accepts this fate but after a few positive events, Bill not only cured himself of diabetes, he also goes to confront the doctor that treated him like crap and kicks his ass.
  • Dr. Daisy Blake (one of Daphne's identical sisters) from Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated is very rude, stuck-up, and condescending.
  • Dr. Potterswheel in Moral Orel who has a Lack of Empathy.
    Bloberta: [who was trying to seduce him] You don't really care about me...
    Dr. Potterswheel: Well, I care FOR you...
  • In one episode of Kaeloo, Mr. Cat, who went to med school (or at least claims that he did), is trying to teach Kaeloo how to be a doctor. Most of his tips involve being rude and selfish.
    Mr. Cat: Make sure your patient can pay. You're not the Salvation Army.
  • As Flanderization kicked in, Dr. Julius Hibbert of The Simpsons became a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing version of one. The man is perfectly willing and able to let you die if you have no way to pay his consultations (at his nicest, he will just handcuff you to the bed until you can pay), is more eager to find ways to prevent people from suing him for malpractice than actually doing his job right, is a corporate goon that sells crappy medicine if he's paid enough, is a hard-core member of the local Republican party (which In-Universe is a bunch of Card Carrying Villains) and overall he will treat any patients like a bunch of complete hopeless morons and guffaw in their faces about it.
  • The episode Roger 'n' Me from American Dad! introduces Dr. Gupta. Upon meeting Stan, she immediately (and without any provocation) assumes he is stunned that a top brain surgeon is a woman, that she is incompetent and that Stan is only interested in her sexually. She then flashes him her bare chest (again without provocation) in order to allow them to "move on." Later, she enters Francine's hosiptal room and again makes the unfair assumption Stan holds sexist prejudices against her.
  • Dr. T'Ana in Star Trek: Lower Decks is described in her character profile as an excellent doctor who's unpleasant to work with, fitting in with Cats Are Mean as well (since she's a felinoid alien). That said, her attitude is generally a combination of being no-nonsense within Sickbay and a crabapple outside of it. She actually values bedside manner as an essential skill in her medical team and refuses Rutherford's transfer request because he causes a patient to panic, despite his good technical skills, and sends in the cheerful Tendi instead.

    Real Life 
  • As Cracked explained (twice), the prevalence of this trope in the 19th century was the reason why it took so long for hygienic practices to catch on in hospitals. Because medicine was seen as a gentlemanly profession at the time, doctors in that era ridiculed and attacked scientists like Ignaz Semmelweis who merely suggested that they wash their hands after handling corpses in the morgue, as it seemed to imply that they were unclean enough to kill people just by touching them, coupled to the fact that the doctors were unwilling to stick their hands in corrosive and carcinogenic carbolic acid, Semmelweis' preferred antiseptic, on a daily basis. Before Louis Pasteur's germ theory proved once and for all that such basic hygiene was the right course of action, it was more dangerous to give birth in a hospital than in the street due to how rampant disease was within hospitals (hence why we see women giving birth at home in period works so often).
  • In fact, many older doctors can come off as jerkish to modern people as they are trained to believe in the concept of "medical paternalism" (i.e. doctor knows best). They are generally much more forceful in prescribing treatments, sometimes to the point of overruling the patient (a big no-no nowadays), and can actively go out of their way to deceive the patient if they feel it is for their own good. In other words, Dr. House is what happens when the ultimate "old-school" doctor (treat the disease first, the patient be damned) starts practicing medicine in an informed consent-based (with rare exceptions, the physician must abide by the patient's wishes, even if it means the patient will die) environment.
    • On this subject, there's a cultural difference between the American and European approaches to healthcare. In America, it's routine for doctors to put elderly nursing home patients on ventilators for flu, pneumonia, etc. even if it will not change the outcome, and as long as the patient's family wants it and insurance provider is willing to pay for it, they will continue to do invasive interventions and procedures that only prolong suffering and do not improve quality of life. In European countries, whose culture is not as litigious as American culture, doctors tend to be more medical paternalists, giving them a lot more latitude to refuse to perform what they decide is “futile care” (whether that be transferring patients to higher levels of care, intubating patients, and even performing CPR). If the physician believes it will not benefit the patient, they are under no obligation to offer it.
  • On the softer side, Dr. Michel Cymes (often dubbed "The French Doctor House"), host of a health show on French TV, is never short of a snide remark, mainly at the expense of his co-host, Dr. Marina Carrère d'Encausse (sometimes referred as his Lisa Cuddy).
  • Ernesto "Ché" Guevara was originally a practicing doctor before turning revolutionary. His methods could be downright brutal, and bedside manner wasn't really his strong suit. Many people who knew him described him as humorless and mean. He was, however, considered to be a very proficient doctor.
  • It also bears noting that while doctors don't have to be jerks, surgeons need to be emotionally cold at best, and psychopathic at worst just to do their job effectively when your life is on the line. They CANNOT afford to be distracted by emotions at all. A lot more surgeons follow this trope than doctors, and this is actually a good thing.

Alternative Title(s): Doctor Jerk


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