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Super Doc

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"Limited facility presents challenge...save greatest number of people using limited resources! Security threats...gangs...mercenary groups add additional difficulty, quite enjoyable! Plague stretched abilities to limit...couldn't have asked for more! Also enjoy saving people, of course...helping the helpless...greater good...all that too."
Professor Mordin Solus, Mass Effect 2

Super Doc is the only doctor in town/on the starship/in the expedition. He may have a canon field of expertise, but when called on, he can treat ANYTHING. Often in sci-fi settings, he has no nurses or other doctors to help him, sometimes with quite limited resources, and must sometimes learn and treat an alien's anatomy after about five minutes looking at it, or diagnose weird new illnesses at the drop of a hat. Even against all these odds, he usually has a high success rate. After all, he's Super Doc!

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Compare Open Heart Dentistry, contrast Not That Kind of Doctor. A subtrope of Omnidisciplinary Scientist and The Medic. A Super Doc can be used as an excuse for The Main Characters Do Everything.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Jack: The titular protagonist is a world renowed surgeon for his ability to perform treatment on virtually any species, from humans to giant clams. While Black Jack expertizes in human cardiovascular surgery, he is noted to be skilled in virtually all medical fields. He has been shown performing nigh-impossible operations, like transforming the mind of a horse into a boy's body, turning a human into a bird with working wings, or saving a literal alien.
  • A Certain Magical Index: The "frog-faced doctor" seems to be capable of treating anything. Now, he does have access to some seriously advanced medical technology, but thus far the only things he's been unable to cure have been cases where portions of his patient's brain have been outright destroyed, and in one of those cases he found a workaround anyway. There's a reason that members of the underworld call him "Heaven Canceller".
  • Franken Fran, of course, can fix any medical problem, but the result is usually worse than the original problem.
  • Doctor Bombay from Kinnikuman could undo brain damage and reattach severed limbs with ease.
  • Dr. Tenma from Monster is noted to be a genius doctor, but his specialty is neurosurgery. He often ends up performing operations on people that have nothing whatsoever to do with the nervous system, and pulling it off because he's just that good.
  • More Medicine Man than Doctor, Mushishi's Ginko can recognize almost any mushi, and has a solution to nearly every Mushi-based problem the series has to offer; in both cases, usually after very little deliberation or research.
  • Trafalgar Law from One Piece is literally a miracle doctor as his Devil Fruit, the Op-Op Fruit, allows him to perform any kind of surgery that would otherwise be impossible for a regular surgeon. He has been shown treating poisoning, paralysis, dismemberment, and wounds ranging from bullet-sized to fist-sized in fatal areas.
    • This is surprisingly Downplayed with the Straw Hats' own doctor, Tony Tony Chopper. While called on a few times to resolve esoteric injury/health problems, he usually has help from whatever specialist characters the Strawhats are meeting that arc, and is in general nowhere near as omnidisciplinary as Sanji is to cooking, or Franky is to heavy construction. By default, he's treated as more of the Tagalong Kid than The Medic.
  • Team Medical Dragon has Dr. Asada, a surgeon so quick and precise with his hands that he can perform operation procedures that would normally be impossible for other doctors to even attempt. Dr. Kirishima, his rival, states that even a surgical robot would take at least a decade to catch up with Asada's skills. While his specialty is cardiology, he also helps out a lot in the ER department, and has even outperformed the its department head, forcing the latter to follow his pace when the two are operating together.

    Comic Books 
  • Dr Leslie Thompkins from Batman is seemingly the jack of all medical trades when it comes to helping him in his nocturnal activities. Her day job is running a free clinic for criminals and addicts so she’s probably some sort of General Practitioner or maybe an Emergency Specialist. However she was a work friend of his dad’s who was a surgeon and in Robin Series she says in the hospital she’s the only one he’ll let operate on Tim Drake. General Practitioners and Emergency Specialists don’t usually do that sort of complicated surgery.
  • Doctor Strange is either this or Forgot About His Powers when it comes to medicine. He was a surgeon whose career ended at least 15 years ago (what with Marvel's floating timeline), and as he points out in his 2019 series, that's actually a really long time in medicine, and he has nightmares about being in an operating room and finding himself out of his depth after he fixes his hands. He solves this with a techno-magic transplant of knowledge to get him up to speed. Even before this, he's still been asked to do anything from give an injection to deliver babies - though this is possibly justified by the fact that Strange is canonically a prodigy with a superb memory, who studied widely. Given the fact he's a doctor with super powers, he's also a literal Super Doc.
  • The third Dr Mid-Nite (Pieter Anton Cross) from Justice Society of America, the world's most prominent superhero doctor. As a top physician Cross is capable of all manner of various surgeries, including doing it in the dark. He is often called upon when an autopsy is needed or when a hero needs major surgery. Among Cross' notable achievements as a physician includes determining Alan Scott was composed of the green flame of the Starheart, giving Power Girl her annual checkups as well as testing her powers, emergency surgery on Hourman, removal of the Brainiac virus from Oracle, the autopsy of Sue Dibny in Identity Crisis, and removing the sniper bullet that wounded Lois Lane in Umec. He is also called upon by other medical agencies, such as S.T.A.R. Labs, when emergencies or dilemmas appear.
  • Dr. Curt Connors was the main go-to guy for any of Spider-Man's ailments or genetic mixups. When he isn't the Lizard at the time.
  • Night Nursenote  provides emergency medical care for superheroes when they can't go anywhere else, and seems able to treat anything from minor injuries to operating on heroes with unbreakable skin.
  • Sensation Comics: Dr. Pat may not be the only doctor in her feature, but due to a case of The Main Characters Do Everything she acts as an EMT, GP, and surgeon frequently in addition to acting as a pharmaceutical researcher at least once. There is one aversion when some gangsters hold her hostage and try to force her to perform plastic surgery, she drugs them instead and explains to the other hostage that she isn't a plastic surgeon.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 2: Epione seems to be capable of aiding the Amazons with any medical concerns they might have, acting as anything from surgeon to psychologist. She at least has the excuse of being several thousand years old and having been practicing medicine for most of her life to excuse her wide array of expertise.
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    Fan Works  
  • Child of the Storm has a couple of examples:
    • Frigga, aside from being Queen of Asgard and Goddess of Motherhood, also runs its medical service, acting as everything from a dietitian to a surgeon, also teaching Harry the basics.
    • Doctor Strange takes this trope even further than his canon counterpart, revelling in the fact that he actually is That Kind Of Doctor. He delivers babies (including Harry, Hermione, and Tony and Pepper's daughter in the sequel), brews up psychic tea to fix damage to Clark's soul, whips up infertility cures, and simultaneously performs the magical equivalent of extremely complicated heart surgery on Sif while resuscitating Harry Dresden (who, having used his Death Curse, was technically dead). This is somewhat justified; he was Camelot's Court Physician long before he became Sorcerer Supreme, making him necessarily a very skilled general practitioner who used magic in his medicine, and his time-travelling skills and immortality mean that he's had the time to learn from the very best in every era of history. Further justified when a throwaway line underlines that all he ever wanted to be was a doctor - everything else was an unfortunate side-effect.
  • Thoroughly subverted in the Heroes of the Storm fanfic Heroes of the Desk. The Strategic Prevention, Extraction, and Ablation Regiment may have Magic by Any Other Name, Deflector Shields, Plasma Cannons, and underwater bases, but they don't have these. Upon intake, a patient is first introduced to a general-practitioner physician who checks for physical injuries, but is then handed off to a psychologist who evaluates for mental issues. The same seems to apply to their scientist and researcher types.
  • Hiko in My Soul to Keep, a Rurouni Kenshin fanfic, straddles the border between this and Open Heart Dentistry because he is a child psychiatrist who can treat a drug overdose and cancer pain. Even though Hiko was The Ace in canon, there is no way that he could have gotten all of this training.

    Literature 
  • James Nichols in the 1632 series, but then again, he's a doctor of 2000 in the 17th century. His daughter, later in the series, earns almost as much of a "superdoc" reputation among downtime physicians.
    • However, both of them (And every other uptime medical professional) frequently bemoan everything that they can't do; either because of lack of equipment or specialized skills. As an example, a violinist comes to James to see what can be done for his fingers-which were deliberately broken in a rival in such a way to make impossible for him to play. James is able to restore enough functionality for the fingers to at least be usable, but he's still unable to play. Afterwards he acknowledges that he knew an orthopedic surgeon back in Chicago who would have been able to completely fix them, but this is the best he can do.
  • Discworld series:
    • Dr "Mossy" Lawn from Night Watch. And since he's the only good doctor around, he seems to go without sleep.
    • Slightly subverted in the earlier Feet of Clay; due to a lack of any competent (or trustworthy) doctors in the city, the poisoned Patrician has to rely on horse doctor "Doughnut" Jimmy. When the mob owns most of the racehorses around, a vet has to get results.
    • In Unseen Academicals, the surgical skills of The Igors is such that there is a law in Ankh-Morpork that says:
      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.
  • Madame Pomfrey from the Harry Potter series, although having access to magical remedies does help a lot. And her training is clearly meant to treat more minor (relatively) injuries. More serious cases get sent to a fully qualified hospital.
  • The Hunger Games: Outside the poorer districts, medicine is far in advance of our own time.
  • In Hurog averted with Oreg, who can heal wounds with magic, and has the necessary knowledge for treating wounds without using magic — but apparently he's helpless when it comes to psychological problems. He clearly is very fond of Ciarra, who is mute for what is likely psychosomatic reasons, but is never shown to have attempted to do anything about her muteness. Likewise, there's Ciarra's mother, whose brain is damaged by taking herbal drugs; that seems to be beyond Oreg's power, too. And that even though he is Really 700 Years Old.
    • There are others who can ... magically mess with people's brains, though whether they use that for good is a different question.
    • Stable master Penrod treats all horse diseases, most of them with one single tincture. He also seems to be competent in horse psychology.
  • Aes Sedai in The Wheel of Time series have the magical means to heal almost anything short of a missing limb or death, but Nynaeve has an innate medical mastery that far outstrips even those who have studied the art for decades. Early on she uses healing magic that is far more effective, though proportionately difficult, than that considered standard by the Aes Sedai (because it provides the energy for the healing rather than drawing it from the patient themselves). Her self-taught method is considered inferior by other Aes Sedai until she goes on to cure conditions such as the severing of one's ability to do magic, which was considered impossible even in the nigh-omniscient Age Of Legends. In the most recent book of the series (13th as of this writing), she also cured the madness brought on by using the tainted type of magic, likewise believed impossible.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5: Dr. Stephen Franklin, a xenobiologist, can operate on any alien species, perform autopsies, dissect alien organisms, and is so efficient at medical research that he can engineer medicines to combat diseases he hadn't even heard about previously in a matter of days. He can also engineer electronic devices to interface with a telepath's mind to control telepaths up in orbit when most telepathy requires "line-of-sight". In one episode, however, when dealing with a disease that threatened to kill ALL the Markab people, he enlisted the help of a Markab friend, Doctor Lazarenn, who manages (before succumbing to the disease himself) to point Franklin in the right direction. However, when Dr. Franklin is ready to test his experimental vaccine, all the Markab in the station have died.
  • Dr. Woodard on Dark Shadows is generally only shown as a family doctor or general physician, until he's revealed to also be the greatest surgeon in Collinsport.
    • Dr. Julia Hoffman, in the original series. Psychiatrist, surgeon, expert in blood disorders...
  • Dr. Michaela Quinn in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. She was a general practitioner, diagnostician, surgeon, gynecologist, obstetrician, pediatrician, epidemiologist, ophthalmologist... Justified as she was a Frontier Doctor and the only physician in the area. Among the most amazing things she did was successfully performing a brain surgery on a child (to be fair, she tried to get a specialist) and a complicated reconstructive plastic surgery. She was often shown studying books and preparing thoroughly for more complicated procedures.
  • Doubly impressive on Farscape since Zhaan isn't a trained physician at all and Noranti's skills are... dubious, to say the least.
    • And Joolushko, who was established as being essentially a med student, though granted from a race that seems to prize intellect and learning above all else. Then she apparently switches specialties to archaeology...
  • Zig-zagged in House. The fact that House is a Super Doc is pretty much the show's premise, and he has a ridiculously vast and long-reaching understanding of different forms of medicine, both modern and historical. On the other hand, the entire reason House has a team (with their own sub-specialties) is to round out his knowledge and keep him from slipping up. Other doctors seen on the show are played more realistically, and specialists who are featured will stick to their field of medicine; Wilson for example is an oncologist and he's never seen treating anyone other than cancer patients.
  • Played for Laughs with Brett Montgomery in the Quebec parody show Le Cœur a ses Raisons, who is called a gynecologist by everyone but is seen doing absolutely anything but gynecology, including first aid, open surgeries, psychiatry, and things that have nothing to do with health in the first place.
    Brett: As you know, my formation as a gynecologist taught me to speak the language of dolphins.
    Ashley: Yes, we all knew that.
  • Jack from Lost , as the series went on he went from applying first aid, to running a small pharmacy using drugs found on the plane, to performing amputations and blood transfusions in the jungle, with no medical equipment.
  • Dr Julia Ogden in Murdoch Mysteries appears to be on the way to becoming this. Initially introduced as a pathologist, she studies psychiatry in Season 5, and surgery in season 12. She can now assist her husband whether he needs a coroner, a profiler, or medical attention.
  • Any Stargate doctor.
  • Any Star Trek doctor — ships' doctors, in space as at sea, have to be flexible to deal with whatever comes up far from help, but Trek doctors seem never even to struggle with the sheer breadth of medical issues facing them, only being troubled by completely new diseases and thought-impossible surgeries.
    • "Bones" McCoy from Star Trek: The Original Series. The example is when he successfully treated the Mother Horta, a silicon-based lifeform whose physiology is not only completely unfamiliar to McCoy, but he didn't even believe such a lifeform even existed until that very moment.
      McCoy: I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer!
      Kirk: You're a healer, there's a patient. That's an order.
    • Minorly subverted early on — the second-ranking medical officer (Dr M'Benga) was indicated to be Bones' superior when it came to treating Vulcans, on account of having done his internship on Vulcan. Bones could still treat Vulcans, and do so well, but there were more than a few cases of Bones being surprised at some physical quirk of Vulcans. McCoy does, however, claim not to be a psychiatrist.
    • Dr. Beverley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation is a pathologist, physical therapist, internist, chemist, and general practitioner. She does have a larger medical staff than Bones did.
    • Dr. Kathrine Pulaski, also from The Next Generation, has the same skillset as Crusher.
    • Dr. Julian Bashir from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He's actually such a standout doctor that he was once considered as a template for the next generation of Starfleet medical holograms. However, there are a few occasions where he runs up against a disease he can't cure in the allotted episode time and has to either find a backchannel method which was less than ethicalnote  or simply live with the consequences.
    • "Doctor" (Emergency Medical Hologram) from Star Trek: Voyager, with Kes or Paris as an occasional Nurse. The EMH kind of cheats here, as "he" is essentially a 24th century supercomputer integrated with a database of the entirety of Federation medical knowledge, with holograms and forcefields used to provide a "body". Kes/Paris being used as a nurse/medic was more for when they couldn't bring the patient to the Doctor, as he was stuck in sickbay by his holographic nature (at least initially), there being no projectors elsewhere on the ship.
    • Dr. Phlox (a rare non-human Super Doc) from Star Trek: Enterprise. He claims to hold six degrees in interspecies veterinary medicine, as well as degrees in dentistry, hematology, botanical pharmacology, psychiatry, and other disciplines.
  • Subverted on Superstore. Tate comes in seemingly ready to deliver Cheyenne's baby, asks her if she's taken any drugs that might affect the birth...and then walks away saying his job is done, since as the store's pharmacist, he wasn't trained in childbirth. In another episode he's shown to not know how to do first aid either.

    Roleplay 
  • Dr. Crusher in Dino Attack RPG is not only a qualified surgeon but also engineered a cure to neurotoxins after the XERRD fortress battle and helped develop a cure to deal with possession by The Maelstrom.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Surprisingly common in table top role playing games, period, where Medicine is usually a single skill. Few games actually ask you to specialize like a real doctor would, and many that do simply provide you a bonus within your field rather than treat you as possibly inept outside of it. Examples:
    • Dungeons & Dragons has the fantasy variant, where the Heal skill treats everything. Magic outclasses mundane healings by orders of magnitude in utility, however. The D20 Star Wars variant added feats and the like for surgery.
    • In the World of Darkness, your Medicine skill functioned under the "bonus to your specialty" rule. Hunter: The Reckoning had a gynecologist who was treating severe trauma. Somewhat justified, as all doctors have at least a little training in emergencies.
    • In West End Games' Star Wars version, and WEG games in general, Medicine is a single skill.
    • Unknown Armies has an unusual variant where skills are not predefined. A small number of skills are used for universal abilities like Notice and Struggle. All other skills cover a wide aspect of what you are and do, such as a skill like Police Officer reflecting everything about being a police officer that isn't covered by the universal skills. Likely "Medicine" would be considered too vague; you would write in something like "Family Medicine Physician." You would use that skill for everything related to being such a physician, from practicing medicine to understanding paperwork and charts and insurance to figuring out which pharmacist might give you the compound you hope will keep the Eldritch Abomination under your basement sedated without asking too many questions.
    • Call of Cthulhu has the 'Medicine is one skill' variant.
    • Witch Hunter: The Invisible World has two foci for Heal skill, Medicine and Herbalism, with Medicine used to treat wounds and Herbalism to perform medicine. Don't ask.
  • GURPS has Wildcard Skills (Skills that end with an exclamation mark, and cover everything their name could possibly cover), so it is possible to create a Super Doc with the "Medicine!" Wildcard Skill.
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    Video Games 
  • Doctors in Fallout are able to casually heal your hp, broken limbs, addictions, radiation poisoning, and sometimes, even perform plastic surgery on your face. In a world where almost everything is rusting and badly irradiated.
  • Dr. Baldhead from Guilty Gear, better known as Faust, claims that he's nearly treated every disease under the sun, and is basically renown for his godlike powers of healing- until he goes insane as a result of the Assassin's Guild (Zato-One in particular) killing one of his patients. Once he gets his sanity back (somewhat), he takes up the name Faust, covers his head in a paper bag, and tries to make up for the homicidal rampage he went on by putting his Reality Warper powers to use in the medical field once more.
  • Mordin-f**king-Solus from Mass Effect 2. Cures a bio-engineered plague in a mob-controlled Wretched Hive while three factions of gangs battle it out and try to gun their way inside his clinic just for the spite of it. Later goes on to become a chief medical officer aboard the Normandy, helping Commander Shepard save the galaxy, rarely breaking any composure.
    • Dr. Chakwas. Despite being an old woman, and the fact that humanity has only had thirty or so years' experience dealing with alien species, she knows how to treat just about any wound on any sort of species. Liara T'Soni (a 106-year-old asari scientist) is impressed at how much she knows about her species' physiology. She later proves how unflappable and determined she is by surviving the destruction of the original Normandy, leaving the Alliance just to serve aboard the illegally-constructed second Normandy, and pulling herself together after being abducted and almost liquified by the Collectors. She flat out tells you that she'll go through any sort of hell to serve at your side. How's that for Undying Loyalty?
  • You never meet him, but Dr. Hank's name comes up in Night in the Woods as being the source of treatment for all the town's medical, dental, and even therapeutic needs. Then it turns out that he's not good at any of those things, especially as he underestimated just how dangerous Mae's improperly treated depression and dissociation was.
  • Nurse Joy in any Pokémon game, at least, from a Pokemon's point of view.
  • The Medic from Team Fortress 2 has his medigun that can keep a fellow team member alive under heavy bullet rain at such a degree they'll die only via concentrated effort from the opposing team. The "Meet The Medic" video shows that if he has the peace and quiet and equipment for it, he can easily keep a patient conscious and talking without a heart.

    Web Comics 
  • Both a Super Doc and an even more literal "Super" Doc would be Doctor McNinja, who has a degree in almost literally everything (he spent his college years being in dozens of places at once through the power of cloning) and also has great experience treating the kind of medical problems for which there are no degrees (like a disease that turns people into Paul Bunyans or makes your ass turn into a spider at night). On top of that he fights crime and saves the world in his spare time.
  • The Dragon Doctors is supposed to be what happens when you have a team of different (magically-powered) doctors banding together. None of them are good at everything, but even alone, they're each capable of amazing feats of healing.

    Western Animation 
  • Similarly, Dr. Hartman from Family Guy. He even performed a sex change operation.
  • Rugrats — Susie Carmichael's mom, Lucy, appears to be this, because aside from obstetrics (she delivered Dil Pickles) and pediatrics, she's also mentioned doing surgery (such as organ transplants). Dr. Carmichael is also the primary for Tommy Pickles' family.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Dr. Hibbert is both a GP and a surgeon. Marge refers to him as a pediatrician at one point, but that hasn't stopped him from treating her and most of Springfield's adult population.
    • Hibbert's rival, Dr. Nick, while a bit of a quack, practices in a similarly broad variety of disciplines.

    Real Life 
  • Veterinarians. While some of them specialize in certain species (for example, horses), many are trained to treat numerous different forms of life. Including themselves and each other, because uncooperative animals can and frequently do cause injuries, often in locations a long way from the nearest emergency room.
  • Emergency Room-physicians must be equipped to identify and handle a truly staggering number of topics, both medical and psychiatric, in an environment where seconds count and a single mistake can easily cost someone their life.
  • Within emergency medicine itself, Australia has developed a reputation for training the world's most skilled providers and punching far above its weight in contributions to the research literature. Of course, given the nature of practicing on a continent made of Everything Trying to Kill You, this invokes a certain degree of Had to Be Sharp.
  • During the February 1997 North Hollywood bank shootout, two police officers who were shot (one with a life-threatening injury) received emergency first-aid treatment from a dentist when they took shelter in his office, who managed to slow the bleeding and disinfect the wounds using only hydrogen peroxide and sterile gauze pads.

Alternative Title(s): Omnidisciplinary Doctor

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