TV doctors #23 – Dr. Chris Turk, Scrubs

Dr. Christopher Turk (Donald Faison), Scrubs, NBC-ABC

Christopher Duncan Turk (Donald Faison) was the main character’s best friend on the cast of Scrubs through its nine seasons on NBC and ABC. Turk eventually became Chief of Surgery at Sacred Heart Hospital.

That makes 23 profiles of African-American TV doctors and nurses. Did I miss any? Who’s your favorite? Now we get back to telling true stories of real-life doctors, stories you will see in A Doctor’s Dream.

TV doctors/nurses #22 – Cmdr. Will Royal, Combat Hospital

Dir. of Nursing Cmdr. Will Royal (Arnold Pinnock), Combat Hospital, ABC

Panned critically, the Canadian-produced Combat Hospital was based in Kandahar, Afghanistan.  It lasted only one season on ABC.  Arnold Pinnock played Chief of Nursing, Cmdr. Will Royal.

TV doctors #21 – Dr. Dennis Hancock, Chicago Hope

Dr. Dennis Hancock (Vondie Curtis-Hall), Chicago Hope, CBS

Detroit native (and nurse’s son) Vondie Curtis-Hall played Dr. Dennis Hancock at David E. Kelley’s Chicago Hope over its first five seasons.  Interestingly, Curtis-Hall played a different character on NBC’s ER in 2001, earning him an Emmy nomination.  He also directed two episodes in Season 8 of ER.

TV doctors #20 – Dr. Eric Foreman, House

Dr. Eric Foreman (Omar Epps), House, Fox

Neurologist Eric Foreman (Omar Epps) is a main part of the diagnostic team on Fox’s House. Who can go head-to-head with the mercurial Dr. House?  Who has the medical skills to contend with him? The back story says Foreman had a 4.0 GPA at Johns Hopkins, and a troubled past as a juvenile delinquent.  Art imitates life.

TV doctors #19 – Dr. Raymond Langston, CSI

Dr. Raymond Langston (Laurence Fishburne), CSI, CBS

Laurence Fishburne brings a certain pathos to his portrayal of Dr. Raymond Langston on the original CSIfranchise. Darkness (and a dark past) surrounded him for the three seasons (9-11) he was part of the CBS show.  In addition to being a medical examiner, his character also did pro-bono surgery at a Las Vegas hospital. Fishburne’s star power makes his the only character to be on all three CSI shows (including Miami and NY).

TV doctors #18 – Dr. Greg Pratt, ER


ER's Dr. Greg Pratt (Mekhi Phifer), NBC

Dr. Gregory Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) was a strong presence in the ER beginning in season 8, progressing from medical student up through the ranks to attending.  The character was a central figure in the season 14 cliffhanger, and the opening episode of final season 15.

TV doctors #17 – Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable

Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby), NBC

Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable kept his OB/GYN practice in the basement of his well-appointed Brooklyn home. Starring Bill Cosby for 197 episodes (1984 – 1992), The Cosby Show on NBC was award-winning, groundbreaking, and, with syndication, is the third-longest running sitcom in American TV history. Oh yeah, the sweaters!

TV doctors #16 – Dr. Jackson Avery

Dr. Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams), Grey's Anatomy, CBS

Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) joined the cast of Grey’s Anatomy as a surgical resident in Season 6 (2009). Lots of drama for this character, who came to Seattle Grace as part of a hospital merger.  He was  on staff during the Season 7 hostage/shooting incident. Isn’t Grey’s Anatomy just the juiciest nighttime medical drama ever?

TV doctors/nurses #15 – Julia

Nurse Julia Baker (Diahann Carroll), NBC

Julia. Diahann Carroll made television history by starring in a hit TV show all her own.  The NBC role won her a Golden Globe and an Emmy nomination.  The show ran only two seasons, but it is still recognized for being one of the first non-stereotypical TV roles for an African-American (still a struggle in 2012?).

TV doctors #14 – Dr. Julius Hibbert

Dr. Julius Hibbert, The Simpsons (Fox)

Dr. Julius Hibbert is the family doctor on The Simpsons, first appearing in Season 2 (1989).  Good natured and pricey, one writer says he is “noticeably less dysfunctional” than other characters.  A classic Simpsons-style send up of Cosby’s Dr. Huxtable. Voiced by Harry Shearer.