Does 'Scrubs' Have The Worst TV Doctor Of All-Time?
It's understandable if you have a hard time recalling Doug Murphy (a.k.a. "nervous guy") from Scrubs. In terms of memorable characters, Doug Murphy ranks somewhere above that guest appearance from Matthew Perry and somewhere below the Janitor's mop. In fact, unless you also spent your high school years forming an encyclopedic knowledge of this zany TV show rather than, say, having a social life, then you probably haven't thought about Doug Murphy since 2009. But I'm here to tell you, on this most hallowed of weens, that Doug Murphy is the spookiest son of a bitch in town when it comes to TV doctors. Yeah, I'm talking about this guy:
It's a bold assertion to make, I know. Television and cinema are filled with terrifying doctors, from Lecter to Frankenstein to every asshole on Nip/Tuck, and Doug Murphy seems about as imposing as a mouse's dildo. Certainly, Murphy isn't as much of a psychopath as a Lecter or a Frankenstein ( obviously, I'm talking about Doug Murphy here because we all know Nip/Tuck creator, Ryan Murphy is every bit as crazy as Hannibal Lecter or Dr. Frankenstein.), but Lecter and Frankenstein have nothing on Murphy in terms of body count. It's implied that during Doug's residency, he kills just about every patient he comes into contact with. Doug is so incompetent and so negligent and kills so many patients that Doctor Cox even wonders if Murphy is a government agent.
Now, it's true that almost every doctor has accidentally killed a patient. It's estimated that there are anywhere from 210,000 - to 400,000 preventable medical deaths per year. It could be a bit of hyperbole that Doug kills almost every patient within his care, but we've also seen Doug kill enough to know that the exaggeration can't be much. Doctors may see a thousand patients a year during their residency, if not many more, and can be responsible for up to 100 critically ill patients at a time. If Doug only killed one out of every 10 patients that he was responsible for, and that's generous for a doctor who frequently reacts to crises like this ...
... then, throughout his three and a half year residency, that still leaves Doug responsible for at least 35 people dead by his sweaty hands. Again, a very generous number. You could easily argue he killed patients he came into contact with at the daily clinic. For comparison sake, Hannibal Lecter only killed 29 people.
After three and a half years, Doug finally decided to stop working with live patients and joined the pathology department in the episode "My Malpractice decision." There he would perform autopsies and become a sort of virtuoso in the field of cutting into dead bodies. Which, uh, typically would only add to his creepiness score, but in Doug's case, it finally stopped the proverbial bleeding. Just not before he became the most horrifying TV doctor of all time. If there's a lesson here, it's this: Ghouls and ghosts are scary, but nothing kills quite like medical malpractice.
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Top Image: NBC