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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Marcus Welby, M.D. vs House

The first show I chose to watch was “Marcus Welby, M.D.” whose star was Robert Young. The plot to this medical drama showed recurrent apprehension and controversy between the physicians. Dr. Welby's unconventional way of treating patients in the hospital was seemingly placed against the more moralistic routine of Dr. Steven Kiley (James Brolin). The thing with this television show was that the roles were different, Dr. Kiley, whom was the younger of the two main characters showed a more “ethical” side to medicine than Dr. Welby. Both doctors worked together in their private practice, frequently working with the nearby hospital. Dr. Welby handled many wide-ranging medical issues such as; rape, impotence, sexually transmitted diseases, addictions, breast cancer, and many others common and uncommon conditions. This iconic event ran from 1969 to 1976 paving the way for television shows like, “Quincy, M.E.”, which was the first television show that utilized forensics and the popular “House”.

Next we have, Dr. Gregory House aka “House” (Hugh Laurie) is the utmost unorthodox, unconventional, wisecracking, medical genius to walk the face of the earth. House aired in 2004 and still going strong; with Hugh Laurie winning several Emmy awards. House works with a team of diagnosticians, to solve a weekly, life-threatening illness or injury to their patient. House’s team has changed over the years and his team of interns who take much criticism and bullying from House. The team consists of various individuals who have their own specialties and from various ethnic backgrounds. House does make inappropriate comments regarding ethnic and sexual orientation stereotypes regardless of the consequences he might face. House never pulls punches with his team or even the hospital administrator “Dr. Lisa Cuddy” (Lisa Edelstein) whom is also the “Dean of Medicine”. House’s best friend and head of the Oncology Department is “Dr. James Wilson” (Robert Sean Leonard), Wilson is House’s only true friend in the entire hospital. House is a showstopper and he may not save all of his patients he usually finds the diagnosis and does his best to treat the patient.

The comparison between the two doctors, Dr. Welby and Dr. House is there is no comparison! Dr. Welby is a kind soul who shows how much he cares about the patient; Dr. House has no compassion for his patients at all. House treats the symptoms while Dr. Welby treats the person. Both are unorthodox in their treatments however; Dr. Welby respects his co-workers and authority while Dr. House degrades authority of any kind. House is an outstanding doctor but has very little self-control and little to no patience with people. House needs to figure out the patients secrets and can read a patients lie in order to diagnose and properly treat the patient. In some instances, House has misdiagnosed patients because of the patience lack of trust in House or the team to tell them what the patient is hiding. Nevertheless, in the end both doctors get their ailment, even when the results are fatal.


  1. Excellent post and comparison of the two doctors. While I do remember Dr. Welby, I can't really remember much about the show, but I LOVE House! It is one of my favorite shows and you described him perfectly!

  2. Good post, Monica. I watched House religiously during the first three seasons, but I've fallen away over the past few seasons. One of the big differences I've noticed between the two shows is that Marcus Welby was virtuous and "played by the rules". All of the main characters on House are flawed and carry some deep personal issues... none more that House himself. -Mike

  3. Thank you for your kind replies, Dr. Welby did not always play by the rules but he was most definitely more virtuous than House. Mike you are correct about the flaws of the main characters and the deep personal issues. I appreciate your response and appreciate your comments.