10 Best Movies for Doctors

Written by Pliro
Nov 24, 2016 Last updated: Mar 29, 2019

We all need a break, especially due to the hectic schedules that come with being in the medical profession. The great news is that Hollywood can’t help include the doctors and nurses, film after film. These movies all resonate a certain truth behind the dynamics of the medical field. This makes it possible for viewers to develop associations and an understanding with the subject matter. Therefore, when you’re planning to enjoy your well-deserved free time, use this list. Watch these 10 movies for doctors designed to help you relax, offer insights into medicine, health care and the life of a doctor:


1.Patch Adams (1998)

This movie proves that laughter really is the best medicine. Starring Robin Williams as Patch Adams, it is based on a true story and nominated for an Oscar. He uses conventional methods to treat the unwell. Therefore, this causes co-workers to disagree with his techniques since they are all so different. All in all, you’ll likely be inspired to connect more with your patients after watching this.

2. Side Effects (2013)

Although not based on a true story, it’s relatable on many levels. A psychological thriller/drama looks at the side effects of a depressed woman. She is being prescribed an experimental drug, Ablixa. As a consequence, it is interesting to see the effects that it takes on her and those around her.

3. Wit (2001)

Nominated for 21 and winning 11 awards, this movie should be on your must-watch list. It features Vivian Bearing, who would be described as is a literal, and stuck-up college English professor. She is later diagnosed with stage 4, terminal ovarian cancer. Furthermore, after her diagnosis, we see her journey through chemotherapy, and flashbacks and regrets of her life. Showing the horrors of terminal illness and the complexities of the doctor/patient relationship makes this film is a classic. Therefore, it is portrayed with truth rather than sentimentality.


4. M*A*S*H (1970)

M*A*S*H is one of the most famous of all medical films. This classic focuses on a medical team stationed in the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (M*A*S*H) during the Korean War. Winning an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, it shows the horrors of war in detail. However, it also touches on the humorous and lighthearted moments between the two surgeon.

5. Sybil (1976)

This Sally Field film gives insights into multiple personality disorders. making this a classic case study of just what can happen when a doctor wrongly diagnoses a patient. The movie does a good job of showing the realities of suffering from the disorder.

6. Something The Lord Made (2004)

Starring Alan Rickman and Yasiin Bey (as Mos Def), this movie focuses on a black cardiac doctor breaking racial barriers in the medical sector during the Great Depression Era.  It teaches that working together to put the patient first is always the most important part of your career and celebrates the work of Vivien Thomas with his mentor Dr. Alfred Blalock.

7. Philadelphia (1993)

This drama film was one the first to acknowledge and showcase the effects of HIV/AIDS and homosexualty into mainstream Hollywood. This story is about a man with AIDS who is fired by his law firm because of his condition, who then hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.

8. The Doctor (1991)

With William Hurt as a heart surgeon in California, who has a reputation for known for being cold and emotionless, especially to his own family. Hurt is diagnosed with throat cancer all of a sudden after which he is treated poorly by doctors. They treat him just as he would have, with no love or care. The movie is based on the real life story of  the surgeon Ed Rosenbaum, and his memoir; A Taste of My Own Medicine.

9. Girl, Interrupted (1999)

This movies focuses on a girl named Susanna and looks at her 18-month stay in a mental institution in the 1960s, giving a very real and terrifying look at how mental illness was once treated. Based on the true memoir of writer Susanna Kaysen’s experience, and winning 8 awards including an oscar, this film highlights the importance of the way we treat mental health and relieve the stigma.

10. Vital Signs (1990)

This comedy drama is about the lives of third-year medical students who are at a pivotal point in their lives. It is time for them to make the tough decision of choosing which area of medicine to specialize in. Focusing on their relationships and rivalries, this movie is easy going and very relatable, particularly for medical students.


All ten of these movies portray different kinds of doctors, patients and ways to care for them, there’s a movie for everyone. So, when you need a break ether from your studies or work, put on any of these films, sit back and enjoy!