Goodbye, Dr House

Published: June 6, 2012

Hugh Laurie played the memorable character of Gregory House and his acting attracted nothing but praises from the general viewers and critics. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

As the saying “all good things come to an end” goes, “House M.D.”, the brilliantly written show, ended last week. There have been numerous television dramas over the years based on doctors and hospitals including “General Hospital” from the 60s to “Scrubs” and “Grey’s Anatomy” during the 2000s. “House M.D.” embarked on a journey to create its own presence and niche when it first aired in 2004.

It is based on an ingenious but misanthropic doctor who is willing to cross all boundaries to solve a case. His actions are seen to be driven by his passion for medical puzzles and mysteries, instead of a general feeling of care and well-being for his patients.

The character is loosely based on Sherlock Holmes, the fictional character created by a Scottish physician and writer, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Dr House is a graduate of Johns Hopkins school of medicine and has served fellowships in nephrology and infectious diseases. In the series, Gregory House heads the Diagnostics Department at Princeton Plainsboro Hospital (PPTH), in New Jersey. The department takes only one patient at a time with barely any criteria for selection. Usually patients with atypical symptoms are dealt by the Diagnostic Department. Both the department and the hospital are, however, fictional.

In the first three seasons, his team includes Eric Foreman, a neurologist, Dr Chase, a cardiologist  (later head of surgery and then the department of diagnostics) and Dr Allison Cameron, an immunologist. Other important characters include Dr Lisa Cuddy, the administrator of PPTH and Dr James Wilson, an oncologist and the only friend of Dr House. House abides by one golden rule about patients and life in general – “everybody lies”. That is the reason he seldom talks to his patients or even believes in what they tell his team about their medical history.

Hugh Laurie, a British actor, plays the character of Gregory House and his acting attracted nothing but praises from the general viewers and critics. Despite his British accent, he effortlessly adopted the American accent throughout the show.The show was popular not only amongst people with medical backgrounds but also for aficianados of acting and drama. The character House is famous for his witticisms and there is a whole website dedicated to “House-isms”. I would like to mention some of the quotes here for all of us to enjoy and reminisce the intelligent humour we all will miss the most.

House: “Me and humanity, we got together too young.”

Patient: “How do doctors get this idea that you are better than everyone else?”

House: “Probably because of all that ‘pulling people back from the brink of death’, but its just a guess.”

House: “Treating for wrong diagnoses can result in side effects, like death.”

Chase: “The dream doesn’t mean anything. Can we start acting like it doesn’t mean anything?”

House: “Sure. We can also act like walls don’t mean anything. But then we’d hurt our noses.”

House: “Evolution does not work that way. You can’t talk legs onto a fish. If we’re going to go extinct, we’re going to do it drinking Scotch and driving muscle cars.”

House M.D. means more to me than a simple drama for the purpose of  entertainment, which it definitely provided its viewers with. I started watching it when I was in medical school and even now, when I am undergoing my clinical training, I still watch it. It evokes so many memories that I feel difficult to let it go, like many of its fans.

House M.D. will live on, even after it goes off air. It will and may have already inspired countless people towards the medical profession. It showcased the much-neglected human side of doctors emphasising on their human errors. With teary eyes, I bid farewell to one of my favourite television shows, House M.D.

My Tuesdays will be emptier without another episode of the show and if I ever develop any atypical disease, I would want someone like House M.D. to treat me. He may dismantle my hopes for living but at least he would not let me die due to a lack of effort.

Read more by Majeed here, or follow him on Twitter @abdulmajeedabid


Abdul Majeed

A final year medical student with interests in history, political economy and literature. He blogs at and tweets as @abdulmajeedabid

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