"The Doctor" Essay

2112 Words 9 Pages
In the 1991 film titled “The Doctor”, William Hurt portrays Dr. Jack MaKee, a cardiothoracic surgeon coming to terms with issues related to his newly diagnosed laryngeal cancer.
MaKee is presented in the film as a successful and well-respected doctor, quite adept at his surgical skills who, along with his colleagues, performs procedures on and glibly interacts with patients, referring to them as diagnoses rather than people. Jack’s relationships with his wife and son appear to have suffered due to Jack’s work schedule and time away from home. Jack’s wife seemingly has created a personal and professional existence devoid of Jack’s presence, while Jack’s son interacts only with his father via phone conversations. Though Jack lives in a
…show more content…
Jack quickly learns that its “business-only” with his colleague, setting the stage for a series of eye-opening surprises Jack experiences throughout the remainder of the film. Within minutes of his diagnostic procedure, Jack learns that his symptoms are due to a serious condition, necessitating immediate treatment. Jack quickly transitions from doctor to patient, becoming subject to the same type of treatment he had been giving, for years, to patients of his own. Not only is Jack surprised that his medical prowess and, in his opinion, “good looks” have no influence on his medical condition and treatment, but he is shocked to overhear his colleague who, in the midst of a phone conversation scheduling Jack’s urgent next appointment, refers to patients on her schedule as diagnoses, rather than names. Jack’s expressions during this scene represent shocking surprise, as he finds it incomprehensible how insensitive he has been treated during his appointment, and how Jack’s position within the hospital, coupled with his diagnosis, have no bearing on his treatment or concern for his condition. This scene sets the tone for the remainder of the film, as Jack struggles to deal with his own feelings, as well as those of his family, colleagues, and patients with diagnoses similar to his own.
Jack’s encounters with June were quite intriguing and surprising, specifically when Jack fabricated a story regarding a patient who had successfully responded

More about "The Doctor" Essay

Open Document