Doctors' favourite medic is Hawkeye

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The Independent Online
HAWKEYE PIERCE, the cynical, womanising doctor from the Seventies medical series Mash, is the man most doctors in Britain would like to be compared with.

In a survey of more than 1,000 doctors and consultants, more than 25 per cent voted for the anti-establishment doctor played by Alan Alda. The programme, which is set in a mobile hospital during the Korean war, finished over 15 years ago.

Only 15 per cent voted for ER's Dr Doug Ross, played by George Clooney and 15 per cent for Dr Claire Maitland in Cardiac Arrest, played by Helen Baxendale.

The results of the poll, by Hospital Doctor and Doctor, will be revealed later today. The BBC's drama Casualty was voted favourite current fictional UK medical drama, followed by Dangerfield. ITV's Peak Practice, which is based on a rural general practice, was voted the most unbelievable medical series by 40 per cent of those polled.

Bernard Rosenberg, a consultant gynaecologist from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, voted for Hawkeye Pierce. "His looks and vitality I don't share, but I like the fact that he is a ladies' man," he said. "I also like his individual streak. He is able to work within an organisation without giving up his beliefs. I find that hard to do."

A number of female doctors also chose Hawkeye as their role model. Dr Nicola Barham, a cardiothoracic anaesthetist at South Cleveland Hospital in Middlesbrough, said: "He was my childhood hero. I always liked him because he was really good at his job and he did it with humour."

The older medical dramas, however, have not been forgotten. Dr Alan Finlay of Dr Finlay's Casebook, which was broadcast between 1962 and 1971, received 13 per cent of the vote.

The BBC's Cardiac Arrest, described as "Hill Street Blues meets The Bill in white coats", was voted favourite medical television series of all time, although it scored only two votes more than Mash.