Wednesday, April 08, 2009

In Praise of Kal Penn

The news that Kal Penn left House to take a job at the White House saddens me a bit, because Penn's Dr. Kutner was, for my money, the most realistic TV doctor I've ever seen.

In college I spent a ghastly amount of time with pre-med students and in hospitals shadowing and gophering for doctors and I'm here to tell you there are no George Clooneys or Eriq Lasalles or Lisa Edelsteins in the medical profession. Maybe there were once upon a time, but there was an explosion in med school applications in the mid-1980s and by the time I was taking the MCAT in the mid-1990s there were only three kinds of people getting into med school: (1) very smart, socially awkward grinders (the majority); (2) semi-smart people who managed to game the application system (a very small minority); and (3) super-smart, kind-of out-there-odd-balls--like Penn's Kutner character. (It probably helps that Penn is an Indian guy from New Jersey--a group which seemed to make up a sizable number of the successful med-school applicants I knew.)

My point is, there were no Olivia Wildes or Jenny Morrisons or Jesse Spencers--beautiful, smart, emotionally conflicted, passionate, blah-blah-blah.

So three cheers for Penn's Kutner--I'll miss him. And good luck to him in the administration. I'd like to think that during his first week in town he'll hook up with Charlie Korso for a beer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just in 4/13/09, Harry Kalas just died. RIP.