The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has been celebrating July 1 as National Doctors’ Day to honour the healthcare heroes since 1991. The day marks the birth and death anniversaries of Bidhan Chandra Roy, the second chief minister of West Bengal who was also a physician, an educationist and a freedom fighter.
Ayushmann Khurrana unveiled a new poster of his upcoming film Doctor G on the occasion of National Doctors’ Day. Directed by Anubhuti Kashyap, Doctor G will star Rakul Preet Singh alongside Ayushmann, who is set to play a goofy gynaecologist in the movie.
Before you get to catch Doctor G, here are some shows and movies that give us a peek into the lives of doctors, filled with highs and lows.
Lakhon Mei Ek Season 2
Lakhon Mei Ek is an Amazon Prime web series created by comedian Biswa Kalyan Rath. After the success of the first season of the show in 2017, the second season was greenlighted leading to a 2019 premiere. Shweta Tripathi essayed Shreya Pathare, a fresh-out-of-college junior doctor posted at a government hospital in the village of Sitlapur. The eight-episode show mixes comedy and social message to show us the pressure that doctors face in government hospitals. Along with her struggles as a junior doctor in a tough setup, Shreya also has to battle as a woman-of-science in the patriarchal and superstitious village.
Watch on: Amazon Prime
Dice Media’s Operation MBBS web series focuses on the struggles of three friends studying at a medical college. The relatable show deals not only with the stress faced by medical students but also talks about familial pressure, peer dynamics, college politics, the condition of medical care in the country and mental health. The first season, released in 2020, was more light-hearted as it introduced us to Nishant Singh (Ayush Mehra), Huma Sheikh (Sarah Hashmi), Sakshi Sachin Pilgaonkar (Anshul Chauhan) and their college mates. The second season, which came out in 2021, took us through the struggles of the budding doctors in the face of the pandemic.
Watch it on: Dice Media’s official YouTube channel
Hailed as the first Indian medical drama, Sanjeevani: A Medical Boon (2002-2005) shared the trials and tribulations faced by four medical interns – Juhi Singh (Gurdeep Kohli), Rahul Mehra (first Gaurav Chanana, and later Mihir Mishra), Simran Chopra (first Shilpa Kadam, and later Rupali Ganguly) and Omi Joshi (Sanjeet Bedi). The journey of these medical professionals at the Sanjeevani Hospital was a showcase of a fresh genre at the time it came out. Sanjeevani was noted to be one of the first shows where the topic of HIV was discussed.
The show led to a reboot in 2019. The reboot is set in the same Sanjeevani Hospital as the one in Sanjeevani: A Medical Boon. Mohnish Bahl reprised his role as Shashank Gupta along with Gurdeep who returned as Juhi. The series’ first look was released on National Doctors’ Day 2019. The reboot notched up the drama but tried its best to stick to the pioneering roots of the original show.
Watch it on: Disney+ Hotstar
Dill Mill Gayye
Sanjeevani: A Medical Boon set the stage for another captivating show that many Indian millennials watched as their ‘guilty pleasure’. Dill Mill Gayye (2007-2010) was a popular medical drama that focused more on romance than medicine. Karan Singh Grover, as Armaan Malik, was adored as the Indian version of Grey’s Anatomy’s ‘McDreamy’ and ‘McStreamy’ combined. Also based on Sanjeevani Hospital, the show focused more on the interpersonal relationships of the hospital staff while sprinkling in some medical drama.
Watch it on: Disney+ Hotstar
The 2016 movie Dear Zindagi put emphasis on the health expert-client relationship between Jehangir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan), a psychologist, and a young professional named Kiara (Alia Bhatt). The film progresses over the many sessions that Kiara has with Jehangir in which, as a therapist, he busts many a myth around seeking therapy for mental health.
Jehangir takes Kiara on a journey of self-discovery and while his unconventional approach is not what we usually experience in real life, the Gauri Shinde-directed Dear Zindagi was a major step in popular culture in raising awareness on the stigma around mental illnesses.
Where to watch: For rent on YouTube, and Apple TV
Munna Bhai MBBS
Munna Bhai MBBS is a movie about doctors that gives the best example of how not to become a doctor. The 2003 Rajkumar Hirani film starring Sanjay Dutt as Munna Bhai and Arshad Warsi as his sidekick Circuit left a rich library of meme-worthy scenes and dialogues. Making light of dedicated medical students, threatening qualified doctors and flouting all college rules, the Mumbai thug tries to accomplish his father’s dreams by becoming a doctor. The movie delivers lessons on humanity along with catchy songs. It was followed up by the sequel Lage Raho Munna Bhai which failed to create the same heart-warming humour of Munna Bhai MBBS.
Watch it on: Amazon Prime