The Young Doctors (film)

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The Young Doctors
The Young Doctors FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Phil Karlson
Produced by Stuart Millar
Lawrence Turman
Written by Arthur Hailey (novel)
Joseph Hayes
Starring Ben Gazzara
Fredric March
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Cinematography Arthur J. Ornitz
Edited by Robert Swink
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
August 23, 1961
Running time
100 min.
Country USA
Language English

The Young Doctors is a 1961 film directed by Phil Karlson and starring Ben Gazzara, Fredric March, Dick Clark, Ina Balin, Eddie Albert, Phyllis Love, Aline MacMahon, George Segal (in his first movie) and Dolph Sweet. The film is based on the 1959 novel The Final Diagnosis by Arthur Hailey. Ronald Reagan was the narrator in the film.


David Coleman (Ben Gazzara) is a young doctor hired by a hospital's pathology department. The head of the department, Dr. Joseph Pearson (Fredric March), sees Coleman as a rival, and they fight over many medical issues. Coleman falls in love with Cathy Hunt (Ina Balin), a nurse at the hospital, who develops a tumor in her knee. Pearson believes that the tumor is malignant and that the leg should be amputated, but Coleman disagrees. Coleman orders three blood tests on Mrs. Alexander (Phyllis Love), an expectant mother whose baby may have hemolytic disease, but Pearson believes that the tests are excessive and cancels the third test. Mrs. Alexander is married to a young intern at the hospital (Dick Clark), who, along with Coleman, tried to push for the third test. When the baby is born seriously ill, Dr. Charles Dornberger (Eddie Albert), Mrs. Alexander's OB/GYN, berates Pearson and conducts a blood transfusion to save the baby's life. Pearson's future at the hospital becomes uncertain, and he resigns. Coleman has changed his mind about Cathy's tumor and agrees with Pearson's decision, while Pearson says that Coleman reminds him of himself when he was young and urges him not to let hospital bureaucracy to wear him down.


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