A doctor finds out the hard way that there's more to medicine than skill in the operating theater in this emotional drama. Jack McKee (William Hurt) is a gifted but arrogant surgeon who cares little about the emotional welfare of his patients and is little more than a benign stranger to his wife Anne (Christine Lahti) and his son Nicky (Charlie Korsmo). Jack has been suffering from a nagging cough for some time, and when he begins coughing up blood one morning, he finally allows another doctor to take a look at him. The doctor discovers that Jack has a malignant tumor in his throat that could rob him of the ability to speak, or even kill him. Suddenly, Jack is a patient instead of a doctor, and he learns first hand about the long stretches in the waiting room, the indignity of filling out pointless forms, and the callous attitude of the professional medical community. Jack also gets to know June (Elizabeth Perkins), a terminal cancer patient whose joyous embrace of life as her time draws to a close is an inspiration to him. Restored to health, Jack is determined to be a more caring healer and strives to be a better husband and father, but his new lease on life also earns him an enemy in fellow surgeon Murray (Mandy Patinkin), who wants Jack to lie under oath for him in a major malpractice case; and a new respect for Eli (Adam Arkin), an ear-nose-throat man he used to ridicule for his empathetic treatment of his patients. The Doctor was based on the memoir of real-life surgeon Ed Rosenbaum, entitled "A Taste of My Own Medicine."~Mark Deming
Audio commentary by director Randa Haines, moderated by filmmaker Heather Buckley
With several terrific performances, and a sharp script, The Doctor is a moving biography of a brilliant surgeon humbled by his own illness. That the film has been overlooked for nearly 20 years is a shame.