KHN Quiz: Doc Or Not A Doc?

In today’s era of DIY doctoring, medical advice abounds. The vital question: Whose advice can you trust? Are household-name celebrities, like Dr. Oz, real doctors or do they merely play one on TV? And what about cultural icons — was Dr. Jekyll legit? Take this tongue-in-cheek quiz to distinguish the “real” doctors from the “posers.”

(Note: For the purpose of this quiz, fictional characters who earned medical degrees do count as doctors, but real-life personalities with doctorates — i.e., Ph.D.s — do not, as they are not medical doctors.)

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1

Surgeon General Jerome Adams

— The “nation’s doctor” is nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Sixteen men and three women have previously served in the role, all with medical degrees.

2

Dr. Spock

— Would all those postwar parents have trusted him to help raise their baby boomers if he was not a doc?

3

Spock

— Thought we’d throw you an early bone.

4

Doctor Dolittle

— The fictional character was an M.D., not a D.V.M. (doctor of veterinary medicine).

5

'The Incredible Dr. Pol'

— But he IS a veteran veterinarian.

6

Dr. Seuss

— The “Dr.” in “Dr. Seuss” was homage to Theodor Seuss Geisel's father’s hope that his son would earn a Ph.D. (He eventually received several honorary ones.)

7

HUD Secretary Ben Carson

— Carson was a neurosurgeon before retiring from medicine in 2013.

8

Dr. Phil

— Phil Calvin McGraw does hold a Ph.D. in psychology, however.

9

Dr. Ruth

— Still, she is alleged to have a great bedside manner (wink).

10

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

— He is one AND plays one on TV.

11

Dr. Dre

— The music business icon did announce in 2015 he had earned a doctorate and should now be addressed as “Dr. Dr. Dre.”

12

Dr. Oz

— He's both medically and TV-trained.

13

The doc with the gorgeous eyes on those Restasis ads

— Dr. Alison Tendler is a real-life ophthalmologist.

14

Dr. Jekyll

— And Dr. Jekyll’s potion showed all the potential addictiveness and deadliness of today’s opioids.

15

Dr. No

— No!

16

Dr. Sebi

— Alfredo Darrington Bowman's powers as a healer were self-proclaimed.

17

Doctor Who

— Always the optimist.

18

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg

— But was he also a flake?

19

Which of these serial killers was not a bona-fide doctor?

— Trick question? Perhaps. The serial killer terrorizing London in 1888 nicknamed “Jack the Ripper” was never identified or apprehended.

20

BONUS QUESTION No. 1: Dr Pepper

— One theory often cited, though, is that the drink was named after an actual doctor, one Charles T. Pepper of Virginia.

21

BONUS QUESTION No. 2: There are currently 13 doctors in the House and three in the Senate. Which statement is true about the 116th Congress?

— Rep. Kim Schrier (D-Wash.), the only female doctor serving in the 116th Congress, is a pediatrician who also has Type 1 diabetes.

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KHN Quiz: Doc Or Not A Doc?

You Answered out of 21 Questions Correctly.

Question

Correct Response

1

Surgeon General Jerome Adams

— The “nation’s doctor” is nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Sixteen men and three women have previously served in the role, all with medical degrees.

Adams, an anesthesiologist and a vice admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, is the nation’s 20th surgeon general, in office since September 2017. In the post, he oversees USPHS, chairs the National Prevention Council and has helped frame the nation’s opioid addiction crisis as a public health issue. (His younger brother struggled with substance abuse.)

2

Dr. Spock

— Would all those postwar parents have trusted him to help raise their baby boomers if he was not a doc?

Kids might not come with manuals, but Dr. Benjamin Spock’s 1946 “baby,” the parenting bible “Baby and Child Care,” came close to delivering one. The preachy pediatrician was on the front lines of child-rearing — and pacifism, as he counseled draft dodgers and bitterly opposed the Vietnam War — well into the Eighties and his 80s.

3

Spock

— Thought we’d throw you an early bone.

In matters of medicine, Mr. Spock, primo Vulcan-ologist and science officer aboard the starship USS Enterprise, deferred to chief medical officer “Bones,” Dr. Leonard McCoy, on the original hit series “Star Trek” (1966-69). Still, Spock was no slouch in the lifesaving department. When McCoy contracted the deadly xenopolycythemia and retired in 2369 to spend his final days on an asteroid ship, it was Spock who hacked out a cure, allowing McCoy to return to Starfleet service. Is it just a coincidence that actor Leonard Nimoy’s name echoes that of Leonard McCoy?

4

Doctor Dolittle

— The fictional character was an M.D., not a D.V.M. (doctor of veterinary medicine).

The fictional animal whisperer who shuns human patients in favor of beasts is possibly based on a real-life Scottish surgeon, Dr. John Hunter, who taught and collaborated with Edward Jenner, pioneer of the smallpox vaccine. According to the original 1920 book, “The Story of Doctor Dolittle, Being the History of His Peculiar Life at Home and Astonishing Adventures in Foreign Parts,” John Dolittle starts out as a respected M.D. living with his unmarried sister before learning to talk to the animals and allowing his home and life to be overrun by the menagerie. He eventually sets up a veterinary practice.

5

'The Incredible Dr. Pol'

— But he IS a veteran veterinarian.

Not an M.D., but the reality-TV star of the Nat Geo Wild show is a real veterinarian and septuagenarian. A native of the Netherlands who practices in rural Michigan, Jan Pol is 76 and has said his favorite food is pork chops.

6

Dr. Seuss

— The “Dr.” in “Dr. Seuss” was homage to Theodor Seuss Geisel's father’s hope that his son would earn a Ph.D. (He eventually received several honorary ones.)

Writer, cartoonist and Oxford dropout Theodor Seuss Geisel used the pen name Dr. Seuss to publish over 60 books — and not strictly for children. He and his acclaimed work won oodles of awards including the 1984 Pulitzer Prize, Oscars, Emmys and Grammys. “Seuss” was his mother’s maiden name, as well as his middle name and original pen name at Dartmouth College, after he was banned from writing for its humor magazine under his real name because he was caught drinking by the dean in 1925. He toyed with other names before adopting “Dr. Theophrastus Seuss,” shortened to “Dr. Seuss” by 1928. He also wrote as Theo LeSieg — “LeSieg” is “Geisel” spelled backward.

7

HUD Secretary Ben Carson

— Carson was a neurosurgeon before retiring from medicine in 2013.

Although he retired from medicine in 2013, Carson was a renowned neurosurgeon before entering politics and running for president in 2016. He became director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital at age 33 and earned fame for his groundbreaking work separating twins conjoined at the head. And now he’s head of the conjoined Department of Housing and Urban Development.

8

Dr. Phil

— Phil Calvin McGraw does hold a Ph.D. in psychology, however.

Psychologists and psychiatrists differ by degrees. Psychologists have doctorates but are not medical doctors like psychiatrists. As for Dr. Phil, Phil Calvin McGraw does hold a Ph.D. in psychology but is not a licensed psychologist.

9

Dr. Ruth

— Still, she is alleged to have a great bedside manner (wink).

The diminutive sex-therapy giant has a doctorate of education in family studies from Columbia University Teachers College. She previously worked for Planned Parenthood, where she was inspired to study under Dr. Helen Singer Kaplan at New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center. She is also a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. An author of 35 books and the syndicated column “Ask Dr. Ruth,” she takes a missionary’s position (ahem) on disseminating what she calls "sexual literacy."

10

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

— He is one AND plays one on TV.

Gupta is a neurosurgeon and the chief medical correspondent for CNN, where he hosts “Vital Signs.” He’s credited with breaking the news on Sen. John McCain’s glioblastoma diagnosis. Gupta fast-tracked his medical education with an eight-year medical program called Inteflex at the University of Michigan, securing a spot while still in high school. During the 2008 presidential campaign, he reported on the health effects of the presidency and charted the health of candidates in the documentaries “The First Patient” and “Fit to Lead.”

11

Dr. Dre

— The music business icon did announce in 2015 he had earned a doctorate and should now be addressed as “Dr. Dr. Dre.”

The 54-year-old rapper, record producer and entrepreneur, whose real name is Andre Romelle Young, announced in 2015 he had completed his doctorate (field unknown) and should now be addressed as “Dr. Dr. Dre.” And he seems to fixate on life-or-death issues. His label is called Death Row Records and he is the founder and CEO of Aftermath Entertainment. (At least he doesn't call his Beats audio gear "Dead Beats.")

12

Dr. Oz

— He's both medically and TV-trained.

Turkish American Mehmet Cengiz Öz is a medically trained cardiothoracic surgeon. But his detractors say he sold out to showmanship.

13

The doc with the gorgeous eyes on those Restasis ads

— Dr. Alison Tendler is a real-life ophthalmologist.

Dr. Alison Tendler is an ophthalmologist in Sioux Falls, S.D. She not only hawks the product but uses it.

14

Dr. Jekyll

— And Dr. Jekyll’s potion showed all the potential addictiveness and deadliness of today’s opioids.

Doc and mad scientist. And a lawyer. And a monster. The fictional character created by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson was introduced in the 1886 gothic novella “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” According to Bartleby, in the mid-1800s (about the time Jekyll would have been educated), medical students' few years of training centered on "natural philosophy," including such subjects as anatomy, physiology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, therapeutics, biology, surgery, sociology and philosophy.

15

Dr. No

— No!

Julius No is a fictional criminal scientist of Chinese and German descent played by Canadian actor Joseph Wiseman in the first James Bond film. Due to radiation exposure, the character has hands made of metal. If he had chosen to get a medical degree, he might have made a killing in robotic surgery.

16

Dr. Sebi

— Alfredo Darrington Bowman's powers as a healer were self-proclaimed.

Alfredo Darrington Bowman was a discredited diet guru and herbalist from Honduras who also practiced in New York City and Los Angeles. From humble roots, he grew wealthy, earning an estimated $3,000 a day before being arrested for money laundering in 2016, the year he died at age 82. Dr. Sebi classified food into six basic groups: live, raw, dead, hybrid, genetically modified and drugs. He prescribed a mostly vegan diet devoid of all groups except the “electric” live and raw foods, which he said tempered the acidic waste in the body. His celebrity clients included hip-hop singer Lisa Lopes of the R&B girl group TLC, actors Steven Seagal and John Travolta, comic-actor Eddie Murphy and pop royalty Michael Jackson.

17

Doctor Who

— Always the optimist.

The Doctor Who franchise refers to a rogue Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey nicknamed "the Doctor.” He (or she, in a modern-day twist) is centuries old and has the ability to regenerate and avert mortality, taking on a new appearance and personality. “Doctor Who” first appeared on BBC TV at 17:16:20 GMT on Saturday, Nov. 23, 1963 — 80 seconds later than its scheduled time, due to the extended news coverage of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy the previous day.

18

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg

— But was he also a flake?

The brother of the marquee cereal tycoon was a medical doctor, nutritionist and health activist who ran a spa known as a “sanitarium” at the turn of the 20th century. No sugarcoating it: History — and the 1994 biopic “The Road to Wellville,” starring a buck-toothed Sir Anthony Hopkins as Kellogg — paint him as a flake.

19

Which of these serial killers was not a bona-fide doctor?

— Trick question? Perhaps. The serial killer terrorizing London in 1888 nicknamed “Jack the Ripper” was never identified or apprehended.

Although “Jack the Ripper”— also known as “Leather Apron” and “the Whitechapel Butcher” — was never identified or apprehended, the culprit’s horrific crimes displayed an acute knowledge of anatomy: Victims were disemboweled or had their kidneys or uteruses removed. Jack’s daytime trade could well have been medicine.

20

BONUS QUESTION No. 1: Dr Pepper

— One theory often cited, though, is that the drink was named after an actual doctor, one Charles T. Pepper of Virginia.

Interestingly, the carbonated drink in the wine-colored can was formulated by Brooklyn-born pharmacist Charles Alderton. To test its appeal, he first offered it to the owner of Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, Texas, Wade Morrison, who gave it a thumbs-up. Patrons at the soda fountain eventually began ordering it as the "Waco." Alderton gave the formula to Morrison, who named it Dr. Pepper. (The period after "Dr" was used intermittently in Dr Pepper logos until the 1950s, when it was discarded for stylistic and legibility reasons.) The recipe, still a trade secret, is alleged to be kept as two halves in safe-deposit boxes in two Dallas banks. A persistent rumor since the 1930s is that the drink contains prune juice, but the official Dr Pepper FAQ refutes this with "Dr Pepper is a unique blend of natural and artificial flavors; it does not contain prune juice." Theories about its name origins run amok. One notion: It was common at the time of the drink’s creation to include “Dr.” in the names of products to convey the impression they were healthful.

21

BONUS QUESTION No. 2: There are currently 13 doctors in the House and three in the Senate. Which statement is true about the 116th Congress?

— Rep. Kim Schrier (D-Wash.), the only female doctor serving in the 116th Congress, is a pediatrician who also has Type 1 diabetes.

Rep. Kim Schrier has said she decided to run for her seat after a Republican health care bill was introduced last year that sought to scale back protections for people with preexisting conditions.