A Tale of Two Doctors… on USA Network

William Rush - Rush and Hank and Evan Lawson - Royal Pains

Medical shows have been popular for a long time, and continue to be very popular. Because they are so well liked the field is decidedly crowded, and each show must establish its own unique identity via the characters, situations, or both. They also happen to be a type of show that I enjoy.

At the same time, USA Network happens to be one of my favorite networks to watch. They currently have and have had several shows that are/were my favorites. For the most part, I find that their programming creates characters that are compelling and relatable.

So, then, a combination of the medical show genre and USA Network will definitely draw my attention. One of my current favorite shows is Royal Pains, the story of Hank and Evan Lawson. Hank was a doctor in New York City, who was booted from his job in an emergency room when a wealthy benefactor of the hospital died under his care. His brother Evan managed to get him a concierge doctor position in The Hamptons, an exclusive area of Long Island. This show is currently in its 6th season.

This past week, USA premiered a new medical show named Rush. It is the story a very talented doctor who ended up being fired by the hospital where he was a prestigious surgeon, and now is an independent doctor, catering to the rich, famous and criminal who want to stay off the radar. He only accepts cash. Because I have only seen one episode of this show, my basis for comparison is very limited, but I won’t let that stop me! In my opinion, there are some pretty extreme contrasts in these two shows, but at the same time there are similarities. Just check out the cool shades each one wears in the picture above!

Physical Health

Rush and Alex - Rush, Hank Lawson - Royal Pains

Dr. Hank Lawson on Royal Pains is nothing but the epitome of healthy living. He exercises, eats healthy food, and generally takes care of himself. Yes, he did develop an addiction to pain killers after his surgery, but with the help of his friends was able to overcome it.

Dr. William Rush, on the other hand, is an example of life lived on the edge. He is the poster child for bad boy. He pops pills, snorts cocaine, smokes marijuana in the bathroom of his friend’s house during a birthday party for his Godson, and in general does not seem to have a filter for dangerous situations.


Hank - Royal Pains, Will - Rush

Hank is sincere, forthright and you can trust him with a secret. Hank treats the rich by providing house calls with all the latest portable medical equipment. The wealthy clients are happy to have the doctor and testing equipment come to them. They also are happy to be cared for by a discrete doctor who shields them from publicity.

Will can be trusted too – in fact, his whole practice is dependent on his reputation of being discreet. You see, he tends to the medical needs of high profile types – the ones that do not want any publicity directed their way. This happens to include criminals, celebrities and other shady people who are willing to pay a premium for a discreet house call that takes care of things. They do not ever want to go to the hospital!


Will - Rush, Hank - Royal Pains

Hank is a very altruistic doctor. He wears his heart on his sleeve and cares deeply about all his patients – in fact, one could argue that he cares about the whole human race since he will take care of any stranger, no matter what, and does not really worry about being paid. He is the definition of a Good Samaritan.

Will is more in touch with his own self-interest. In the pilot episode, he admonished his assistant Eve who told one of their patients to leave her abusive boyfriend. Will tells Eve, “What we do is complicated… not about feelings… cannot care.” He will treat anyone that can pay his price, in cash, up front. Whether or not he would help a stranger in need is yet to be seen. That said, in the first episode he made an exception, and beat the stuffing out of the client who was beating up his girlfriend. So, I guess what they do is indeed complicated since even he does not always follow his own rules!


Hank and Jill - Royal Pains, Will and Sarah - Rush

Both of these hunky doctors are unlucky in love. Perhaps it is the “Starship Captain” syndrome, where they are so married to their work that a long term relationship with a woman is impossible.

Hank had an on-again/off-again love interest, Jill Casey. She was a doctor too, but then she ended up going off to Africa to do relief work. Actually, the actress playing Jill landed on another TV show, playing, of all things, a doctor! But, in the meantime, Hank is single at the moment.

Will also had a long term relationship with Sarah Peterson but it collapsed during whatever crisis it was that also estranged him from his father and got him fired from his prestigious job at a hospital. We have not learned the details of how his life imploded, but I expect it will be revealed as the show progresses. We have, however, met Sarah, and it is clear he still loves her. Her feelings for him are unclear, but she did state that she could not rely on him, a sure fire relationship killer!


Have you watched both shows? What do you think? Do you like them both? Please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!