Wednesday, December 13, 2006


On the current batch of Search for Tomorrow episodes running on the AOL/PGP Classic Soaps Channel, Alec Kendall has decided to celebrate his miraculous return from the dead (there was a boat, deadly rapids, friendly natives, the usual) by ditching his singing career and applying to medical school.

He assures his estranged girlfriend, Adair, that he's checked his undergraduate prerequisites and he's got the credits to go for it. (Apparently, in Henderson, aspiring musicians take organic chemistry just for fun).

If Alec succeeds in his noble endeavor, he will join some very prestigious medical company.

On As the World Turns, little Bobby Hughes was a mere 12 years old when the show premiered in 1956. Four years later, he was a college student and by the time his son, Tom, was born in 1961, Bob was out of medical school and already a resident at Oakdale Memorial Hospital.

No wonder Bob didn't so much as blink when his son, Chris, went from aspiring Hemingway to medical intern in the space of a year or so.

Or when Lucy Montgomery pulled off the same feat, courtesy of an accelerated medical program back home in Montega. (I am sure her mother, former president of the once war-torn banana republic, pulled a string or two to waive that pesky organic chem requirement, as well).

Bob Hughes, after all, knows that anything you need to know to become a soap doctor is best learned off-screen.

On the other hand, Guiding Light's Rick Bauer completed his accelerated medical school course on-screen in 1986. His professor was Claire Ramsey, the woman to whom Rick had lost his virginity, now the mother of Rick's half-sister, Michelle.

Unhappy that Rick was dating Roxie Shayne, Claire constantly threatened to drum Rick out of the program unless he completed his work on time (her motives may have been suspect, but she did have a point there; making out with your girlfriend is not a valid reason to turn a paper in late... would Rick use the same excuse for failing to diagnose a patient?).

A stressed Rick turned to amphetamines to stay awake. Claire found out and threatened to report him to the medical board (again, motive bad, concept not; do you want a high doctor?)

Fortunately, Rick was able to complete an equally accelerated rehab program and take his med school finals. Only to have a vindictive Claire fail him before even reading the paper.

Ultimately, Rick was allowed to retake his exam and, despite accidentally ingesting sleeping pills right before the big test (honestly, do you want this doofus anywhere near you with a stethoscope, much less a scalpel?), managed to pass with a B-minus.

You know what they say: What do you call the person graduating at the bottom of their medical school class?


Especially in the soap world.

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