Dr. Nick vs. Dr. Hartman: Who’s the Better Animated Doctor?

The health of your family is of critical importance, and when it comes time to finding a qualified family heath care giver you will frequently seek out the advice of friends and loved ones in making the selection that will best serve your family.  The world of the internet has opened up numerous avenues from which to research a doctor’s credentials whether it is via the website of the American Medical Association or Angie’s List.

Having relevant comparisons gives options to would-be patients and for the residents of Quahog, Rhode Island and Springfield, (Everywhere), the comparisons couldn’t be starker when comparing their medical talent:  Doctors Elmer Hartman and Nicholas Riviera.

Admittedly, as animated medical men they may not make the cut for either the A.M.A or Angie’s list, so we have compared their credentials, curriculum vitas, and their medical track record while researching their relevant medical backgrounds.  Coupling this information to their impact on their respective shows, we hope to provide a road map designed to help you determine which of the two characters the better animated doctor is.


Any comparisons of sheepskins will invariable rely on parsing about the relative merits of the attended educational institution.  In this regard, Quahog’s Yale-educated physician, Elmer Hartman, holds a clear edge over his Springfield competition.  That said, although Dr. Nick’s degrees are not so sterling, he does hold a variety of different credentials from such divergent institutions as: Hollywood Upstairs Medical School. The Mayo Clinic Correspondence School, and Club Med.

For purposes of comedic value, Dr. Nick’s education is much more entertaining.  His motto, “You have tried the best, now try the rest,” is indicative of the truth in advertising you can expect when watching him on the show.  Riviera’s checkered educational accomplishments afford numerous opportunities for gags in Springfield.

Medical Practice:

In a very real sense, once they have put their Landau scrubs on, comparing the medical practices of the two characters is closely akin to comparing apples and oranges.  Indeed, Dr. Nick would have to be considered the animated version of a real life Dr. Oz.   The inventor of the “Juice Loosener” and “Sun and Run,” Dr. Nick makes frequent television appearances where he hawks his wares on late night infomercials while dispensing dubious medical advice to the masses.

Dr. Hartman’s medical practice is a much more staid affair, albeit his medical skills are a unique balance of helpful professionalism and rank silliness.  Prone to shtick, Elmer Hartman’s interaction with his patients is ripe with innuendo and humor, which adds significantly to the enjoyment of watching the show.  Because Dr. Hartman has had his practice less well documented then that of Dr. Nick, the latter medical man must be considered as the stronger animated doctor.

Legal Action:

If you ask any insurance adjuster, the mark of any great doctor is one who has not been sued by his patients.  While one might assume that Dr. Nick’s medical abilities would leave him open to litigation, the good yellow doctor has managed to avoid any malpractice actions.

Conversely, Dr. Hartman had his license revoked after Peter sued him following a prostate exam that Peter mistook for a case of rape.  Although the doctor’s license was reinstated at the conclusion of the episode, you have to assume that Hartman’s insurance premiums were boosted in the aftermath of the case.  Additionally, according to data supplied during the episode, “Ratings Guy,” Dr. Hartman has been rated as the worst doctor at the hospital he works at.  As such, when the final tabulations are in, Dr. Nick must be considered the best animated doctor.

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