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Heart-warming Movies All Medical Students Should Watch

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Medical students have a lot on their plate, from long hours in the library to rigorous clinical rotations. However, they should still take time to relax, unwind and enjoy a good movie every now and then. Movies can offer a much-needed respite from the stresses of your Caribbean medical school and provide perspective on the complex issues of the medical world, while some can actually set the bar for the kind of doctor or nurse you want to be. With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the best movies all medical students should watch for a healthy dose of inspiration.

Patch Adams

This 1998 classic stars Robin Williams as the protagonist, a medical student who relies on deeper physician-patient interaction, humor and play to heal and calm his patients. This blockbuster serves as a reminder for medical students to keep scratching the surface and find out what really makes their patients tick as a way of discovering the root of their problems and the reason behind their complex presentations. The movie emphasizes on how “tender loving care” or compassion goes the extra mile when it comes to truly helping patients. This movie will inspire you to connect more with your patients.


This 1990 movie based on the true story of a doctor, played by Robert De Niro, who helped awaken sleeping catatonic patients with a new groundbreaking treatment, is an inspiring and powerful film that will surely move any medical student. The profoundly intelligent and brilliantly performed movie celebrates the healing exchange that can take place between a doctor and patient when caring rather than simple curing.

The Doctor

A 1991 drama starring William Hurt as an aloof, self-centered heart surgeon who discovers the importance of empathy after being diagnosed with cancer. The portrayal of a doctor’s transformation as a result of his own experience of illness is an interesting look at the human side of medicine and the need for compassion in the medical field. This movie teaches medical students that patients not only have physiological symptoms waiting to be resolved, but also have emotional aspects that need to be addressed.


Like thrillers? Watch this one to get your heart racing. This terrifying movie follows a group of medical students who while seeking answers about the afterlife, experiment with near-death experiences. This thriller will keep you on edge throughout and teach you the importance of respecting life and the fragility of mortality.

Lorenzo’s Oil

This drama follows the story of a couple (Susan Sarandon and Nick Nolte) whose son is diagnosed with a rare and deadly neurological disorder. The parents embark on a quest to find a cure, and their story serves as an inspiring example of the power of determination.

Extraordinary Measures

This drama stars Harrison Ford as John A. Crowley, a businessman who teams up with a doctor to find a cure for his children’s rare disease. The film offers an inspiring look at the lengths people will go to in the pursuit of medical progress.


Robert Altman’s 1970 hit focuses on a medical team in the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War. This movie gives you a rare sneak-peak into the untold horrors of war and medicine together, while touching on the humorous and lighthearted moments that also take place in the camp. It’s something anyone at a hospital can relate to.

Gifted Hands; A Ben Carson Story

This is the biography of Ben Carson who grew up to be Dr. Ben Carson, a world-famous neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins. The movie teaches medical students not to give up on their dreams. Even when his adversities and challenges seemed insurmountable, Dr. Carson found strength in his faith, his family and himself; and he encourages others to do so as well.


These movies are sure to provide medical students with some much-needed relaxation time and a reminder of the importance of empathy and compassion in the medical field. So, grab some popcorn, call your friends, and get ready to be inspired!

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