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The Scrubs Character You May Not Know Was Based On A Real Doctor

Long before he helped introduce the world to the stupidly funny team at AFC Richmond and that "football is life" in "Ted Lasso," Bill Lawrence created the beloved side-splitting sitcom set in Sacred Heart Hospital, "Scrubs." Earning 17 Emmy nominations during its run (via Emmy), the show followed Doctor John Dorian, aka J.D. (Zach Braff), and other doctors in his workplace, including on and off love interest Elliot (Sarah Chalke), finding laughter even in life and death situations.

Proving that getting the giggles was occasionally some of the best medicine, "Scrubs" also homed an impressive guest list that varied from Ryan Reynolds to Colin Farrell. Besides top-tier stars turning up, though, the most remarkable detail in the show was that Lawrence managed to integrate a character that was based on a real-life doctor that he knew. While this doctor was no Superman, he also went onto provide significant input in the show itself.

J.D. was modeled on a friend of the creator of Scrubs

While there were undoubtedly some major favorites among the "Scrubs" characters, J.D. himself was checked into Sacred Heart thanks to one of Lawrence's long-time pals, Dr. Jonathan Doris. In 2020, the "Scrubs" creator revealed to The Austin Chronicle that Doris' journey through medical school inspired the now-beloved sitcom. "He'd meet us at a bar or at a basketball game," he recalled, "and if he'd be 15 minutes late, sometimes he'd be shaken because he, at a very, very young age, was dealing with people dying and families falling apart on a day-to-day basis."

Eventually, Doris joined "Scrubs" by coming on as a consultant for the show, not to tweak Braff's performance but the environment around him. As for the real world, he put his skills to required use during the pandemic, which Lawrence proudly shared with fans on Twitter. In March 2020, Doris revealed on social media that he was "working the COVID command center today. I'm so proud to be working with these nurses, docs, and staff @PermanenteDocs." Lawrence quickly highlighted his friend's efforts saying, "This is the guy I based 'Scrubs' on and my best pal from college. He's out here in Los Angeles running a hospital (like J.D. would), and I'm proud he's a pal. He changes clothes in his garage at night to try to keep his kids from getting sick and is married to 'real Elliot.'" Nice going, Doc.