Saturday, June 09, 2007

In Memoriam: Dr Preston Burke


You probably have heard by now, but ABC Networks has confirmed that actor Isaiah Washington, who plays Dr Preston Burke on the hit TV show Grey's Anatomy, has been let go. He will probably not be reappearing, even for brief cameos.

This means that, to all ends and purposes, Dr Preston Burke is gone. For good.

This may sound shallow, but this loss comes as a great blow to me. To me, Preston Burke was more than just a fictional character on a TV show. To me, he was an inspiration. His exacting standards, devotion to his art, professionalism, and compassion for his patients embodied, to me, the perfect surgeon. When he revealed to Cristina that the secret to his genius was not being the smartest in med school, but being the hardest-working, he inspired hundreds of thousands of medical students and viewers across the globe. Indeed, I imagined surgeons like Sid Schwab of Surgeonsblog, Harvard surgeon and writer Atul Gawande, and HospitalPhoenix to be like him. Tough. Exacting. Precise. Obsessive. But also filled with compassion and genuine concern for both his patients and his students.

I know Isaiah Washington the actor may not be the wisest of men when it comes to keeping his mouth shut. And I detest discrimination of any sort. But Preston Burke the character was an integral part of the drama, storyline, and cultural diversity of Grey's Anatomy. And he was a hero of mine. He inspired me to keep going, to keep looking higher, and to make myself better. In an imperfect world, he showed me, and crowds of fans worldwide, that there was nothing wrong with striving for perfection.

He will be missed.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

You may want to throw out the telly and take up smoking instead -- smoking may kill you, but the idiot box is slowly rotting your brain. Or maybe not that slowly.

Cheers,
Felix Kasza.

Ms-Ellisa said...

I'm sorry angry...
Do cheer up though... There will be other doctors in other TV shows to look up to...
;-)
*Seriously though- I know how you feel :-)*

Nitobe Inazō said...

no. you must take up the art of bushido.

Lis said...

there's always house. he's super snarky but a genius in many, and um, irritating ways. i'll miss *the character* of burke as well, but isiah had it coming...

medstudentitis said...

I think you've been cooped indoors studying for exams too long... It's a TV SHOW! And, there are much better role models in real life. Get outside and enjoy not being in the library, maybe that will clear your head :) You'll meet many role models in your clinical years.

Jason said...

Lucky you. I wish I had a TV to watch GA or House in the first place. :( And no, I don't have the hard disk space to download the entire season (ah, piracy).

Um...yes, you can add my blog to your list. I'd be honoured. Sorry for such a late reply to that question lol.

zewt said...

this has nothing to do with him calling 'george' gay... no?

huh? said...

huh?

Rav said...

personally I would have rather them cut Christina off the show...I can't stand that girl. And Preston only said what we were all thinking anyways the first day we saw that show...

Chris said...

Look on the bright side... Jericho is coming back.

SeaSpray said...

Oh Angry Medic! I am so upset. I did not know this bad news! I am pressed for time and will have to come back to read article BUT WHAT HAPPENED??? I agree with everything you so eloquently wrote about him.

In my opinion there will be a major hole left in the show - he was awesome! So - that is why Christina seemed to screww it up although no one was listening to her either.

Does anyone know WHY Mama Burke indicated it was a family tradition for the brides to have missing eyebrows? What was THAT all about?

Any chance of the show changing their mind?

keep us posted. :(

Lala said...

I mourn Burke with you! Him and Christina were my two favs, and I just can't see how Grey's is going to not suck without him.

Also, bit of a plot hole, doesn't he have a contract and stuff? Can he really just piss off like that in a day?

Oh Grey's how I love your plot holes and inaccuracies and glorious soapiness!

Can't wait for September :)

Anonymous said...

I'll miss Burke too. I mean his wedding vows were wow.
Sure there will be real life role models but the way the character was shown on tv was AMAZING! I loved Burke!! I LOVED HIM AND YANG! I think I'm going to go cry now.

Sid Schwab said...

Somewhere along the line I stopped watching G's A. Really, even though it's just TV and soapy, the "surgeons" behaved in such ridiculous ways that I couldn't handle it any more. When Burke did operations with his gimpy hand and what's-her-name "covered" (an intern, no less) that was pretty much it for me.

Jason said...

"Washington later apologized, checked into rehab, met with gay leaders and recently released a PSA decrying the use of hate speech."

Ahahahahaha....could his actions get any more superficial? Seems like all celebrities nowadays follow this pattern in order to 'clear their name'.

ditzydoctor said...

i agree!!! :( although lots of stuff on the show was hopelessly inaccurate, it keeps me hooked on wonderfully soppy and melodrama! :)

it's sucha big big big loss to me :(

(by the way, watch ER!!!!! noah wyle is adorable. oops. i meant to me. heh. God, i have no life)

asha said...

Preston Burke was one of my favourite character together with Christina. How in the world could they simply get rid of such a powerful character just like that? They should kick Meredith out instead, she's nothing but a troublesom character. Goodbye preston, you'll be missed greatly =(

Jabbar said...

yay, i like your blog, its the first time im reading, i'm malaysian too, and currently doing 3rd year MBBS in India,heh,life pretty hectic in medic but i also managed to follow also the greys anatomy show,i do like preston burke character,sadly he'll be gone, but maybe there's more to it, we'll just have to wait and see!

abduljabbarismail@gmail.com

SeaSpray said...

Sid (killjoy) Schwab! seriously - Dr Schwab - I am kidding and I can appreciate why you would not care for the show. Even I figured the OR cover-up with Burke's hand couldn't happen. :) Still....I am hopelessly hooked just like I am to your Surgeonsblog. :)

I LOVE MERIDETH! She was totally neglected by her parents and yes has some issues but in spite of them - while screwed up she is still a compassionate person.

Burke and Christina's relationship was unique and I think it is cool how he totally got her - until the end. It has been great to see her evolve into a more compassionate person. She obviously has her issues too.

Voyager said...

Not to mention he is so hot!!! Sizzling even. For all I care he could perform surgery with pliers and a swiss army knife, as long as we got to see lots of shots of him doing it.
I too am crushed.
V.

Lala said...

Lol I agree with Voyager. Except for the face-ass (ie chin dimple)

Xavier Emmanuelle said...

He was an interesting character, but the slur about "George" made him deserve to be canned.

Dr. Deb said...

I really won't miss him all too much. You on the other hand.....

Kenny Mah said...

Is it so bad to admit that I don't watch television? Gulps!

*runs off and hide*

ananddave said...

OMG.....damn lotta questions now....neway...where d hell u been lah?

skinnyminny8 said...

yes he will be missed.. Not that lisping Gray woman though. Luckily I've watched all 3 series so now won't fail my exams cos I'm watching it!!

Alia said...

Why is it that I can't help feeling that the whole post was reeking of sarcasm. Hahahhaa.

Seriously Aaron, sometimes I can't even tell when you're being sarcastic or honest :P Haha.

But just to be fair, I think Preston Burke was stellar as a surgeon too. He shall be sorely missed.

Anonymous said...

So sorry Angry, I know what it's like to lose a mentor, even a "fictional" one...glad that you mentioned Dr. Gawade (sp?)Can't wait to read his newest book...I discovered him accidently, years ago, while "flipping" through the channels, he was on "Book Notes", reading from his first book...I thought he seemed very kind, somehow......gotta love him and he's very good looking too...! You will probably look like him when you get a few years on you!
Glad exams are over...yeah!!

Best to you always, tracy

beajerry said...

Maybe he'll get a job on a show about the wacky adventures of a homophobe who has to live with a gay man.
They could call it, "The Mod Couple"

Despinová said...

Thanks for dropping by, I have linked to you from Miss Despina!
Hope the exams are not too stressful! :)

Xavier Emmanuelle said...

Oy! Are you going to update this thing or what?
How can I procrastinate otherwise? :)

Coffee Addict said...

Hey dude, I hope you don't mind me linking to your blog. I been pretty angry the whole week and when I saw the title 'Angry Medic' I couldn't resist clicking. Couple of things to say to you:

1. Good job on your recent exam. :)

"Sure, they come in with sleepy smiles and say "Mate, I'm so screwed, I've done no work at all, I can't remember anything", blah de blah de bloody blah. But you know it's all bullshit. That it's about as believable as a cow standing up on two hind legs and telling you it's the Queen of England."

I'm on the other side of the world and it's the same in medical school here. Shocking. Life gets better.

2. Holy crap, you're Malaysian too?

Coffee Addict said...

-cont'd-

I was going to say something wise and grandmotherly like after the first comment but jabbar distracted me.

:D

The Angry Medic said...

Sheesh. Can't a guy even lie on his arse nowadays? Argh. *muttergrumblegrumble*

John said...

I'm glad he's gone, glad that Mr Washington will probably find it hard to work again. I LOATHE him for his discrimination, especially to lovely lovely George. I will marry George/T.R.Knight one day. And we will be two lovely boy doctors in love.

Dr. Wannabe said...

I wasn't a big fan of Dr. Burke. I don't like people that don't know their limits. Preforming surgery with a tremor is not cool in my book. I was more than happy to see him go. I hope Dr. Hann makes a reappearance as the new chief of cardio-thoracic surgery.

health watch center said...

It's good to know the Dr. Preston's character inspired you and others. The credit goes the one who created the character and who played it.


SHZ,
Self Help Zone

monash medical student said...

hi.

ill be using this post as one of those featured in the first edition of Surgexperiences.

http://surgexperiences.wordpress.com

if you dun mind.

Burke was great. Sometimes you can no longer voice your opinion out aloud anymore.

I am sure they will someone better than Burke. I think i like Karev and McSteamy the most. muhaha.

FarahD said...

If they do decide to replace the role though, I doubt anyone can really substitute him and his personified character in the show. He's my second fav after Dr. Bailey.

trixy54 said...

BAH, racism is the crap.

I totally agree with you, I do wonder what he's going to be replaced by if replaced at all... I mean christina can't just not be married anymore?
*dont ruin it if Ive missed something*
one thing that DID piss me off on Grey's Anatomy.. is how they perform CPR bending their elbows and hardly moving... and it really traumatized me to watch the chief carry it out so crappily.. i honestly thought he was such a great doctor.. i perhaps may have even *gasp* believed it...


and on a totally unrelated matter.. I'm Malaysian too! well, half malaysian actually...

BAI :D

Anonymous said...

I completely and totally agree. I've been watching Grey's from the very beginning and since Dr. Burke's been gone the show has not been the same. His character was one of the most single inspiring characters I've ever watched and it's a shame that there will never be another Dr. Burke.

Kathleen P.