Playing Doctor
Pee di Moor
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In a recent geeklist by Stormseeker75 he sought "Games that sound like medical terminology" http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/25656.

Furthermore, a recent thread http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/274792 turned some geeks into medical-advice-providers.

Every child has played Doctors games, so why wouldn't gamers love to be great Doctors?

It made me wonder whether there are any games with some 'medical simulation' as theme, and, if so, what simulation.

I ignored games where a doctor was only a passer-by or where a eg a hospital played a small part (eg Notre Dame).

After having found quite a few, I tried to categorize what medical aspect the game tried to simulate:
- diagnosing (=determining the correct disease)
- performing/requesting additional examinations (=finding more evidence for a disease)
- therapy (apply the right cure)
- 'getting to the patient, or getting the patient in hospital' (not really medical, but apperently a popular theme)
- hospital management (borderline medical)

Besides the above some game were just:
- based on medical tv series
- (medical) trivia
- unclear, or Out-Of-Competition for various reasons (eg developping a cure was the object of the game)

Finally I tried to order the games from most to least 'medical simulation'.

Please add if you find more .... I'll try to categorize them.


Conclusions so far:

- Decent medical games do not exist yet (only 4 games are ranked, but very low)
- Diagnosing is part of only 4 games
- Additional Examinations is only part of 1 game
- Therapy is part of 9 games, of which 5 are surgery simulators.
- 5 games dealt with 'rushing to patients'.
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1. Board Game: Check-up Charlie [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
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Diagnosing and Additional Examinations

Winner 'Best Medical Simulation'!

Not only does the game have a 'diagnosing' part, but also a very nice 'additional testing' feature.

It's a pity that the disease featured in the game ('Icky Wicky') is not described in Medical Textbooks (only references to 'sticky' or 'colicky' are found), and a PubMed Search only produces references to articles authored by Wicky.
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2. Board Game: Doctor, Doctor! [Average Rating:4.59 Unranked]
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Diagnosing

Runner-up. Nice simulator where a 'injection-like' projectile may be inserted into various bodily orifices.

Pity that the authors of the game did not note that the patient (Mr Illbert) apperently suffers from Munchhausen's Disease.
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3. Board Game: Quacksalbe [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:10346]
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Diagnosing and Therapy.

This game was for a long time a contender for first place: Diagnosing + therapy! However, as the game ignores 'regular medicine' and qualifies 'complementary medicine' as quackery, it finishes third.

[I would love to get a copy of this one though!]
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4. Board Game: Intern [Average Rating:4.16 Overall Rank:14791]
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Taking care of yourself!

Although this game apperently sucks, it gets a honorary mention, for simulating the most valuable item for doctors: SLEEP!
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5. Board Game: Dynamite Nurse [Average Rating:6.21 Unranked]
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Therapy

Honorary mention for having incorporated 'less compentent Health Care Personnel'.
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6. Board Game: Pain Doctors: The Game of Recreational Surgery [Average Rating:5.66 Overall Rank:12425]
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Curing (or at least, not let the patient die)

From the descriptions I don't really get the point of the game, but it seems that not letting the patient die is important. Which is one of the medical ethics: primam non nocere.
Honorable mention for that!
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7. Board Game: Trauma Case Inbound [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
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Hospital Management

Winner in the Hospital Management Category.
Apperently its a 2007 game, that I would like to explore further.
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8. Board Game: Crazy Hospital [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Hospital Management

I dont really know whether this is a medical game or not, but since its about a common misconception in Health Care I rate it highly.
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9. Board Game: Medical Monopoly [Average Rating:3.62 Unranked]
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Hospital management + diagnosing

This one suffers from a misconception too: as 'winner is the one who fills the hospital with patients first'. (???)
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10. Board Game: Infection [Average Rating:5.23 Overall Rank:13001]
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Diagnosing + Therapy.

I'm not sure what the players represent in this game, as catching a disease and passing it to other players also seems to be important.
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11. Board Game: Rex Morgan M.D. [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Rushing to patients.

Next games are all in a medical setting, but it looks like these games take 'racing to the patient' as most important aspect.

First one is Rex Morgan: "America's favorite doctor". It seems like a cartoon series ...

Advice: avoid like the plague.
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12. Board Game: The Flying Doctor Game [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
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Rushing to patients.

Based on the very popular Australian TV series.

Advice: avoid like the plague.
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13. Board Game: The Game of Rival Doctors [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Rushing to patients.

Is there a doctor in the county? All doctors please visit old Mr. Holmes of Homesville, a very rich man living about 20 miles from the Village of Spruceville ....


Advice: avoid like the plague.
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14. Board Game: Guess Who's Gone to Surgery [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Rushing to patients. (?)

Makings rounds is all I could find about this game.

Advice: avoid like the plague.
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15. Board Game: MediCumLaude [Average Rating:1.00 Unranked]
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Becoming a doctor. / Medical Trivia.

A tool to prepare for examinations disguised as trivia 'game'.\

Advice: avoid like the plague.
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16. Board Game: The Board: Chiropractic Edition [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
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Medical Trivia.

Advice: avoid like the plague.
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17. Board Game: Operation [Average Rating:4.07 Overall Rank:15328]
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Doing Surgery
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18. Board Game: My First Operation [Average Rating:4.38 Unranked]
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Doing Surgery

Operation clone.
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19. Board Game: Monster Medic [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Doing Surgery

Operation clone.
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20. Board Game: Mr. Surgeon [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
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Doing Surgery

Operation clone.
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21. Board Game: Operation Brain Surgery [Average Rating:5.05 Unranked]
 
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Doing Surgery

Operation clone.
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22. Board Game: Police Surgeon [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
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TV-series game, rushing patients to ER.

Advice: avoid like the plague.
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23. Board Game: Dr. Kildare [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
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TV-series game, but at least some diagnosing seems required..

Advice: avoid like the plague.
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24. Board Game: General Hospital [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
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TV-series trivia

Advice: avoid like the plague.
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25. Board Game: Soap Opera Challenge: General Hospital [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
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TV-series trivia

Advice: avoid like the plague.
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