The Real J.D. Who Inspired ‘Scrubs’ Is Helping Those In Need During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Jon Doris, the real doctor who inspired 'Scrubs,' is making sure his medical knowledge doesn't go to waste.

Actors Sarah Chalke, Zach Braff, and Donald Faison in a publicity photo for 'Scrubs.'
Photo Courtesy of NBC / Getty Images

Jon Doris, the real doctor who inspired 'Scrubs,' is making sure his medical knowledge doesn't go to waste.

There are plenty of celebrities who are doing what they can to help those affected by the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Doctors are on the front lines of the crisis, though, and so it’s their services that are needed now more than ever. One doctor by the name of Jon Doris is currently working to help patients who need coronavirus treatment, but he was also the inspiration for J.D., the main character on the medical comedy series Scrubs.

On Thursday, Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence quote tweeted Doris, who said that he was currently working at a COVID command center. Lawrence was a friend of Doris’s when they went to school together at the College of William & Mary, which is how Lawrence knew him well enough to base a show on him.

The command centers that Doris is referring to are typically a centralized locations where health experts can strategize an adequate response for their area.

In addition to being a trained medical professional, Doris was also a medical advisor on Scrubs throughout its run on the air, from 2001 to 2010. Doris also made a brief appearance in the series during the show’s first series finale, when he played one of the doctor’s that Zach Braff’s J.D. walked by as he exited the hospital.

Part of his role on the series was to help the show’s actors understand the medical terminology that was littered throughout their scripts. In a behind-the-scenes featurette, Doris explains that he had hoped that no one would make the connection between the character on the show and him. Whenever Doris was on set, he was always called “real” because he was the real J.D.

In the same featurette, Braff admits that working with the medical language is difficult, although his co-star Sarah Chalke says that Doris was always on call to answer any question that the actors might have.

This is not the first time that Scrubs has been explicitly connected to the outbreak of COVID-19. The series also went viral as a brief way for those online to learn how easy it was to spread a disease if careful social distancing guidelines weren’t in place.

In a clip from the show, we see a disease pass from person to person through a series of seemingly harmless interactions. The clip illustrates how easy it is for infections to spread among the vulnerable population that is admitted in a hospital, and also highlights the fact that infection is the number one cause of death inside hospitals.