Marcus Welby MD
(played by Robert Young) was the top rated series in the 1970/71 American television season. The story followed Welby, an old-school general practitioner, who worked from his home in Santa Monica, California. He made house calls as a matter of course, which endeared him even further to his patients. After suffering a heart attack, he is forced to hire a young associate. Welby appreciates that the days of the GP are numbered, as his new young intern, Dr. James Kiley (James Brolin) wastes no opportunity in telling him that specialization is the way forward. Kiley is training to be a neuroscientist yet needs money to put his younger brother through medical school. Welby is in conflict with the theory of specialization, yet he appreciates that the money available is much better for newcomers to the medical profession. As a result Welby works twice as hard for half the money. The hot-headed young doctor and the seasoned old hand iron out any differences and work together as a tight unit. Together they are involved in great drama through a variety of situations. Such uplifting drama soon achieved extremely healthy ratings and the approval of the TV industry. The show received an Emmy for Outstanding Dramatic Show in 1970, as well as awards for Young and Brolin.
Welby is more than a GP - he is often a father figure, marriage counselor and psychiatrist. His way of looking at the person behind the problem struck a chord with millions of viewers.
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