From McDreamy to Doogie, TV doctors band together to thank the real ones amid coronavirus pandemic

They’re not doctors — they just played them on TV — and now they’re thanking the real medical professionals on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Olivia Wilde, Patrick Dempsey and Neil Patrick Harris are among a group of actors appearing in a new PSA for the First Responders First fund — which supplies equipment and resources for first responders — on World Health Day. Wilde, who first shared the video, wrote, “On behalf of fake doctors everywhere, we want to thank the actual healthcare superheroes ... of this crisis.”

“The closest thing I’ve ever come to being a doctor was putting on a costume,” Wilde — who played Thirteen on House — said at the start of the PSA, which she organized. “And while it’s close,” she said, tongue in cheek, “it’s not quite the same.” She went on to thank the real heroes, and said some of her friends wanted to, as well.

House -- "Whatever it Takes" Episode 6 -- Pictured: Olivia Wilde as Thirteen -- (Photo by: Isabella Vosmikova/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
Olivia Wilde, seen here in her role as Thirteen on House, brought together her former co-stars on the show for the PSA. (Photo: Isabella Vosmikova/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Then came clips of Wilde’s House co-stars Lisa Edelstein, Jennifer Morrison, Omar Epps, Kal Penn, and Peter Jacobson, as well as Harris (Doogie Howser, M.D.); Dempsey, Kate Walsh and Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy); Donald Faison, Zach Braff and Sarah Chalke (Scrubs); Julianna Margulies and Maura Tierney (ER); Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie); and Freddie Highmore (The Good Doctor). Additionally, Jennfer Garner, who played a doctor in the 2013 film Dallas Buyers Club, participated.

“I’m not a doctor, but I was paid to be one on TV,” Harris said after Wilde’s intro.

UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 15:  DOOGIE HOWSER, M.D. - Gallery - Season One - 5/5/1989, Doogie Howser, M.D. is a comedy-drama starring Neil Patrick Harris as Douglas "Doogie" Howser, a brilliant teenage doctor who is faced with the problems of being a normal teenager despite graduating from Princeton at the age of 10 and being a board-certified surgeon by the time he's 16. ,  (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
Neil Patrick Harris as Douglas "Doogie" Howser. (Photo: Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

And Dempsey, who was Derek Shepherd (aka McDreamy) in the original Grey’s cast, said, “I want to thank all the doctors and the nurses. The real ones — not the ones that are on television.”

Faison talked about how the medical workers — and all those supporting them — were doing the real work, making it clear, “I’m not one of them. I’m in my house.”

Several joked about how their skills playing doctors wouldn’t make them very helpful on the frontlines, including Chalke, who quipped, “If you want to recruit the fake doctors, we are ready. We can help hand you ...stuff.”

Falco said it was “early on in the filming of our show that I recognized that I was not capable of actually doing the work you do.”

They all went on to give thanks for their courage, sacrifice and “being the best of us.”

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC and WHO’s resource guides.

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