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"Doctors Three" by Charles Skaggs is the last of five TOS short stories in the May 1999 Strange New Worlds II anthology.


Voyages of Imagination
Admiral McCoy visits Dr. Zimmerman as he works on perfecting the EMH program.


Offended by the idea of a humanless machine treating patients, McCoy travels to Jupiter Station to inspect Dr. Lewis Zimmerman's EMH. Station CO David Clarke and engineer Reginald Barclay are unable to stall him, and McCoy barges into Zimmerman's laboratory. The scientist is rushing to complete EMH AK-1's personality matrix before USS Voyager launches, but McCoy insists on a conversation.

Zimmerman demonstrates the EMH, who diagnoses and treats a contusion on security chief Lynn White's hand that she earned while catching a smuggler. Zimmerman is pleased with the results, but McCoy observes that the Doctor lacks a bedside manner. Zimmerman points out that the program is an emergency resource, intended to be activated during crises when having a personal rapport is less important. McCoy agrees to have dinner and return in the morning.

That night, McCoy returns to the lab and reactivates the EMH, hoping to talk to him about what McCoy really thinks is lacking in the programming: a sense of mortality, which McCoy believes inspires a doctor to heal. The Doctor points out that he can indeed die, in that his program could degrade or be erased. Assuaged, McCoy has become more accepting of the future of Starfleet medicine.



Reginald BarclayDavid ClarkeThe DoctorLeonard McCoyDebbie WalterLynn WhiteLewis Zimmerman
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Starships and vehicles

USS Hippocrates
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USS Voyager


Jupiter (Holoprogramming CenterJupiter Station)

Races and cultures

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States and organizations

StarfleetStarfleet AcademyStarfleet Medical

Science and classification

airlockandroidcomputerdermal regeneratorEMHexoskeletonhologramlaboratorylaser scalpelmedical tricorderneural graftingphasertransportertricorderturbolift

Ranks and titles

admiralassistantattachécaptaincommandercounselorDirector of Holographic Imaging and Programmingdoctordoctorengineerensignlieutenantmedical officerofficerphysicianpilotsecurity chiefsmugglersurgeonwaitress

Other references

alcoholangelbeambloodcafeteriachimpanzeeculturedaydeathemotionfoodgodheartlab coatmedicalminutemirrorplanetquartersrankrunaboutsecondspacespace stationstarStarfleet uniform (2366-2373)starshipstuntribbleyear


Related media




published order
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Strange New Worlds II
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I Am Klingon
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The Name of the Cat
Sections 2-3
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