What Does Just What The Doctor Ordered Mean?

Just What The Doctor Ordered Meaning

Definition: Exactly what one needs to feel better.

Origin of Just What the Doctor Ordered

This idiom originated in the 1900s. Some people might think that since it references a physician, that it is exclusively used in the context of health. However, this is not the case.

People can use this expression anytime something is making them feel better.

For example, if someone was very hungry and then received his or her favorite meal, he or she might use this phrase. In fact, I would venture to guess that this phrase is usually used outside of medical contexts.

The idea behind this expression is that doctors prescribe medicine to cure something. If something offers a perfect solution to whatever problem the person is having, it is said to be just what the doctor ordered.

In other words, the person has found a “cure” for whatever is “ailing” them.

Examples of Just What the Doctor Ordered

define just what the doctor orderedIn the example below, two friends are talking about their jobs.

Ted: I love my job, but I feel so worn out at the end of every day.

Rufio: Really? Would it help to go on a weekend white water rafting trip? I know you’ve wanted to try that for a long time, and it might help give you more energy since it should get your adrenaline rushing!

Ted: Wow! That sounds amazing. In fact, that’s just what the doctor ordered. A trip like that should help revitalize me so I have the energy to keep going back to work.

just what the doctor orderedThis dialogue shows two friends who are celebrating the birthday that one of them has today.

Zayna: Hey, Ben! What a nice surprise to see you!

Ben: Happy birthday! I have a gift for you.

Zayna: Really? Let me open it. Wow! A gift certificate to a spa!

Ben: Yeah, I remembered you saying that you felt really sore lately, so I thought a visit to the spa, with a massage, could do wonders.

Zayna: It’s just what the doctor ordered! Thank you!

More Examples

The excerpt is from an article about a celebrity who will host a talent competition.

  • Osbourne confessed on the show that being a judge on “The X Factor” was just what the doctor ordered last fall. –New York Daily News

This excerpt is from a review of a new car.

  • But like 2001 all over again, a rip-roaring, sensuous coupe is just what the doctor ordered to inject some life straight back into the Infiniti lineup, and that car has finally arrived in the form of the Q60. –New York Daily News


The idiom just what the doctor ordered means the perfect thing to help someone.