Mandy Patinkin is getting a medical education of sorts while playing a heart surgeon on "Chicago Hope." Fortunately, he promises to keep his scalpel to himself.

"I don't know everything you need to know, obviously, but I could certainly hold all of the instruments and I could certainly sew," he said.Patinkin, who won a Tony Award in 1980 for "Evita," plays the gifted but egomaniacal heart surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Geiger on the CBS show.

He was nominated last week for a Golden Globe, but says doctors deserve the kudos.

"A friend of mine is one of the leading experts in breast and ovarian cancer research," Patinkin said. "He's responsible for millions of lives saved - millions. Medicine is where many of the real heroes are."



Birthdays: For Tuesday, Dec. 27

Actor Gerard Depardieu 46

Actress Tovah Feldshuh 42