Fictional Characters Wiki

"I want to make them beautiful, but they always turn out wrong! That one, too fat! This one, too tall! This one, too symmetrical!"

  • Dr. Steinman[1]

Dr. J.S. Steinman is a fictional character in the BioShock series.


Before coming to Rapture, Steinman was a respected medical professional at the Benjamin Church Medical College. Steinman had a successful career as an orthopedic surgeon but earned his highest accolades in the field of plastic surgery, inventing techniques that revolutionized the field. He was sorely missed by his friends and colleagues after disappearing to go to Rapture. His close friend Dr. Richard Clerkwell even hired a private detective to attempt to track him down.

Because of his great renown in the field of cosmetic surgery Steinman was one of those who were invited to Rapture by Andrew Ryan. There he set up a medical practice in the Medical Pavilion level of Rapture and advertised the offer of beauty to those residents who could afford it. When ADAM became available Steinman saw it as an opportunity for revolutionary advances in his field, making it possible to truly sculpt the flesh with ease. Unfortunately the bad side effects of too much ADAM use began to set in, and Steinman, who had probably sampled some of his own techniques, began to experience the mental side effects. A perfectionist, Steinman was in love with his work, so much so that he became obsessed with human anatomy. Wanting to become a "Picasso of surgery", Steinman began to mutilate his unfortunate patients' bodies in horrific ways, usually resulting in death. Many splicers refer to him throughout the game, usually saying that Steinman will fix their deformities.


Dr. Steinman is the main antagonist of the second level of BioShock, Medical Pavilion. When Jack first enters his area, Steinman can be overheard wondering why humans have two of most body parts. When Jack enters the lobby of his domain, Steinman rushes into the corridor (that ultimately leads to his surgery), chucking a grenade behind him. The explosion causes rubble to block the entrance. After Jack removes the debris, Steinman directs a security bot at him and retreats to his operating theater to continue his "art."

His fixation on physical perfection, combined with the effects of increased use of ADAM, turned him from a surgical perfectionist into an "artistic" monster. He is seen torturing other (still living) inhabitants of Rapture in an attempt to make them "beautiful" (however it seems Steinman now has a very twisted definition of that word), as well as having many dead bodies and other such disturbing evidence scattered around his area. His audio diaries are the first real exposure the player has to the total effects (mental and physical) of repeated splicing. Although Steinman was a perfectionist in surgery, it is revealed in an audio diary that he is not the chief of surgery; he instead may be the chief of plastic surgery. It does appear Ryan gave him a level of power over the Pavilion above his rank, or in the anarchy of Rapture, he assumed the power himself. Steinman is the first boss the player encounters.

One diary reveals that Dr. Steinman became so utterly obsessed with making his patients beautiful, that he actually began seeing hallucinations of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty. Dr. Steinman looked to this imaginary figure to guide him in his quest to make his patients as beautiful as she (in his mind, she encouraged him to make his patients non-symmetrical, only furthering his desire to become the "Picasso of surgery") but his constant failures only drove him further and further down the road of insanity. When Fontaine's recruits rose up, Steinman locked himself in the surgical area of the Medical Pavilion, operating on the remaining Splicers in the pavilion. Atlas informs Jack that he'll need the key Steinman possesses to travel to Neptune's Bounty.

Fighting Dr. Steinman[]

Dr. Steinman is a relatively easy fight, as he will simply attempt to shoot the player with a machine gun. There are several different ways to go about winning the fight. The most straightforward, and probably hardest is to shoot back; it takes a while to whittle down his health. One problem with this strategy is that once he is at low health, he will run over to a nearby Health Station and heal. Hacking the Health Station will set it to poison him when he uses it and helps to finish the battle more quickly.

Other, possibly easier strategies include using a low area containing water to shock him with Electro Bolt, and using the Telekinesis Plasmid to pick up and throw a nearby barrel at his head. An oil slick near the operating table can also make the fight remarkably short: if Incinerate! is used to ignite either Steinman or the slick while he is on it, it can be a very fast one-way trip to BBQ'd Steinman (especially on the easier levels).

There are also a nearby Security Bot and Turret, both of which can be hacked before the battle begins. The Turret isn't very useful since it rarely has line of sight to Dr. Steinman, but the Bot provides some extra damage and hacking the Turret will ensure that there is one less thing that is shooting at the player. In fact, Steinman may attack the bot to the exclusion of anything else, making him an easy target so long as it is still fighting him, but this does not always occur.

Another way to defeat Steinman which is quite easy: when the player gets to the spot were Steinman runs away and lobs a grenade behind him, instead of moving forward and looking at him, look away and go around until you're under the entryway that would have collapsed. The game will trigger a grenade to fall and Steinman will run forward. But because Jack beats him there he will be running into debris nonstop. Just keep hitting him with the Wrench (because for some reason he won't fight back) until his health reaches zero. Any other hits won't matter because they don't affect him. Now just continue doing business until one needs to come back to clear the debris. Steinman will be gone until the player finds him in the surgery room. Since his health got whittled down to the point of death, all one has to do is hit him once for him to die.

BioShock 2[]

Dr. Steinman is mentioned in the audio diary, "Working for Sinclair" as being the one who supplied Augustus Sinclair with his "Thousand dollar smile" and does make something akin to a cameo appearance in BioShock 2's Siren Alley level. His pose amongst his "failures" before his final confrontation with Jack is depicted in a painting above the case of a Little Sister relic.


  1. Dr. Steinman on the BioShock Wiki

Characters: Big Daddy (BouncerRosieRumblerLancer) • Little SisterJackAtlasAndrew RyanDr. SteinmanSubject DeltaBig SisterBooker DeWittElizabethHimHandymanSplicers