We touched on some of these questions in the "Why don't the EMH's hands move super FAST?" thread. I'd have thought there could be extra holographic agents, either controlled by the doctor's program (effectively giving him multiple bodies), or more simplistic "nurse" units that aren't sentient but can still handle routine activities.
The cardassian consultant on the other hand was a simple program based on one person's research. It wasn't a backup fully functioning doctor meant to deal with any medical crisis that may arise. It was a talking encyclopedia. A much simpler and much smaller program
Yeah I don't buy that at all. Nothing of what we see suggests it couldn't handle treating general sick and injured. It has extensive knowledge, an advanced personality, and actively directed studies on that alien creature. It engaged with the doctor in ethical debates.
Yet a program this advanced would, if presented with say a burn victim, just shrug and not be able to help?
maybe he could handle a common cold...but would he be able to perform and advanced procedure on a human? would he be able to come up with a new kind of procedure like the Doctor did on numerous occasions? I would say not since he wasn't programmed for that.