The relationship between John Carter and Doug Ross in ER

The long-running medical drama ER was one of the most popular versions of the genre. It was very successful, partly because it seemed to be happening in real-time. Rather than have a set up of stories that ended up in the ER it felt like you were a true observer of events, as if you’d just walked in and were sat in the medical unit itself. You almost felt that you needed to have Medical Indemnity Insurance, like that from Howden Group. The other reason was the great acting and relationships that were brought to life by the performers. Two of these were Noah Wylie as John Carter and George Clooney as Doug Ross.

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It was the jaded mentor to the young idealist kind of relationship. Like Obi-Wan to Luke in Star Wars the older more experienced Doctor Ross tries to help and guide the Intern through the rocky road of the hospital emergency room. Doug wants Carter to know that it’s not just the patients you have to deal with, it’s the fellow Doctors and the politics of the place as well.

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He is aided by the kindly and understanding Doctor Mark Greene, his good friend, and abetted by the self centred and aloof surgeon Doctor Benton and the machinations, albeit well intentioned, of Doctor Kerry Weaver. Carter soon learns that the ER is a severe learning curve that he has to climb. With Doug’s help he soon realises  that medical school did not prepare him for this. The two characters were so popular they both featured in a Cameo performance in an episode of Friends.

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