Where have all the residents gone?

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When this show started Mark & Susan were Internal Medicine residents, Peter was a Surgery resident & Carter was a medical student. Over the seasons, Carter became an Emergency Medicine resident along with Dave & Deb [or whatever she is calling herself these days] & Abby was a nurse-in-med-school. Before, surgical consults in the ED were done by Peter, Carter or some other Surgical resident. Same for Psych. Now, we only see Attending Physicians [physicians post residency], from Surgery or Psychiatry or OB/GYN. Surgery consults are only done by Peter or Elizabeth. Psych consults were done by that male Attending & now only by Kim Legaspi. The only OB is the one who delivered Deb's baby. We have completely lost the Pediatricians & Internists. Even the cardiac catherizations are being done by Luka, with the Cardiologist only there to lacerate the coronaries. Abby is no longer in med school, thanks to her lowlife ex-husband. And they killed the only other med student. I thought this was supposed to be a teaching hospital? Who are they teaching?

-- (ripwoman@aol.com), February 05, 2001


I totally agree. From what I remember of my hospital stays, I only say the Attending once every three days.

There was a storyline, once, of how good Mark was with the med students, and later they gave Carter a few chances to show that he could be understanding and a good teacher. In season 2 (?), there was a big thing of who would be the next chief resident, Susan or Kerry. Has anyone heard that term mentioned at all lately? Not since Carter blew his chance by taking drugs. Actually, there isn't a need for a Chief Resident these days, as there aren't enough students to boss around! Even the occasional med student would be a welcome break.

-- Kate (yfpy0050@yorku.ca), February 05, 2001.

Immediately before announcing her pregnancy, Chen was told by Kerry that she was being considered for Chief Resident next year. Though I suppose it's just being thrown around, as opposed to actually meaning anything these days.

-- Cecelia (evilstoat@hotmail.com), February 05, 2001.

The answer is that all the cast have moved beyond residency. And now they are scrambling to find places for them all. Remember in season 1 where we never saw an attending? Mark seemed to be always running the show.

Some notable exceptions: Dave Malucci is a 3rd year res, and Cleo Finch is a 3rd year pediatric res.

Anyway, that's dramatic license for you.

-- S. Trelles (trelles@ix.netcom.com), February 05, 2001.

I think that there are other residents and med students in the hospital, we just never see them. I remember there was a staff meeting once where there was an ER Attending who was leaving or something, but we had never seen his character before. Also, remember when Susan was going to be chief resident and she turned it down? They appointed someone else who we never saw on the show. We also frequently see nurses running around who are extras.

-- AJ Bloomfield (amanda_bloomfiel@hotmail.com), February 05, 2001.

Yes, I miss the fact that there was a heirarchy present in the ER. There was something nice about the dynamics between Susan and Mark, and Benton with Hicks, and the residents with their superiors. And I think that also provided and "aim" for the characters, or some sort of long-distance goal for each of them. I liked seeing Mark change from a chief resident to an attending, Carter from a med student to a resident/intern. Now they all seem to be on the same level.

On a slightly OT note: Carter's in his last year of residency (barring any complications, like sudden change of interest:)). Does anyone think he'll get an attending position, or a fellowship spot? I hate that we don't really know what his goals are in terms of his career; two years ago he seemed interested in administrative duties, the chief residency spot, etc. It's really unclear now where he wants to go. I hope they bring that up soon, or let the character go.

-- Samira (scarlet1016@email.com), February 05, 2001.

I think it's just the whole 'suspension of disbelief' thing in any television show. The cast members are the main characters. It's a given that, no matter their position in the hospital hierarchy, the world is going to revolve around them and all the other attendings, residents, whatever - are going to take a back seat.

-- Lynn (lynn@wordsmyth.org), February 05, 2001.

I really want to see Carter become an attending. We've seen him as a med student, intern, resident and the only thing left is atending. He would be the only person/character that we will ever see go through all stages of becomming a doc. (well, he already is one.) I hope they do something with Carter - they certainly have enough time.

-- Ritaann (er_aussie@hotmail.com), February 06, 2001.

I think I would find the show far more realistic (in terms of it being a teaching hospital) if there was any reference to med students doing rotations. They don't need to be developped characters, but it would be good to see one occasionally. The other problem that I have with ER is that you would think that medical center and the medical school were the same thing, and they are not (in most cases). Medical schools and the hospitals that are affliated have such complicated relationships that it would be interesting to see those used a minor plot points in an episode.

-- Emma (webbef@hotmail.com), February 06, 2001.

BTW: When Susan said she wasn't interested in being chief resident, they gave the job to Kerry instead.

-- Kate (yfpy0050@yorku.ca), February 06, 2001.

You are incorrect about Kerry becoming Chief Resident because Susan turned it down. Kerry was selected as Chief Resident in the first eppy of season two. Susan turned down the chief resident spot at the end of season two which was for the new residecy year that began around season three premeire. Susan could not have been a Chief resident during season two because she was only a third year ER resident. She hasd to be at least a fourth year ER resident to hold that position. I want to see Carter as an ER attending as well. I think he will make a good one.

-- Brenda (jckwfan@aol.com), February 06, 2001.

Actually, maybe someone else was noticing this...there was a rather well-done recurrence of the 'teaching hospital" thing in the episode where the baby born too prematurely to live was in the ER just waiting to die...nice interference by--was it Abby?-- in the impersonal and insensitive rounds being done by the ICU attending...I agree there's a lot missing in the way of consults, especially in Peds and IM--but there have been several psych consults recently to further the Kerry/Kim thread. Would love to see some students listening attentively though...

-- Maureen Duffy-Boose (aisling@xmission.com), February 06, 2001.

I just find it interesting that this supposed to be a large teaching hospital. I know there are turf issues between Emergency Medicine & Surgery over who will run the trauma codes & whatnot. But on 2 occasions now we have seen Elizabeth with a trauma patient in the OR alone, no residents anywhere, although she said she would call one for Romano. It's actually not realistic that she would be operating alone. These people do not have to be 'regulars'. We don't have to know anyone's name. But they ought to be there.

-- (ripwoman@aol.com), February 06, 2001.

The mystery becomes deeper. With Carter graduating from his residency and Susan returning, we now have five attendings (I'm discounting Benton, Corday, and Romano as attendings, because they're surgical and that would make my numbers ridiculous). So, that's fun. Since when does a teaching hospital work in attending to resident ratios of 5:3. I swear I am not making that number up, check it for yourself if you don't believe me. Our only residents left are Cleo, Jing-Mei, and Dave. I mean, jeez.

I know we don't need any more main cast members (fewer main cast members would be good), but hello, a glimpse of a resident or med student now and then would be nice.

I remember back in the days when there WERE no attendings. Morganstern was the only one, and we saw him how often? See, our ratio back then was 1:4, and we had a medical student too. Now, that was slightly more realistic.

-- Elizabeth Routledge (elizabethroutledge@uluru.freeserve.co.uk), June 10, 2001.

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