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Dr. Doug Ross was a doctor at County General Hospital in Chicago. He was portrayed by George Clooney from 1994 to 1999. Doug is a dedicated ER pediatrician who has always been committed to medicine and children and to helping no matter what the rules or consequences.
Doug Ross was raised by his mother, Sarah, after his father, Ray, abandoned their family. He revealed that his father came back to his family a few times, but was never committed to them.
In the pilot episode, Doug is brought into the ER not long before his shift to be "treated" for drunkenness by his longtime friend, Dr. Mark Greene. Doug had a previous relationship with Nurse Carol Hathaway which later ended. After Carol attempts suicide, Doug blames himself for what happened to her.
In an episode, Doug revealed to a patient that he had a son. When Carol announces she's getting married to Dr. Tagileri, Doug appears to be a little jealous. Doug dated a woman from Risk Management named Diane Leeds, who has a son named Jake, but their relationship later ends. In the episode "The Birthday Party," Doug assaults the father of an abused girl and he is sent to counseling.
Doug's reckless professional behavior is called into question by the hospital authorities and the new Chief Resident, Kerry Weaver. Doug breaks protocol to treat an HIV-positive child and is about to be fired. Doug already accepted a job at another medical facility when he heroically saves the life fo a young boy who was trapped in a sewer in the episode, "Hell and High Water." This gives Doug a lot of public attention, earns him an award and also saves his job.
In the episode "The Right Thing," Doug's father, Ray visits him, hoping to reconcile with Doug, but Doug has difficulty reconnecting with him. Ray has made something of himself by owning a very ritzy hotel in Chicago, and Doug lets his guard down a little, but is disappointed yet again when his father offers to take him to a Bulls game and then stands him up.
Doug later reveals the reason why he is so finicky about child abuse because he and his mother were abused by his father. Doug later has an affair with Ray's girlfriend, a woman who Ray stole money from, but ends the relationship when it becomes clear she has a lot of problems herself.
Doug and Carol's relationship appears to start up again. Doug cares for a homeless teen prostitute named Charlie Chiemienga. Near the end of the season, Doug appears to clash with new pediatrician, Dr. Anna Del Amico.
Doug and Carol's relationship has rekindled and they talk about being engaged. When Doug's fellowship is about to end soon, he is determined to become the first emergency pediatric attending at County. Doug gets a phone call and finds out that his father, Ray was killed in a car accident. Doug goes to California on a road trip with friend and colleague Dr. Mark Greene to collect his remains. Ross finds out that his father was killed in an automobile accident; he had been drunk at the wheel and killed the other driver, himself and his new wife.
Doug visits the funeral ceremony to express his sorrow to the victim's family, but ultimately does not and tells the priest overseeing the ceremony that his father was responsible, who then reassures Doug that he truly loved his father. When Doug and Mark find the hotel his father stayed in, he finds his father's car and belongings. They discover home videos that Ray had taken of Doug and his mother.
Doug's chances for the pediatric attending position are in jeporardy when he does an ultra-rapid detox on a drug-addicted baby without his mother's permission. At the end of the season, his career appears to be at risk.
After a month on probation following the unauthorized rapid detox of a drug-addicted baby, Doug gets the position as the ER pediatric attending. Doug and Carol's relationship is still going strong and they are even trying to get pregnant.
Doug treats a young boy named Ricky Abbott, who was suffering from ALD. He jeopardizes a new pain medication study by surreptitiously giving some of the drug to Ricky. Mark and Kerry find out, but they decide not to tell Dr. Anspaugh because of the violation of protocol on a federally-funded trial.
In the episode, "The Storm, Part One," Doug and Jeanie Boulet end up in a car accident as Doug tries to get to the scene of a school bus accident. Doug only suffers a head laceration. In the same episode, Doug gets in trouble once again after he allows Ricky's mother, Joi to bypass the lockouts on a Dilaudid PCA machine, which enabled her to give a lethal dose of medication to Ricky which leads to his death. After Ricky's death, Doug faces possible criminal charges and suspension. The incident also causes Carol's ER free clinic to close down.
A friend of Doug's stands up for him and the charges against him are dropped, but Doug resigns from the hospital and plans to move to Seattle. He asks Carol to move to Seattle with him, but Carol declines to and Doug leaves Chicago alone.
In the episode, "Old Times," Doug is working as an attending physician at the University of Washington Medical Center. He helps a grieving grandmother whose grandson was gravely injured in a bicycle accident.
He talks to Sam and Neela (after finding out they were from County) and asks them if any of his old colleagues still worked there. Doug and Carol are directly responsible for getting the kidney for Carter and a heart for another County patient, but they never discovered who received the organs.
- Ray Ross (father; deceased)
- Sarah Ross (mother)
- Carol Hathaway (wife)
- Unnamed child (son, with an unnamed woman)
- Tess and Kate Ross (twin daughters; with Carol)
Medical Titles at County GeneralEdit
- E.R. Pediatric Resident (1994-1995)
- E.R. Pediatric Fellow (1995-1998)
- E.R. Pediatric Attending (1998-1999)