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Dr. Elizabeth Corday was a surgeon at County General Hospital in Chicago. She was portrayed by Alex Kingston from 1997 to 2004.
Elizabeth is a British surgeon from England. Her father, Charles is a well-renowed surgeon at St. Thomas' Hospital in London and her grandfather was a surgeon as well. Elizabeth had somewhat of a rocky relationship with her mother, Isabelle. She feels that her mother didn't spend enough time with her as a girl, she feels that she was "raised by nannies and boarding schools", although Elizabeth finds a more nuanced perspective on things once she becomes a mother herself. Though Elizabeth and Isabelle do seem to come to some kind of mutual agreement, their relationship is still strained.
Elizabeth moves from England to Chicago in order to gain more experience in trauma surgery. She faces many problems as she adjusts to the American way of life. In her first trauma, Elizabeth baffles the rest of the staff by using lots of British terms usually not used in America such as for example, she asks them to "bleep Benton" (or page Dr. Peter Benton), order an "FBC" (or a CBC), and perform a "tube thoracostomy" (or a chest tube). She also introduces herself as "Miss Corday", which is customary for British surgeons, and not "Dr Corday". She becomes popular amongst the other staff though, both for her surgical competence and for her personality.
Elizabeth becomes friends with many of the female ER staff such as Carol Hathaway and Anna Del Amico. She also becomes romantically involved with Peter Benton and they even share a kiss with each other. Near the end of the season, Elizabeth finds out that Dr. Romano wouldn't be renewing her sponsorship.
Elizabeth decides to stay in Chicago despite her sponsorship ending. She decides to repeat a year as an intern in order to get her medical license in the US. Peter even becomes her supervisor for a while.
The long hours and stress of being an intern takes a toll on Elizabeth and she accidently a high dose of magnesium to a patient which causes him to go into cardiac arrest. Even though the patient survives, Elizabeth has to face and inquiry. At the inquiry, she blames the system for the mistake comparing her hours to those of other jobs where people's lives are at risk. Meanwhile, Elizabeth attempts her relationship with Peter which eventually succeeds. After the incident with her patient, she ends her relationship with Peter for good.
When Dr. Maggie Doyle accuses Dr. Romano of sexual harrassment, Elizabeth wants to support her claims at first, but she's forced to back down when Dr. Romano reveals to her that he knew about Elizabeth's relationship with Peter while he was her supervisor.
Elizabeth and Peter compete over a surgical fellowship which is given to Peter in the end. Near the end of the season, Elizabeth starts dating Mark Greene.
Elizabeth is promoted to Associate Chief of Surgery. Her relationship with Mark continues to grow. She celebrates Thanksgiving with Mark, his daughter, Rachel, and his father. Elizabeth is the first to discover that Rachel has started her period. Elizabeth's mother, Isabelle comes to visit her in Chicago. She helps Dr. Romano operate on his dog, Gretel.
Elizabeth saves the life of a serial rapist and killer who starts to engage her in a series of mind games. When a victim's family wants to learn of their daughter's body's location, the killer manipulates Corday into euthanizing him in exchange for the location. At the last minute, Corday realizes that the killer was afraid of her for the power that she held over him and she spares his life, breaking his will and "winning the game."
In the episode "All in the Family," Elizabeth along with Dr. Romano treat Lucy Knight after she and John Carter are stabbed by a schizophrenic patient. Lucy's last words to Dr. Corday were, "Thank you." Despite their efforts, Lucy dies from her injuries. Near the end of the episode, Elizabeth is seen visibly upset by Lucy's death.
In the episode "Be Patient," Elizabeth is surprised when she finds out that her mother and Mark's father have been intimate with each other. When David Greene is sick with end-stage lung cancer, he asks Elizabeth about any hospices for him because he wants to die in peace.
In the episode "Loose Ends," David gives Elizabeth a pearl necklace which she accepts. She comforts Mark after David passes away in his sleep.
Mark and Elizabeth move into a new house together where Mark proposes to her which Elizabeth accepts. Elizabeth faces a malpractice suit when she accidently paralyzes a man which is later settled.
In the episode "Rescue Me," Elizabeth discovers that she's pregnant after getting sick during a trauma. Elizabeth accompanies Mark to New York when he has surgery for his brain tumor. Elizabeth and Mark get married and Elizabeth gives birth to her daughter, Ella.
In the season finale, Mark worries for Elizabeth and Ella's safety when a enraged patient of his goes on a shooting spree in Chicago. Luckily, Elizabeth and Ella were out of the house and unharmed.
Elizabeth balances being a full-time mother and doctor. When Mark's daughter, Rachel moves in with him and Elizabeth, they don't get along very well. After she loses four of her patients to post-operative infections, Elizabeth is investigated for it which she is later cleared of.
When Ella suffers an overdose of ecstacy from Rachel's backpack, Elizabeth is furious at Rachel and wants her out of her house. When Mark refuses to do that, Elizabeth takes Ella and moves into a hotel, telling him she won't come back home unless Rachel is out of their house.
Mark and Elizabeth reconcile when Mark discovers that his brain tumor has grown back and is inoperable. In the episode, "Brothers and Sisters," Elizabeth gets a call from Rachel (who is with Mark spending time in Hawaii) that Mark's condition has taken a turn for the worse and she rushes over to Hawaii with Ella in toll. In the letter Mark wrote to the ER staff, she writes down that Mark passed away at the end of the letter.
After Mark's death, Elizabeth goes back to England for a few months, but she later goes back to Chicago after finding out she no longer fit in at the hospital she worked at because of her being in the United States for so long.
When Elizabeth returned to County, she became harsh with patients, curt with her colleagues, and clashed with med student Paul Nathan, a med student with Parkinson's Disease. Elizabeth later confronted her agony over Mark's death and also made peace with Nathan during a horrifying case where the wife and son of a decent man were killed by a drunk driver, and they were able to save his other son by doing a transplant from the dying son.
Corday was saddened to see Dr. Romano giving up his career due to his arm amputation/reattachment that ruined his high level of ability as a surgeon.
Elizabeth appears to be moving on with her life after Mark's death. She had a relationship with fellow surgeon, Dr. Dorset, which later ends after she finds out he was married. Later, she began seeing two men at the same time, another doctor at County and a teacher.
After the death of Dr. Romano, Elizabeth becomes appointed the new Chief of Surgery by Kerry Weaver after seeing that Elizabeth was becoming a prominent and more senior figure in the OR. Elizabeth was the only person to attend Dr. Romano's funeral. In the episode “Midnight,” Rachel visits Elizabeth with her boyfriend when she asks Elizabeth for birth control pills.
In the episode "Try Carter," Elizabeth was convinced by Carter to perform an illegal donation procedure between two HIV positive patients which resulted in her facing the possibility of her losing her license and being dismissed from the staff.
Kerry offered her the position of a clinical instructor with no possibility of tenure or future promotion, but with her career all but over at County, Elizabeth quit her job and moved back to England. She was replaced as Chief of Surgery by Dr. Lucien Dubenko whom she had been adamantly opposed to hiring at County in the first place.
Elizabeth returns in the episode "Dream Runner" where it is revealed that she took a position as Chief of Trauma Surgery at Duke University following a return to her native England. She returned to Chicago to interview returned to interview potential employees including the surprised Neela Rasgotra for positions at the University.
Elizabeth revealed to Neela that she lived back in England for a few years but came back, saying that Chicago was her "true home." During the interview, she mentioned having considered returning to County General briefly, but decided against it. She briefly met Dr. Simon Brenner after finishing her interview with Neela. Elizabeth told Neela it would be great to stay at County but to also leave her options open about an opportunity elsewhere.
In the series finale, Elizabeth and Rachel meet up with Carter, Weaver, Susan, and Peter after the opening of the Carter Center. After that, Peter walks Elizabeth to her car where the spark of their previous relationship and later friendship can be seen once more.
- Charles Corday (father)
- Isabelle Corday (mother)
- John Carter ( husband )
- Ella Greene Carter (daughter with Mark)
- Rachel Greene Carter (stepdaughter from Mark's first marriage)
- Joshua Carter ( son )
Medical Titles at County GeneralEdit
- Surgical Fellow (1997-1998)
- Surgical Intern (1998-1999)
- Surgical Trauma and General Attending Physician (1999-2004)
- Associate Chief of Surgery (1999-2003)
- Chief of Surgery (2003-2004)