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Dr. John Carter was a doctor at County General Hospital. He was portrayed by Noah Wyle from 1994 to 2005. His character was written out of the show by moving to Africa and marrying his love interest, Makemba Likasu. He made a later appearance in the show's final season.
John Truman Carter III (MD) comes from a wealthy family, with an net worth of 178 Million. He was raised by his mother, Eleanor and his father, John (the II). He has a sister and had an older brother named Bobby who died of Acute myeloid leukemia when he was young, his brother would often be in and out of various hospital to be treated. According to Carter his brother was frustrated by how his mother was "babying" him and therefor would take it out on Carter. Carter also states that it was seeing how the Doctors were treating his brother that inspired him to become a Doctor, it was them who made him realize that that is what he wanted to be. He was very close to his grandmother, Millicent (or "Gamma" as he called her) and he has a cousin named Chase.
Carter is introduced in the pilot episode as Dr. Peter Benton's 3rd year medical student who had no clinical experience whatsoever, having only done Dermatology and Psychiatry rotations, but he soon learns quickly and is soon competent at a variety of situations, eventually earning time in the OR. He also had a close friendship with Dr. Susan Lewis. Carter had a relationship with a patient named Liz who gave him an embarrassing infection and the test results are later posted on the board. Carter also grows close to a patient named "Madame X" (whose real name is Mary Cavanaugh).
Carter also had an very competitive rivalry with new med student Deb Chen, who later leaves medicine after making an error with a patient. Carter gets the Surgical Sub I after another student accepts the Orthopedic Sub I, this prompts Carter to rewrite his evaluation of Dr. Benton.
Carter arrives back late from his summer off. He returns as a fourth-year medical student doing a surgical sub-internship (sub-I). Carter started out being very competitive, always trying to get ahead and impress his superiors. however he is a very caring person, who gets along well with the patients and seems to really care.
Carter also has a relationship with med student Harper Tracy, but she cheats on Carter very early in the relationship with Dr. Ross. Carter forgives her, only for her to dump him a few months later because Carter tricks another med student in order to get a procedure. Carter misses his med school graduation to stay with a young patient who needs a liver transplant.
Carter becomes a surgical intern and is very good at it, but he decides it is not the career he wants. He later decides to switch to emergency medicine. Carter has a relationship with pediatric surgeon Dr. Abby Keaton, but it ends when Dr. Keaton leaves for a volunteer mission to teach Pakistani surgeons. Carter also performs an appendectomy on Dr. Benton when he is stricken with appendicitis. Carter is stricken with grief when his friend and fellow surgical student, Dennis Gant dies after falling or jumping onto the El tracks because he knew that Gant was unhappy, but he didn't do anything about it.
When Carter switches from surgical intern to emergency medicine intern, he repeats his year as an intern without pay. By this time, Carter is a superb doctor and leader which was demonstrated when he was arrested for doing something good for a patient. When the ER becomes contaminated with Benzene, Carter takes control, evacuating the ER. He mentors two interns, George Henry and Ivan Fu. Carter helps treat George after he suffers an allergic reaction to latex.
During the 4th season, Carter discovers that his cousin, Chase has a heroin addiction and tries to help him, but later Chase suffers from an overdose which leaves him brain-damaged. Carter's grandmother, Gamma is a big help in helping Nurse Carol Hathaway with her ER clinic.
Carter becomes interested in new ER doctor, Dr. Anna Del Amico. Carter pretends to be poor in order to get in Anna's good graces, which fails because she finds out he was lying to her. Anna helps Carter out with his cousin, Chase's drug addiction and reveals to him that she had an ex-boyfriend with a drug addiction too. At the end of the season, Anna's ex-boyfriend, Dr. Max Rocher comes to the hospital to see if the ER is in need of a pediatric attending. Anna is still in love with him, and faces a decision about her future in the ER. It is revealed in the 5th season that Anna moved back to Philadelphia with Max to work in a pediatric ER.
Carter has his own medical student, Lucy Knight. At first, they have a rough start, but later become friends. Carter is getting paid this year and has also moved into halls of residence as a warden. After a Hallowene party in the halls of residence gets out of control, with two students overdosing on drugs, Carter loses his job and has to move out. Carter rents an apartment from Kerry and also has a new girlfriend, Roxanne Please, an insurance salesperson, but their relationship falls apart due to their work schedules.
Carter injures his shoulder while he and Lucy are searching for a patient's father with the same blood type to save her life. Carter has a beard during the beginning of the season, but after it got stuck on a patient covered in glue, he shaves it.
Lucy accidently kicks Carter in the chest whilst practicing kick boxing cutting his head. As Lucy cleans and stitches up the cut on Carter's head, they start kissing and fooling around. Carter points out that they shouldn't be doing this and that he could get in trouble. Chuny discovers them, Carter has a larger bruise on his neck and the whole ER staff are making fun of him.
Carter is now a senior resident this season. He starts a relationship with his cousin Douglas' ex-wife, Elaine Nichols. Their relationship ends when Carter finds out that Elaine has breast cancer. When Carter tries to comfort her, Elaine tells him to stay away. She later leaves for Europe and tells Carter not to contact her again.
Carter is surprised by newcomer Dr. Malucci's diagnosis of a patient with Jamaican Vomiting Sickness. They also get into trouble with Dr. Weaver when they treat an injured man from a construction site.
On Valentine's Day, Carter and Lucy are stabbed by Paul Sobricki, a schizophrenic patient. Carter is stabbed in the back and his kidney is damaged. Although Carter survives the stabbing, Lucy dies from her injuries. After Lucy's death, Carter suffers from chronic battle with pain, survivor guilt, and resistance to get help.
Near the end of the season, med student Abby Lockhart discovers that Carter has a narcotic addiction after she catches him stealing fentanyl. When the other doctors find out, Mark Greene tells Carter that he needs to go to a in-patient rehab center for doctors in Atlanta or be fired. At first, Carter refuses, but after being convinced by Dr. Benton, he agrees to go. He is last seen on a plane with Dr. Benton on their way to Atlanta.
Carter completes his rehab in Atlanta and comes back to Chicago in the season premiere. He is seen attending AA meetings and Abby Lockhart agrees to be his sponsor. At first, Carter is put on light trauma cases when he returns to work.
Carter is by Dr. Jing-Mei Chen's side when she gives birth to her son that she later gives up for adoption. He steals pills from a deceased patient and later vomits them up. He tells Abby who convinces him to tell Dr. Weaver, but he's afraid to because he doesn't want to be sent back to rehab. He later tells Dr. Weaver what happened. Carter is also the first to find out that Mark Greene has a brain tumor after Mark suffers a seizure right in front of him.
Later on in the season, Carter starts a relationship with Peds intern, Rena Trujillo and is surprised when he finds out that she's only 19. They later break up because Rena knows that Carter has feelings for Abby. Carter goes to Oklahoma with Abby after her bipolar mother holds herself up in a motel room.
Carter later discovers that he has been turned down for Chief Resident and he later thinks about moving on to another hospital.
After Dr. Chen quits County General due to conflicts with Kerry Weaver, Carter is given the Chief Resident position. In the season premiere, it is revealed that Carter's grandfather has passed away. He later discovers that his grandmother, Gamma is also not doing good as well and is later diagnosed with Shy-Drager syndrome.
Carter also discovers that his parents are divorcing. Carter's mother, Eleanor takes care of a young boy, Mickey, who has leukemia (the same disease that his older brother had succumbed to). On Mark Greene's last day at County, he tells Carter that he "sets the tone" now and people will be looking up to him more often for direction.
He later reads the letter that Mark Greene sent to the E.R. staff and is quite upset after he finds out that his good friend and mentor has passed away. Carter also clashes with new intern Greg Pratt because of his cocky, arrogant, know-it-all attitude. He also starts to grow closer to Abby Lockhart.
In the season finale, Carter treats two children who have smallpox-like symptoms and locks down the E.R. Near the end of the episode, Carter and Abby are still close with each other and they share a kiss with each other.
During the smallpox crisis, Carter and Abby along with Dr. Pratt, Dr. Chen, and a patient named Stan are quarantined in the E.R. for several weeks after it's evacuated. Meanwhile, Carter and Abby continue to get closer with each other and start a relationship with each other.
After a frustrated drug-seeking patient threatens the ER, Carter is concerned about the security conditions at County and when Weaver refuses to do anything about them, Carter stages a walk-out which leads to other staff at County to walk out as well. Later on, the security conditions at County are upgraded.
Carter helps Abby deal with her brother, Eric, who is also suffering from bipolar disorder just like her mother. Abby and Carter struggle throughout their relationship, but manage to keep it together. Carter proposes to Abby which she later turns down.
Later on in the season, Carter finds out that his grandmother, Gamma has passed away which happens during the same time that Abby's brother, Eric comes back into the picture. Carter is stricken with grief from his grandmother's death, but Abby feels that to care for Eric, leaving Carter to grieve on his own. When Eric crashes Gamma's funeral and even falls in her grave, it marks the end of their relationship.
Near the end of the season, Carter decides to go to the Congo with Dr. Luka Kovac despite Abby's protests. In the season finale, Carter goes back to Chicago while Luka chooses to stay behind.
In the season premiere, after Carter discovers that Luka was reportedly killed in the Congo, he decides to go back to get him which upsets Abby. After Luka is brought back to Chicago alive, Carter decides to stay in Africa. With Carter and Abby's relationship on the rocks, Carter sends Abby a letter, telling her that their relationship is over.
While in Africa, Carter meets a woman named Makemba "Kem" Likasu, who works as as an AIDS worker in Africa. They meet while Carter works for Doctors Without Borders. They spark up a relationship which later leads to Kem becoming pregnant. Carter is able to convince Kem to come back to Chicago with him. Later on in the season, Kem gives birth to a still born son whom they name Joshua, which leaves both Kem and Carter devastated.
Still struggling with the death of their unborn son, Kem decides to go back to Africa while Carter stays behind in Chicago. Carter suffers from insomnia and depression due to his separation from Kem and the loss of his unborn son.
While Carter and Abby have become pretty good friends, they have not even considered any sort of reconcilliation with each other. Carter starts a relationship with new social worker, Wendall Meade, but they later separate when Carter comes to the realization that he's not ready to start a new relationship.
Carter starts a new health-care center for County and also receives tenure. Near the end of the season, Carter goes to Paris to see Kem after he finds out that Kem's mother is ill. They both reconcile with each other and start up their relationship again. In the season finale, Carter decides to leave County in order to spend time with Kem.
It is revealed that Carter and Kem had married. Carter is seen in a four-episode arc, working in Darfur, Sudan with a fellow doctor and he is later joined by Dr. Pratt.
Carter is seen in the episode "The Beginning Of the End" where he is now in Chicago indefinitely, looking to pick up some shifts and keep his skills up. He visits the "The Joshua Makalo Carter Center" (which he created in the 12th season). At the end of the episode, it is shown that Carter is on dialysis because of amyloidosis developing from schistosomiasis which irreparably damaged Carter's remaining kidney (from his stabbing). He is back in Chicago to be placed on the US transplant list. Working in the ER, he's shown to still be a good doctor with good judgment, but is not up on the latest medicines and techniques used in the U.S.
In the series finale, Carter uses his family fortune to open a clinic called "The Joshua Carter Clinic," a medical clinic for the underprivleged where his old colleagues such as Dr. Weaver, Dr. Benton, and Dr. Lewis are at the opening of the clinic. Kem returns to to Chicago to visit the Joshua Carter Center and leaves with some hope that she and Carter will reconcile. Carter is surprised that Mark Greene's daughter, Rachel is now in med school. His last lines in the episode to Rachel are, "Dr. Greene. Coming?"
- John "Jack" Carter Jr. (father)
- Eleanor Carter (mother)
- Robert "Bobby" Carter (older brother, deceased)
- Sister (unknown name)
- Makemba "Kem" Likasu (wife)
- Joshua Makalo Carter (son, with Kem; stillborn)
- John Carter Sr. (paternal grandfather, deceased)
- Millicent "Gamma" Carter (paternal grandmother, deceased)
- Chase Carter (cousin)
Medical Titles at County General E.R.Edit
- Medical Student (1994-1996)
- Surgical\E.R. Intern (1996-1998)
- E.R. Resident (1998-2001)
- E.R. Chief Resident (2001-2003)
- E.R. Per Diem (2003-2005)
- E.R. Attending Physician (2005)
- E.R. Per Diem (2009)