‘ER’: The Unique Way George Clooney Got All His Medical Jargon Right

George Clooney was ideal for the ER TV show due to his charm, and people came back to the show to watch him.

Clooney played as Dr. Doug Ross, and in addition to his charming character, he always got his medical jargon right, using his unique way.

‘ER’ is the pioneer of medical dramas

George Clooney
George Clooney | Franco Origlia/Getty Images

As soon as people watched the ER’s first episode, they knew that this medical drama would be different. In the first episode, a building collapses, doctors and nurses are running in a frenzy, speaking in medical jargon. The scene provides a sequence of activities that people find hard to keep up as the show tries to illustrate what happens in a hospital in real life.

Noah Wyle, an actor in the ER, was interviewed in a documentary known as Pioneers of Television, and according to him, they tried to bring in realism in the TV show, and they had to speak in medical terms. If you watch the TV shows before the ER, you will realize how this TV show changed medical dramas’ acting.  

The rise of Clooney due to ‘ER’

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George Clooney did not begin his acting career in the ER but had begun earlier. However, before ER, Clooney did not feel satisfied with the situation. “I wished I was doing better projects, and I didn’t think I was going to get that chance,” Clooney told the New Yorker in 2007.

Clooney had a recurring role in a teen comedy-drama known as The Facts of Life, which ran from 1985-1987. He made guest appearances in Roseanne and had some other few movie roles.

The big break came when he featured in the ER, and many filmmakers were eyeing the actor. In a matter of time, Clooney appeared in different movies, while still acting ER. In the movie, From Dusk to Dawn, he fought with the vampires and was a divorced father in the movie One Fine Day in 1996. In 1997, he starred as Batman in Batman & Robin.

Clooney’s unique way is revealed

According to Anthony Edwards in the Pioneers of Television, he said that Clooney could have left ER, but he is a person who is committed to completing the task he starts. Clooney found a unique way to get his medical jargon right when on a set.

“He developed a technique where he would write the lines on the patient’s bedsheet, so he could look down and read,” Wyle said, speaking in the Pioneers of Television documentary. Wyle also added that Clooney could also write his lines on the medical clipboards.

If you have watched the ER, you may have noticed that his head might be bend looking at the patients’ sheets or clipboard, and now you know what he was doing. Clooney had a tight schedule, and he had to be creative to relieve some work.

Clooney’s pen was magical

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It seems that Clooney did not only use his pen to remember his lines, but also defend his co-star, Eriq La Salle. La Salle had not appeared on the top television weekly cover, and Clooney was infuriated by this inequality.

La Salle said that Clooney put in a lot of research and discovered that TV Guide had put more cartoon characters on their covers than African Americans. Clooney wrote a letter to the magazine, and La Salle was given a cover story later that year.

“We all learned the power of George’s pen,” Wyle said years later on the Pioneers of Television documentary. George’s pen was indeed magical, helping his co-star, and helping his career.