Tell me, do doctors really use the term “Gomer” (Get Out of My Emergency Room) to refer to certain patients?

I saw this in a quite funny movie starring Tim Matheson (I think), way back, where he plays an intern working in ER, and I wondered if they made it up or if it was something they got from reality. (It seemed to have a lot of verisimilitude; it seemed more like something they got from real doctors.)

The funniest line in the film: “Rule #1: Gomers never die. Rule #2: Gomers NEVER die.”


Unfortunately, Steven, yes, some doctors do use terms like that. While I try not to judge, I find it very, very offensive; patients are not ours to judge, and if I looked deep inside myself, I’d figure out great nicknames for many of the doctors I’ve run across that don’t share my zeal for putting the patient first, doing no harm, and doing something right even if it takes longer to do.

(Parenthetically, a friend of mine is married to a doctor, an orthopedic surgeon who has done his share of time in an ER. He frequently has called patients GOMERs to me, in discussions. Then, he found himself in an ER with a twisted ankle, was a demanding ass to all of the staff, and then overheard someone calling him a GOMER to the staff. His wife tells me that he hasn’t used the word since…)


• Posted by: Jason Levine on Jun 27, 2000, 8:13 PM
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