This article is from the ER FAQ, by Rose Cooper email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
In real life, the rotation for a medical ER student is
supposed to be a maximum of six to twelve weeks, yet Carter was on
his rotation for a year of the series. There`s no real explanation
for this, just that the character is very popular and the writers
suspended disbelief by having him stay.
In the second season, there was slightly more justification
for Carter`s presence, in that he received a surgical sub-internship
to work at the hospital at the end of the first season. I`m told
that sub-internships (or "sub-I`s") still only last a little longer
than a med student rotation, so Carter`s year-long stay is still
In the third season, Carter undertook his actual internship, so his
presence finally made real sense. [The fourth season, of course, really
confused things when Carter`s newly-assigned med students were shown, er,
rotating correctly. Ahh, TeeVee.]
5.141 Is he still an intern?
A plot twist that carried over from the end of season three, through
season four, had Our Man Carter switching his internship from surgery
(S3) to emergency medicine (S4). Part of this "twist", by necessity,
meant that he would in effect be a second-year intern [technically, a
second-year overall resident, while at the same time, a first-year ER
intern. And Hilarity Ensued.]. Unless he can find more Angst to
pursue, residency-wise, S5 should find him a full-fledged second-year
ER resident/third-year overall. [And apparently, it has. Beard-n-all.]
*5.142 So what's with that Beard, anyway?
The Beard Is Life! [No wait, that's the spice. Not to be confused
with the Spice Girls. Though some Internet Loonies think the Beard
is quite Scary. I know the Spice Girls scare the beejezus outta me.
And boy, do I digress.]
Except for the thought that the current (as of 9/24/98)
Noah Wyle/John Carter Beard is a bit too shaggy (as opposed to the
season 5 opener Beard, which I kinda liked), I think it adds Character
to his character. But why ask me, wadda I know? Let's ask The Beard,
Itself. Alan Sepinwall, of the "Star-Ledger" did. Like ta see it?
here it goes...<http://digiserve.com/er/erthebeard.html>
*...and there it goes: The Beard, He Is No More; a casualty of
"Stuck On You" , beardless Carter returns. Let us bow our heads,
Doug-like, in a Moment Of Silence. No sticking your tongues out, you