Robert Romano (ER)

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(Redirected from Dr. Robert 'Rocket' Romano)

Dr. Robert 'Rocket' Romano was a fictional medical doctor on the ER television series who worked at County General. He was portrayed by Paul McCrane.

The producers of the show wanted to have a doctor who was very arrogant and mean-sprited towards others. They wanted a man who was homophobic, and made unwelcome advances towards women. Many medical professionals have commented that they had each known real-life medical doctors who were almost exactly like Romano. Although Romano was a deliberately unpleasant character, he also frequently provided the show's comic relief, and thus became popular with viewers as ER's "man you love to hate".

Dr. Romano was a surgeon, and was a very good one at that. However, he did not get along with the majority of the staff. When Dr. Benton arranged for the surgery of a medicare patient over the objections of Dr. Romano, Romano fired Benton. Romano then blacklisted Benton throughout the community, making it almost impossible for him to find a job in Chicago. This forced Benton to come back and beg for a job from Romano. While Dr. Kerry Weaver had initially backed Romano for chief of staff, they soon turned against each other.

At the beginning of the ninth season, Dr. Romano lost his arm when he backed into the tail rotor blades of a helicopter that was evacuating a patient. Dr. Kovac was able to save Romano's life, and surgeons at another Chicago area hospital were able to reattach Romano's arm.

However, it was soon found that Romano's arm was slowly deteriorating. The arm had to be removed. He was forced to use a mechanical prosthetic. Because of hospital health policy, he had difficulty obtaining a suitable replacement. Because his days as a surgeon were now over, Romano moved to the ER and took over there. He managed to get himself beaten up after complaining about a strong man show, and calling another bar patron "homo-erotic" for watching the show.

Dr. Romano died when a helicopter fell off the roof of the hospital and crashed on top of him. The only person to attend his memorial service was Elizabeth Corday, whom Robert secretly had feelings for. Dr. Romano had left a substantial amount of money to the hospital. In a gesture of poetic justice, Dr. Weaver used the money to fund a Gay and Lesbian medical program at the hospital.

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