"Luck of the Draw"
Season 1, Episode 13
Luck of the Draw
Air date January 12, 1995
US viewers 31.2 M
Written by Paul Manning
Directed by Rod Holcomb
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Luck of the Draw is the thirteenth episode of the first season of the NBC medical drama series ER . It premiered on January 12, 1995.


Carter trains Benton 's new med student, Deb Chen , while Carol has her hands full with an emotionally challenged patient who's obsessed with colors. A sociologist provokes people so he can measure their reaction times for a study. Kayson brings charges against Susan in the Vennerbeck death, leading Morgenstern to question her assertiveness. Benton and Walt hunt for Peter's missing mother.

NBC Description

ADDING INSULT TO INJURIES: Nurse Hathaway is surprised by an injured student's rude behavior until she learns the student is doing a study on violence in society.

Dr. Lewis receives unsolicited advice from doctors Greene and Morgenstern (WIlliam H. Macy).

Dr. Benton is forced to leave an important surgery when his mother (BEAH RICHARDS) wanders off. Carter tries to impress a new, female med student (Ming-Na Wen).

Cast and Characters


Anthony Edwards as Dr. Mark Greene 

George Clooney as Dr. Doug Ross

Sherry Stringfield as Dr. Susan Lewis

Noah Wyle as John Carter

Julianna Margulies as Nurse Carol Hathaway

Eriq La Salle as Dr. Peter Benton


Sam Anderson as Dr. Jack Kayson

William H. Macy as Dr. David Morgenstern

Ellen Crawford as Nurse Lydia Wright

Emily Wagner as Pickman

Glenn Plummer as Timmy

Ving Rhames as Walter Robbins

Beah Richards as Mrs. Benton

Ming-Na Wen as Deb Chen

Vanessa Marquez as Wendy


John Marshall Jones as Mr. Gaither

Kristin Davis as Leslie



  • In this episode, we learn more about Doug Ross 's mysterious son. He is 8 years old, and Doug only knows that he exists: he doesn't know his name and has never seen what he looks like.
  • In this episode Ming-Na makes her first appearance as Deb Chen . She would be a recurring guest star for the remainder of the season. Later on, in the Season 6 episode "Family Matters ," she would join the main cast and remain on the series for four years, making her final appearance as a series regular in the Season 11 episode "Twas the Night ."
  • This is the first indication, that Dr. Benson is a either a vegan or a vegetarian, as he ask the cook at Doc Magoo's for anything vegetarian, like a fruit plate.yogurt, and a bran muffin.


  1. "Nielsen Ratings - December-March 1995 " (PDF). Zap2it. (May 15, 2015).