GOMER

What does GOMER mean?

Get Out of My Emergency Room

Doctors and other medical staff use the term GOMER to refer to difficult, recurring emergency room (ER) patients. GOMERs often have chronic conditions that would be better treated via long-term care, but instead regularly seek emergency care. This poses a problem for ER staff, who cannot cure the GOMER's illness and often have other patients they could be spending time with instead. Thus, the ER staff would prefer if the GOMER got out of their emergency room.

Where does GOMER come from?

GOMER, which stands for "Get Out of My Emergency Room," first appeared in the 1978 novel The House of God, which was a satire of medical interns' experiences. In the novel, GOMER referred to patients who visited the ER regularly, had chronic illnesses, and were often elderly and non-communicative. GOMER has since been used in various hospital-based novels and television shows, including ER and Scrubs.

Is GOMER still used?

Because many members of the general public now understand what GOMER means, medical staff use the term less frequently. ER staff may instead refer to a patient's status as "status gomaticus," which means a patient is unlikely to recover from their current illness but in no danger of dying anytime soon.

Example

"This GOMER is taking up space in our ER while there are patients out there waiting for a bed!"
A use of GOMER on Twitter

A use of GOMER on Twitter

Related Slang

Usage

Last Updated: April 2, 2021

GOMER definition

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