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Dr. Ray Barnett is a fictional medical doctor from the television series ER. Ray is a talented doctor, but has struggled with conflicting commitments to the medical profession and his life as a rock musician. He is portrayed by Shane West.



Starting out at County General Hospital, his cowboy personality got him into trouble early on with his superiors especially attending Dr. John Carter. In season 12, his character became romantically involved with roommate and colleague Neela Rasgotra. His feelings for her created tension between the two, because Neela was at the time married to Dr. Michael Gallant, who was away serving as a doctor in the war in Iraq.

In episode "If Not Now", Ray's band received an offer to go on a tour. Ray's request for time off was not granted, and he was given an ultimatum by Doctor Weaver: The hospital or the band. Ray picked the band, unaware that his band-mates had already voted him out because they felt he was too committed to his job at the hospital. Ray returned to County General.

Ray and Neela remained friends. After Gallant's death, when a truck he was riding in exploded in Iraq, Ray attempted to become closer to Neela. However, the relationship was complicated by the arrival of paramedic-turned-medical student Tony Gates, who also took an interest in Neela.

Ray has a sister named Grace Barnett who lived in the U.K.


Ray did not keep his feelings for Neela a secret; he remained bitter and hung up on her. Late one night, Ray was hit by a truck when walking home drunk from a bar following a fight with Gates at Luka Kovač and Abby Lockhart's wedding. As the newly renovated ER reopened, the staff was unaware of his accident.

However, it was later revealed Ray was alive and had been transported to another hospital across town. When Neela visited him, she discovered that both of his legs had been amputated. Ray expressed his disappointment and resentment toward Neela for leading him on regarding their relationship, while Ray's sometimes-girlfriend Katey blamed Neela for Ray's accident.

Shortly after, Ray left Chicago to return home to Baton Rouge, Louisiana where his mother lives. His final appearance as a series regular was in the season 13 finale, "The Honeymoon is Over".

After Ray's departure, we learn that Ray has been writing to Neela. Katey and Neela have another altercation and Neela tells her that she will not take the blame for what happened to Ray. She also reveals that Ray himself doesn't blame her for the accident.


Ray returns to the ER in the Season 15 episode "Haunted", surprising Neela in a Frankenstein costume during Halloween. He is in much better spirits and revealed to the staff that he left emergency medicine and now works in the disability physical rehabilitation field, caring for amputees and handicapped patients in a facility in Baton Rouge. He shows off his cutting edge prosthetic legs to everyone, appearing in no way disabled or uncomfortable with his life post injury.

He briefly met Dr. Simon Brenner and expressed his initial dislike of him after he came onto Neela in front of him. Barnett later raced Neela when they went jogging along the shoreline of the lake in Chicago. The two spent the evening at Neela's apartment, and expressed the same strong feelings for each other. However, Brenner, after having a bad day at work, knocks on her door, but Neela asks him to leave.

At the end of the Season 15 episode "The Book of Abby", long-serving nurse Haleh Adams shows the departing Dr. Abby Lockhart a closet wall where all the past doctors and employees have put their locker name tags. Amongst them, the tag "Barnett" can be seen. The same happens again during "Shifting Equilibrium", when Neela puts her own name tag on the wall.

ER Characters
Characters Mark GreeneDoug RossSusan LewisJohn CarterCarol HathawayPeter BentonJeanie BouletKerry WeaverAnna Del AmicoElizabeth CordayLucy KnightLuka KovačAbby LockhartCleo FinchDave MalucciJing-Mei ChenMichael GallantGreg PrattNeela RasgotraSamantha TaggartRay BarnettArchie MorrisTony GatesSimon BrennerCate Banfield