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Old October 12 2013, 06:13 PM   #1
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Location: CoveTom
Should Chapel Have Become a Doctor?

So we know that sometime between TOS and TMP, Christine Chapel went to medical school and became a doctor. Apparently, she was going to be Chief Medical Officer on the Enterprise under Captain Decker, before Kirk took command and "drafted" McCoy back into service.

My question is... Was this a good choice for her character? I can understand what Roddenberry was trying to do. He wanted to break out of the traditional "the men are the doctors, the women are the nurses" roles that had been portrayed in TOS. And, of course, he wanted to make sure Majel Barrett had something substantial to do in the film as well. But does it actually send the wrong message?

Nursing is an important profession unto itself. It is not just a "stepping stone" to becoming a doctor. The vast, vast majority of nurses never to medical school to become doctors. And it's certainly not a "lesser" profession. Doctors and nurses play different roles, but both are equally important.

Did having Chapel being "promoted" to doctor actually send the wrong message about the importance of nurses?

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