In Star Trek: Discovery, Dr. Culber is the face of the medical team to the audience, largely given his connection to Stamets. He's usually the one that is present when a medical emergency takes place. However, he usually works alone, and I don't recall him actually giving orders to someone.

Does Dr. Culber hold the role of Chief Medical Officer on board the USS Discovery? Or is he just a subordinate who is unusually active in the ship's proceedings?

1 Answer 1


Culber is not the CMO.

We have not met the CMO, nor any medical officer that appears to be Dr. Culber's superior, but on one occasion Culber says the CMO needs his assistance.

Stamets: Aren't there actual people on this ship requiring your attention, doctor?

Culber: Actually, the CMO does need my help with an Andorian tonsillectomy.

It is possible the tonsillectomy was invented to escape the situation at Stamet's suggestion, but it doesn't make any sense for Culber to invent a CMO.

I was unable to find a video clip but I found a reference on Memory Alpha that also documents the exchange.

Stamets asks Culber if there is someone on Discovery who requires his attention and the doctor states that he is due to help the ship's chief medical officer with an Andorian tonsillectomy.

Incidentally, tonsillectomies, or references to them, are still common enough in the 23rd and 24th centuries to warrant their own Memory Alpha page.

  • I don't suppose they ever said who is the CMO? Jan 14, 2018 at 23:29
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    The CMO hasn't been shown, nor the Chief Engineer or the senior Science Officer. Jan 14, 2018 at 23:59
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    Also, is it me or has Discovery demonstrated that it is futile to write a show about a starship while focusing on "lower decks" characters because the writing will inevitably require them to become the bridge crew?
    – J Doe
    Jan 15, 2018 at 6:08
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    @JDoe If you raise the stakes high enough that the captain and bridge crew need to know about it, it’s hard to justify them not getting involved every week. I guess you could make it so the lower deck group is some sort of specialist team (as with the video game Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force), but that’s very different than the sort of story Discovery wants to tell. Jan 15, 2018 at 7:09
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    @monkjack: I think you mean "chief engineer". Tasha Yar was the chief of security for much of season 1. While she left a bit early, I think the chief engineer (sometimes apparently even more than one of them) make for a much better example of "no consistent" in TNG's season 1. Feb 17, 2018 at 21:57

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