In a hospital in Moscow works Andrei Bykov, a talented, but rude head of the therapy department. His day usually involves, besides his job, messing with his best friend, the head of venereology department Ivan Kupitman, and making fun of the hospital administrator Anastasiya Kisegach with whom he used to have a relationship. But one day his routine is broken when Kisegach announces that he is now in charge of four interns, including her son. Bykov is extremely reluctant at first, but later decides to make the best of the situation.
The interns turn out to be quite unmanageable. Boris Levin is a bespectacled smug know-it-all who graduated with honors and considers himself to be the smartest of the group, almost on par with Bykov, but in reality lacks any sort of experience. Semyon Lobanov is Levin's opposite, a big threatening guy, who has worked in an ambulance, but his theoretical knowledge is almost nonexistent. Gleb Romanenko is Kisegach's son from a previous marriage, who thinks he can use his mother's position to coast through the internship without doing any work. Finally, Varvara Chernous is a shy, spineless and awkward girl whom Bykov instantly dismisses as "not doctor material".
Rounding out the cast is Lyubov Scryabina, the gossipy and optimistic head nurse whom Bykov constantly bosses around.
Later in the show, Levin leaves for America. An American student whom he befriends, Phil Richards, decides to follow his example, and goes to Moscow to study under Bykov. Although fluent in Russian, he is completely disconnected from the reality of life in Russia and the pecularities of Russian medicine, and his good intentions are immediately undercut by Bykov's negativity. Recently, Varvara Chernous also left the show, and was replaced by Polina Ulyanova, a younger student who takes her job very seriously, but lacks any sort of people skills.
This series provides examples of the following:
- The Alcoholic: Kupitman, big time. He pretty much runs on Cognac.
- All Jews Are Cheapskates: Being Jewish, Kupitman often invokes this trope, probably ironically.
- Apologises a Lot: Varvara, at first.
- Back for the Finale: Levin comes back during the final season. Alisa also returns.
- Breakup Breakout: Kristina Asmus, who plays Varvara, moved on to movies after starring on the show. She is the only member of the cast to never come back (even for a cameo) after her departure.
- The Bully: Lobanov, in regards to Levin. He later tries to bully Phil, but not for long.
- The Bus Came Back: Lobanov's wife Olga disappears from the show after their divorce. She later comes back when Kisegach hires her as an accountant.
- Distaff Counterpart: The actress who plays Polina describes her character as "Lobanov in a dress".
- Entitled Bastard: Bykov enjoys being this.
- Everybody Smokes: Romanenko and Lobanov smoke quite often, while the two other interns (whoever it might be at the time) don't smoke. Kupitman and Kisegach are occasional smokers. A lot of secondary characters smoke as well.
- Five-Man Band:
- Foreign-Language Tirade: Happens to Phil on occasion.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Polina.
- Has Two Daddies: Phil.
- Innocently Insensitive: Lobanov and Polina.
- MayDecember Romance: Levin and Lyubov.
- Neat Freak: Surprizingly enough, Lobanov.
- Nerds Are Virgins: Levin.
- The Nicknamer: Bykov:
- He calls Varvara "Meine lieben Püppchen" ("My beloved dolly" in German) .
- He refers to Phil as "Filya", the Russian version of the name.
- Romanenko gets the worst of it: "Mishka kala" ("Bear of excrements", a play on "Mishka koala", "Koala bear") .
- No Social Skills: Polina.
- The Prankster: Bykov, towards Kupitman and his interns. Kupitman sometimes retaliates.
- Put on a Bus: Levin, Varvara, Lyubov.
- Small Name, Big Ego: The original three male interns, for different reasons: Levin because of his theoretical knowledge, Lobanov because of his practical experience and Romanenko because of his mother's position as hospital administrator. Bykov wastes no time to shoot Romanenko and Lobanov down, but has a more difficult time with Levin.
- Spoiled Brat: Romanenko at the beginning of the show.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Boris Levin had two after he left: the first one was a completely different character, Bykov's daughter Alisa, who came along right after Levin left, but she only stayed for seven episodes; the second one was Phil Richards, who was more reminiscent of Levin, and stayed on the show. Varvara was replaced by Polina who was deliberately made to be Varvara's complete opposite.