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Series / The Resident

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Left to right: Dr. Devon Pradesh, Nurse Nicolette Nevin, Dr. Conrad Hawkins, and Dr. Randolph Bell
The Resident is an American Medical Drama television series created by Amy Holden Jones, Hayley Schore and Roshan Sethi.

It stars Matt Czuchry as the titular resident, Emily VanCamp as the best nurse ever, Manish Dayal as a Wide-Eyed Idealist intern, Bruce Greenwood as a chief of surgery (and later CEO) with an increasing propensity to commit medical errors, Shaunette Renée Wilson as a surgical resident with a brusque bedside manor, and Malcolm-Jamal Warner as a crack cardiothoracic surgeon with "an ego the size of Texas."

In the show's first season, Melina Kanakaredes played a sweet-talking oncologist with a dark side, and Merrin Dungey played the hospital CEO.


The Resident contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Advertised Extra: Merrin Dungey is credited as a regular from episode 2 onwards, yet only appeared intermittently, and her character was written out of the show by the end of season one.
  • Alliterative Name: Nicolette "Nic" Nevin and A.J. Austin.
  • Amicable Exes: Dr. Voss and her ex-husband Brett, so much that he even becomes her New Old Flame.
  • Ass Shove: Frequent patient York is prone to doing this with a variety of objects, including a family-size bottle of maple syrup.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Dr. Lane Hunter and Dr. Okafor's mother.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The main characters never want to turn away a patient regardless of their financial status. Now that the hospital is public, they're legally bound not to do so. However, that also means they face a crunched timetable for diagnosis and treatment of each patient which means a deterioration in care and many more patients.
  • Blackmail Backfire: Played with in season 2 as Lane Hunter pushes Bell to secretly help her make bail by threatening to release a tape of them in bed together. Once he does so, Bell thinks that's it only to find Lane expects him to testify on her behalf at the trial. Bell refuses to risk his reputation aiding her and tells her to just go right ahead and release the tape. Lane threatens to go into some of Bell's shady moves and risky surgeries but Bell just snorts on how, as much as they may dislike him, his staff despises Lane far more and "will back me before they support you." Subverted as Lane threatens Bell with the solicitation arrest he thought he had buried but that's ended when Lane is killed.
    • Marshall Winthrop tries to use his power, prestige, and blackmail to force Kim into rehiring Hawkins. However, Kim knows 'where the bodies are buried', and forces Marshall to back down due to how devastating this knowledge is.
  • Bollywood Nerd: Dr. Devon Pravesh and his fiancée Priya, a journalist.
  • Break the Cutie: Dr. Devon Pravesh stubbornly refuses to let a drug OD patient die but she's left brain dead in the process. He's wracked with guilt afterwards.
    • Nic was training a nurse fresh out of med school, but after a violent encounter with a meth-head patient she's crying in the medical closet and wants to quit.
    • Generally the case for any newcomer staff who think their job will be much easier than it actually is, especially when they make a mistake that could cost lives.
  • Break the Haughty: Cain smugly talks to a racist about how he's much smarter than he is despite his race. He ends up paying for it when he realizes too late that he just did an operation to destroy the man's kind-hearted alternate persona and let the racist be in control. The racist even smugly says, "you're not as smart as you think."
  • Broken Pedestal: Once they figure out what she's been doing, Dr. Hunter becomes for Devin and especially for Conrad.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Played straight and deconstructed:
    • Conrad's abrasive attitude and massive ego are overlooked by both patients and doctors. Patients like him because he listens to them and looks out for their interests, while the Chastain Park staff tolerates him because he is an incredibly gifted internist and diagnostician.
    • AJ Austin, on the other hand, might be the greatest cardiothoracic surgeon in the country, but he's such an abusive prick inside the OR and out that he has trouble keeping a permanent position— eventually he hits the point where his skills can't make up for the nightmare of having to be in the same room as he is.
  • Central Theme: Seasons 1 and 2 focus on the evils of corporate medicine and the toll it takes on both patients and staff. Season 3 still emphasizes said evils, but patient's rights and suicide come into greater focus.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Deconstructed, the first two people to get CPR are a guy who is hemorraging (he dies) and a drug addict who has endocarditis and is revived only to leave her brain-dead.
  • Combat Medic: Conrad's position in the Marines, and where he picked up his preference for quick and personal medicine over relying on tests.
  • Compressed Vice: Bell's high mortality rate in surgery was a major plot point in season one. After season one ended, Bell never again used Mina to cover up for his deficiencies, and preformed all of his surgeries himself without any signs of being unable.
    • Justified as the problem came from a tremor that was stated to be psychosomatic and stress-induced— Bell also spent season one with crippling financial problems. After becoming CEO and launching a successful supplement, his finances cleared up, thus allowing the tremor to fade.
  • The Coup: In "Haunted," Hunter recruits Bell to join her in ousting hospital CEO Claire Thorpe, whose new emphasis on "transparency" and increased accountability for medical errors threatens them both. They succeed in the following episode.
  • Critical Research Failure: In-universe example as Bell is meeting with three candidates for a CEO position involving saline at the hospital. Marshall shows up and dryly notes how one doctor is being investigated for tax fraud; another claims to graduated with a BA from Harvard and a MBA from Wharton but actually attended college in Arizona; and the third has basically pushed his hospital to bankruptcy via his bad business. He tells the humiliated Bell to "stick with what you know" and let Marshall handle the actual business stuff.
  • Cynical Mentor:
    • Dr. Conrad Hawkins, the titular resident, who takes a Good Is Not Nice attitude toward Dr. Pravesh.
      • Secret Test of Character: in "Independence Day," Hawkins gives Pradesh a strict order that he knows Pradesh will have to disobey in order to properly treat the patient—and later congratulates him for doing exactly that.
    • A.J. Austin is this to Mina Okafor.
  • Dark and Troubled Past:
    • Conrad Hawkins has serious Daddy Issues.
    • Nicolette Nevin's sister became addicted to opioids.
    • Lane Hunter got into trouble with the medical board in Tennessee before moving to Atlanta, probably for the same sort of fraud that, once discovered, leads to her downfall in "Total Eclipse of the Heart."
  • Deadpan Snarker: Conrad, Mina, Dr. Feldman in the ER, and A.J. Austin, who can out-snark anyone.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • Conrad feels like he's doing this when he takes money from his estranged father in order to pay Nic's bail, but as it turns out his father is not the bad guy Conrad always thought.
    • Bell sells the hospital to Red Rock to solve their money problems, resulting in a drop in the hospital's standard of care, and a demotion for Bell personally.
  • Determinator: During "Snowed In", Dr. Austin decides to walk all the way to Chastain in the middle of a massive snowstorm in order to help Mina with a difficult operation. Although by the time he arrives Mina has done the surgery, when complications arise Austin is there to assist.
  • Defector from Decadence: Dr. Hawkins was born into a very wealthy family, but cut himself off voluntarily.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Dr. Hawkins to Nurse Nevin.
  • Elephant in the Operating Room/Open Secret: Dr. Bell's physical and emotional deterioration (detailed in the Hiding the Handicap and Tragic Villain entries below) has caused so many sometimes fatal surgical errors that he's been nicknamed "HODAD" — "Hands Of Death And Destruction" — by some of the staff, and they expect a negative outcome any time Bell picks up a scalpel.
    Hospital CEO Claire Thorpe: How did the surgery go?
    • Averted in "The Prince and the Pauper," when Bell performs a complicated "Whipple procedure" on a teenage cancer patient "flawlessly."
  • Due to the Dead: After Simon, the eldest custodian working at Chastain, dies from complications of his illness, Dr. Bell honors him by cleaning the operating room all on his own.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Subverted. The main characters are an internist, a nurse practitioner, an intern, and a surgical resident, while the attending and administrators are either secondary characters or villains.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Played for drama and lampshaded with regards to Dr. AJ Austin. One doctor criticizing another's bedside manor is one thing, Dr. Mina Okafor saying Austin is horrible with patients is quite another.
    • Bell may be greedy, duplicitous, power-hungry and self-centered to the extreme...but even he is horrified when he discovers Lane Hunter (his lover) is giving patients who have no cancer chemotherapy just so she can get richer. While turning her in is partly to cover himself and the hospital, it's clear even Bell is disgusted by what Lane has been doing.
    • Likewise, in season two, Bell thinks Quo Vadis is a great company to work with. But when a child nearly dies because of a faulty Quo Vadis device, Bell realizes the entire company is a huge fraud and urges the board to cut ties. He openly admits he's driven by guilt that a child nearly died because of the partnership he pushed and can't allow it to happen again.
    • Season 3 has Bell becoming more disgusted at how far the hospital's new owners are going to help the bottom line over patients. He's also appalled as Cain (whose ego makes Bell look humble) blames others for his own mistakes and willing to let a patient die in a low-rent hospice rather than mess up his "perfect" record.
    • Cain, who caused a superbug, is disgusted with how Kim is more concerned with covering up the disease than with fixing it.
    • After spending the third season as nothing but a money-loving corporate stooge, Kim surprises everyone in the season 4 premiere when he uses Red Rock resources to get a shipment of much-needed equipment, knowing it can cost him his job but that the lives of the doctors and patients are more important and "maybe I can sleep a little better for once."
  • Everything's Precious with Puppies, so Dr. Okafor brings a litter from the animal shelter for the kids in the pediatric wing to play with. When one escapes, it leads to a hospital-wide series of Cuteness Proximity events.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Red Rock and Dr. Cain in particular are this for Bell.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: guess what happens to Nicolette in the episode entitled "And the Nurses Get Screwed"?
  • Expy: Hawkins and Bell, as the doctor and the administrator fighting over caring for patients versus the financial interests of the hospital, are expies of Scrubs Dr. Cox and Dr. Kelso respectively. Except Bell has none of Kelso's redeeming qualities.
  • Fiction 500: Conrad's father, Marshall Winthrop. Investor in several major corporations, chairman of the Chastain Park board, and can post Nicolette's $100,000 bail with ease.
  • A Fool and His New Money Are Soon Parted: Nicely subverted for laughs. When Bell discovers a new patient just won $36 million in the lottery, he immediately gives him the VIP treatment and tries sucking up for a big donation. At the end, Bell is thrown when the guys ends up cutting a check for just a few thousand dollars. He explains that rather than accept the entire winnings off the bat, he agreed to annual installments which are taxed less and add up to more money in the end. Bell can only force a painful smile as the guy laughs "Come on, only an idiot thinks it's better to get $36 million all at once!"
  • Former Teen Rebel: It's been confirmed that Conrad ran wild in his youth, mostly to lash out at his father. Nic's sister implied that Nic Nevins might be this as well.
  • Frame-Up:
    • Dr. Hunter frames Nicolette for the death of a cancer patient, and a few other things, in retaliation for Nicolette looking into questionable treatment methods at Hunter's cancer clinic.
    • In "Total Eclipse of the Heart," Bell tells Hunter to go remove the incriminating evidence from her clinic so they can burn it—and then promptly informs the authorities, who catch her red-handed at the clinic door.
  • Good Is Not Nice: A.J. Austin practices tough love on everyone, accent on the tough part.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Nic Nevins.
  • Hate Sink: Kim and Cain. Cain at least may be in the process of a sort of redemption arc, but Kim is irredeemable thanks to his ruthless profit-or-else attitude.
  • He's Not My Boyfriend: Nic proclaims this of Conrad after he visits her in jail, before saying he might be. A guard then makes a similar claim about her (maybe) girlfriend.
  • Hiding the Handicap: Dr. Bell, the arrogant chief of surgery, suffers from uncontrollable hand tremors that make it dangerous for him to do delicate procedures. Rather than admit his problem (which is already an Open Secret in the hospital), he resorts to trickery (such as having Dr. Okafor secretly operate an advanced surgical instrument in a procedure Bell is ostensibly performing in a live webcast), taking short-cuts that make the procedures easier for him but increase the risk to the patient, engineering blatant cover-ups when something goes wrong, and self-medicating with a drug that has nasty psychological side effects.
  • Ill Girl: Lily Kendall in Season 1, Jessie Nevin and the Barnett brothers in Season 2, Adaku Eze in Season 3.
  • Indy Ploy: Conrad often resorts to this to protect a patient's welfare from the cost-control machinations of the hospital administration.
  • Inherent in the System: The show takes a dark view of the health care system.
  • In-Series Nickname: Austin begins to be called The Raptor, and he actually likes it.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Devon's fiancee Priya, who is looking into Hunter's cancer treatment methods.
  • Irony: Kim, who spent all of the previous season making shady deals, trying to remove Conrad, and covering up superbugs, gets fired the first time he does something good.
    • Kim told Cain in a private meeting that 'everyone has an expiration date', as a threat for him to bring up his revenue margins. Come Season 4, Kim hits that expiration date first and is fired.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Bell is greedy and dishonest and Only in It for the Money, but he's right to point out that the hospital has to be able to make enough money to pay for all the charitable work that Conrad would like it to do.
    • Likewise, when Kim is pressing the surgeons to get patients to do elective surgeries during the Covid-19 pandemic, it may be to save his job but he does make them face up to how, without the money from those surgeries, Red Rock may decide to simply close down the hospital which would not only put everyone out of work but leave thousands of patients at risk in a medical crisis.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Conrad Hawkins and Mina Okafor are both abrasive, arrogant, and rude, but they genuinely care about their patients and endeavor to treat everyone to the best of their ability, not just the wealthy.
    • AJ Austin, even more so.
  • Karma Houdini: Dr. Bell. By the time the series starts, he's caused so much death and horror in the operating room that the fact he's become a lousy surgeon is an Elephant in the Living Room among the hospital staff, and yet he still is considered one of their best surgeons, has not been sued, and has enormous influence over the administrators.
  • Karmic Death: Gordon Page, who had previously sent his goons to go after Julian and provoking a car crash that almost killed her, gets killed in a car accident while trying to flee from the authorities.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Mina is hugely (and uncharacteristically) excited to meet Conrad's mentor, Dr. Jacoby, to the point where she prepared a speech to tell her and can't stop smiling for most of the episode. At the end of the episode, she thanks Dr. Jacoby for being her hero.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Cain's arrogance and risk-taking in surgery end up putting a few patients in serious jeopardy while telling residents they shouldn't be afraid of "taking the initiative" in surgery. When he's badly injured in a car accident, a pair of residents don't wait for Kit but start Cain's operation on their own which goes badly and jeopardizes Cain's surgical career, not to mention his life.
    • As further karma, when [ Cain falls into a coma, he ends up being sent to the very hospice he had his own terminal patients exiled to in order to keep his "perfect" surgical record intact.
    • Kim is finally fired after a season of causing trouble at the hospital and trying to get Conrad fired.
  • Lawful Stupid: Dr Pravesh is such an adherent to the hippocratic oath and the medical rules that he will follow them even at a cost of innocent lives. Examples include:
    • He refuses to follow Hawkins' lead in torturing a patient on the hook for murder and hostage-taking, even though said torture would reveal the location of a hostage who could be executed at any minute. This lawful stupid trend is averted however when a lawsuit arises due to the torture, since Pravesh lies on Hawkins' behalf.
    • He refuses to obtain medical records due to his qualms about accessing confidential information, even though getting this patient information would confirm whether a potentially faulty drug was responsible for several deaths. Said information would also save the lives of other people currently on said drug.
    • He refuses to report a pilot to the authorities for his alcoholism for the same reason as above as well as 'patient trust', even though said pilot admitted that he could've been responsible for a lethal plane crash thanks to that alcoholism. He was lucky that said pilot WASN'T responsible for the plane crash that day.
    • Pravesh ultimately steers away from this trend when a patient who tried and failed to commit suicide via drug overdose needed a liver transplant, as suicidal patients were ineligible for transplants.
  • Lovable Rogue: Conrad Hawkins, who takes on corruption in the medical industry with a wink and a smile.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Drs. Bell and Hunter, each in their own way.
  • Military School: Conrad mentions having been sent to military school in "Lost Love".
  • Missus And The Ex: When Conrad's ex-fiancée Catherine is admitted, this dynamic develops between her and Nic, despite both Catherine and Nic being Conrad's ex's at this point. There's no tension between Conrad and Catherine, as they broke up over a decade ago, and Catherine's conversations with Nic open Nic's eyes to just how much Conrad loves her.
  • Mock Millionaire: Bell has nice clothes and a flashy Porsche and appears prosperous, but he's deeply in debt.
  • Moment of Weakness: Cain has had two of them in his career. As an intern his unwillingness to speak up cost 4 patients their lives. He has one again later on when he insists on covering up an outbreak of candida auris rather than coming clean and getting the outbreak resolved.
  • Mood Whiplash: the ending of "Lost Love," which goes from heartwarming scenes involving puppies to Lilly dying.
  • Nepotism: Season 2 sees Conrad becoming the unwilling recipient of this after his father becomes Chastain's chairman. His father keeps pulling him into meetings with the CEO and takes any input he offers seriously, despite being a third-year resident.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Cain treats a horrible racist who turns out to have an alternate personality of a kind man who's horrified by his other persona leading a neo-Nazi movement. Cain decides to break protocol and perform an operation that will excise the tumor that's causing this alternate persona to exist. It's only afterward that Cain realizes that it was the kind-hearted figure that was the alternate persona. With him gone, the ruthless racist is fully in control and smugly gloats on how Cain did him a huge favor by getting rid of his "weaker" side.
  • Nom de Mom: Implied with Conrad Hawkins. In any event, he doesn't share his father's surname of Winthrop.
  • No Social Skills:
  • Only in It for the Money: The hospital administration is more interested in cost and profit margin than they are in actually helping people. One of the first things the characters mention when trying to convince the admins to allow lifesaving surgery on someone is either the optics or money that could ultimately be gained.
    • The administrators hold a video conference with their counterparts at other hospitals, hoping to get one of them to take an undocumented immigrant with cancer off their hands by trading them some Medicaid patients.
    • The hospital hires a consultant to train staff in "upcoding": recording tests and procedures using more expensive billing codes so the hospital gets reimbursed more.
    • When a homeless woman with altered mental status who will require extensive treatment appears at the hospital, Bell and the administration are all set to dump her on another facility—until they find out she's the daughter of one of the richest families in the state of Georgia. She's moved to the VIP wing immediately, and Bell plans to hit up her parents for a charitable donation.
    • Lane Hunter runs her cancer treatment center in a way that maximizes profit rather than patient survival: using expensive proprietary drugs on which she owns the formulas, aggressively treating the most hopeless cases, and even going so far as to treat patients for cancers they don't have to generate more billings.
    • Subverted in "Run, Doctor, Run." A drug needed to treat a rare (and usually fatal) amoebic infection costs $48,000 a dose. The manufacturer's CEO delivers it personally, and explains that the high price is "just enough to keep the lights on" at his company, which only makes this one product—the drug is so difficult to make, and so rarely needed and used, that "big pharma" won't produce it because they can't make a profit.
    • A disheveled man with a brain condition was initially left in the hospital hallways to rot, but when 'Gold-Plated insurance' was mentioned, Cain is no longer reluctant to operate on the man and asks his insurance.
    • All it takes for Kim to re-hire Hawkins is the promise that Hawkins will bring Atlanta FC's services to Chastain and ensure a lucrative deal.
  • Not So Different: Simon, the elderly custodian of Chastain, reveals to Conrad that back when Bell was a resident, he advocated for measures like forbidding from smoking in hospitals.
  • Once a Season: Every season there will be a character with serious daddy/parental issues stemming from abandonment, at least one patient who's constantly returning to the hospital due to chronic medical issues, a corrupt doctor/corporate leader whose actions and attitudes get people killed, and a newcomer with the pride of Lucifer himself.
  • Open Heart Dentistry: When in the Marines, Conrad would go above and beyond his remit as a combat medic to perform emergency surgery, despite being an internist at best. Justified in that he was a trained medic, had completed at least part of his medical training, and if he did nothing, people would definitely die, but if he intervened, they only might die. His tendency to do this is a civilian hospital goes over far worse, leading to him being disciplined and sued.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Dr. Eileen Jacoby, a legendary neurosurgeon who was one of Conrad's medical school professors, is seeing visions of patients who died under her care. Conrad looks long and hard for a biological cause, but eventually he and Dr. Jacoby conclude that the visions are a side-effect of depression brought on by not having enough to do in retirement after a very active career. Dr. Jacoby resolves to become more active, and all seems well—but then, Conrad has a similar vision of Lilly Kendall at home that evening.
  • Papa Wolf: Marshall Winthrop is shaping up as this, going to far as to personally pay off a patient suing Conrad rather than allow his son's career to be put at risk.
  • Perma-Stubble: Conrad, as befits his rebel nature.
  • Pulling the Thread: Devon Pradesh uncovers the true nature of Lane Hunter's medical fraud when he discovers that "frequent flyer" hypochondriac Olivia Tan has been getting chemotherapy for cancer she does not actually have.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Late in season 2, Bell reveals to his assistant that the hospital's donations are down over 40%. When asked why, he dryly points out that having one doctor discovered to be behind a massive cancer patient fraud who was then murdered and then partnering with a company that was a massive scam selling inferior devices tended to scare away potential investors.
    • Hawkins' decision to torture a murderous patient for information on a hostage comes back to bite his ass in a lawsuit brought by the victim. Only Pravesh's last-minute lie on Hawkins' behalf saves him.
    • Hawkins lies on behalf of a patient who needs a liver transplant but tried to kill himself. When this lie is discovered, Hawkins is fired.
    • The Covid-19 pandemic plays further havoc with the hospital finances as elective surgeries are virtually non-existent during the pandemic's peak and so hurts their bottom line. It also forces the surgeons like Bell to realize how out of their league they are on the front lines against a virus.
    • Kim goes out of his way to get the hospital much-needed supplies for the pandemic. He still ends up being fired by the board with Conrad giving him props for that one move but nothing else. When Kim complains, Conrad points out one selfless act (which Kim had to be guilted/browbeaten into) doesn't make up for all the terrible stuff Kim has done which hurt the patients and put the hospital in that bad spot in the first place.
    • Red Rock decides that after all those financial losses, it's best to just sell the hospital rather than pour more of their money into propping it up as "we don't throw good money at bad."
    • Now that Chastain has gone public, the quality of their care will go down since they must treat everyone and can only spend so much time on each patient.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Marshall Winthrop is shaping up to be one, trying to find a balance between profit and patient care. The question is if this how he usually does business, or an attempt to get back into Conrad's good graces.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In "Haunted," Jude Silva delivers an epic one to Bell after Bell's corner-cutting methods nearly kill a wealthy and prominent patient. Immediately afterward, Bell revokes Silva's hospital privileges.
    • Hawkins gives one to Cain that actually makes Cain shed a tear of remorse, after Cain negligently lets a deadly superbug spread across the hospital.
  • Recovered Addict: Deconstructed twice.
    • One patient gave up drugs and alcohol but kept getting drunk because he had been abusing alcohol for so long that he developed a medical condition that caused him to convert sugar into alcohol in his stomach.
    • One patient developed dementia as a result of alcohol abuse. The fact that he quit drinking twenty years earlier didn't help, the damage to his brain was already done.
  • Remember the New Guy?:
    • Dr. Voss was introduced in the second season, apparently she had been there all along.
    • When Billie shows up in season 3, it's stated she was once a top nurse at the hospital and an old friend of Conrad and Nic's who they've never mentioned before.
  • The Reveal: In the very last scene of the first season finale, Bell discovers to his horror that the new chairman of the hospital board is Conrad's father.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Conrad did this 11 years before the start of the series, cutting himself off from his family money in favor of enlisting in the marines. Notably, his father implies that Conrad can still access his trust fund; he simply won't due to his disgust at how his father made that money.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: How Bell and Hunter escape responsibility.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Conrad Hawkins lives by this trope.
    • Mina Okafor is providing medical care to poor people in her neighborhood "off the books."
    • Other hospital staff, frequently encouraged by Hawkins, do this too.
  • Secretly Wealthy: Conrad Hawkins is a Marine veteran, put himself through medical school, and has nothing but disdain for the rich, which makes it all the more surprising when we learn that he was born into a very wealthy family. When his father tried to buy Conrad's attention, he offered to give him a hospital. It didn't work.
  • Sex for Solace: Between Nic and Conrad after Lily's death. They'd been working towards a reconciliation before this; her death was just the tipping point.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Conrad Hawkins. On the surface, he seems fairly okay, but he has a history of sudden and extreme reactions, varying from claustrophobically intense to violent. Nic and Conrad's first breakup was prompted by his refusal to seek help for his PTSD.
  • Shown Their Work: Conrad's immense skill with setting IV lines, best showcased in "Identity Crisis".note 
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Olivia Tan, a hypochondriac "frequent flyer" that Devon Pradesh sees in the ER in several episodes, is a minor recurring character whose primary purpose is comic relief—but when she tells Devon that she's been going to Dr. Hunter's clinic for chemo, even though she doesn't have cancer, it leads to the exposure of Hunter's medical fraud.
  • Soiled City on a Hill: Chastain Park Memorial Hospital has a beautiful building with bright, happy public spaces, and is best known in the community as the home of charismatic star surgeon Dr. Randolph Bell — but the senior physicians (such as Bell and Hunter) and hospital administrators are Only in It for the Money, suffer from Chronic Backstabbing Disorder, and regularly resort to subterfuge to cover up their medical mistakes and bad decisions.
    • At the affiliated cancer treatment center run by Dr. Lane Hunter, they're keeping the patients' medical records secret and signing the staff to strict nondisclosure agreements—ostensibly to protect the "trade secret" formulas of experimental, proprietary drugs owned by Hunter and her investors.
      • The secrecy means that when one of Hunter's patients checks in to the main hospital to be treated for problems ancillary to their disease (such as "opportunistic infections") or side effects of the drugs, the hospital staff doesn't know enough about what they are dealing with.
      • In "Total Eclipse of the Heart," we learn that the full story is even worse: Hunter has been giving chemo to patients who don't even have cancer, allowing her to collect from their insurers and giving her a reputation for "miraculous" cures.
    • Quoa Vadis rep Julian is happy to work for her boss, who boasts of their medical devices being top of the line and manufactured right in Atlanta to ensure their safety. When she goes to check on a facility, Julian sees the workers taking devices out of boxes from China and putting them right into new boxes to be "homemade" Quoa Vadis creations.
    • The next episode has boss Gordon showing investors a lavish lab where their "homemade" devices are created. Going there later, Julian finds the "lab" now totally empty and finally realizes the entire company is one massive fraud scam.
  • Tattoo as Character Type: Conrad has 3 tattoos: a military insignia over his heart, a caduceus on his forearm, and "Death Before Dishonor" across his shoulders. All highlight his driving forces— his military service, devotion to medicine, and refusal to engage in underhanded tactics common in both.
  • Tragic Villain: Bell, to a certain extent: over the course of the series, we learn that he's just gone through his second divorce, his hand tremors are worsening, the drug he's taking to mask that problem has psychological side effects including paranoia, and he's in sufficient financial trouble that he's selling a wealthy patient's thank-you gift, a 24-karat Rolex, on eBay the same day he got it.
    • At the end of Season 1, he loses "the love of my life" when Lane Hunter is arrested for murder when her medical fraud is exposed.
    • It hits a new low in the opening scene of "The Prince and the Pauper," when he picks up a prostitute who reminds him of Lane Hunter...and she turns out to be an undercover cop who arrests him for solicitation. He spends the night in jail and ends up with a felony conviction.
    • It's revealed that Barrett Cain was an aspiring football player before he suffered a Career-Ending Injury, forcing him to find a different career instead. This left him the bitter and angry dick we still see as of Season 4. Although his 'all about the money' approach to medicine also makes him very unpleasant, a conversation with Austin shows that Cain too feels the pressure of being one of the rare black surgeons. Later on, his attempt to save lives during a car accident gets him hit and severely injured, endangering his surgical career and very life in the process (his residents puncturing his lung during an operation didn't help). He's currently languishing in the very same medical center that he put his comatose patients into (who'd never wake up), but Austin speculates that it'll be the comeuppance he needs to change his behavior for the better.
  • Trauma Conga Line: In Season 3, a football player came into the hospital after O Ding on sleeping pills. It turned out he was Driven to Suicide after suffering chronic pain from multiple serious injuries in-game, getting cut from the team, his girlfriend leaving him, and his parents divorcing. All in the span of a few days...
    • Cain realizes what harm he's unleashed on people and Chastain by covering up the outbreak of candida auris. Later on, his surgery on one of his former love interests goes wrong and she dies on his watch. After that, Cain's career is threatened by Kim. Kim isn't the only threat to his career however, as he's severely injured after being hit by a car and his lung is punctured after one of his interns chooses to operate without an attending surgeon and makes a mistake. After being in a coma for weeks, he's still unable to operate or breathe on his own. He's currently suffering Laser-Guided Karma, residing alone in the same vent farm he sends his patients who have no hope of ever waking up again.
  • Villain Has a Point: Dr. Hunter complained about lawyers, administrators, and other forms of oversight forcing doctors to practice medicine defensively. Even though Hunter was a murderer who only cared about not getting caught, in another episode the three heroic protagonists were making the same complaints.
    • The upper management of Chastain usually appear as selfish jerks only in it for the money and fame, but they are correct in the assertion that the hospital cannot be run like a charity if it wants to stay afloat.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Mina wakes up at a country club golf course in a man's suit and no clue what happened the night before. It's Grayson who shows her photos of how she got massively drunk at a hospital party, did body shots and crashed a bar mitzvah. Everyone else is astounded to realize how the stern and serious Mina turned into an absolute party animal. Mina herself deletes every photo she can find as she tries to shake it off.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Manish Dayal's Dr. Devon Pravesh, an intern who on his first day performs CPR on a drug addict for an extended time only to leave her brain-dead.
    • The same can be said for other interns.

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