3.01 Time Has Come Today
In the OR, time loses all meaning. In the midst of sutures, and saving lives, the clock ceases to matter. 15 minutes. 15 hours. Inside the O.R. the best surgeons make time fly. Outside the O.R. however, time takes pleasure in kicking our asses. For even the strongest of us, it seems to play tricks. Slowing down, hovering... until it freezes.
Time flies. Time waits for no man. Time heals all wounds. All any of us wants is more time. Time to stand up. Time to grow up. Time to let go. Time.
3.02 I Am A Tree
At any given moment the human the brain has 14 billion neurons firing at a speed of four hundred and fifty miles per hour. We don't have control over most of them... when we get a chill, goose bumps. When we get excited. Adrenaline. The body naturally follows its impulses. Which I think what makes it so hard for us to control ours. Of course sometimes we have impulses we'd rather not control. That we later wish we hadn't.
The body is a slave to its impulses. But the thing that makes us human... is what we can control. After the storm, after the rush, after the heat of the moment has passed, we can cool off and clean up the messes we've made. We can try to let go of what was... and then again...
3.03 Sometimes A Fantasy
Surgeons usually fantasize about wild and improbable surgeries. Someone collapses in a restaurant, you splice them open with a butter knife, replace a valve with a hollowed out stick of carrot - but every now and then some other kind of fantasy slips in. Most of our fantasies resolve when we wake, vanished to the back of our mind, but sometimes we're sure if we try hard enough - we can live the dream.
3.04 What I Am
At some point during surgical residency, most interns get a sense of who they are as doctors. And the kinds of surgeons they're going to become. If you ask them, they'll tell you: they're going to be general surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons- distinctions which do more than describe their areas of expertise. They help define who they are. Because, outside the operating room, not only the most surgeons have no idea who they are, they're afraid to find out.
DENNY: Dad, mom. It's me. I'm calling from Seattle Grace Hospital where the beautiful, talented and incredibly stubborn Dr. Isobel Stevens has... she's given me a brand new heart and promised to marry me. I know we've had our differences and I'm sorry we've been out of touch. Believe it or not, I was trying to make everything better. I know you're angry but I hope you'll forgive me. It turns out, sometimes you have to do the wrong thing. Sometimes you have to make a big mistake to figure out how to make things right. The stakes are painful. But they're the only way to find out who you really are. I know who I am now. And I know what I want. I've got the love of my life, a new heart and I want you guys to get on the next plane out here and meet my girl. Everything's going to be different now, I promise. From here on out, Nothing's every going to be the same. I love you, bye.
3.05 Oh, The Guilt
First, do no harm. As doctors, we pledge to live by this oath. But harm happens and then guilt happens. And there is no oath for how to deal with that. Guilt never goes anywhere on its own, it brings its friends - doubt and insecurity.
We are left with a choice. Either let the guilt throw you back into the behavior that got you into trouble in the first place, or learn from the guilt and do your best to move on.
3.06 Let The Angels Commit
To make it - really make it - as a surgeon, it takes major commitment. We have to be willing to pick up that scalpel and make a cut that may or may not do more damage than good. It's all about being committed, because if we're not? We have no business picking up that scalpel in the first place.
There are times when even the best of us have trouble with commitment, and we may be surprised at the commitments we're willing to let slip out of our grasp. Commitments are complicated. We may surprise ourselves by the commitments we're willing to make, true commitment, takes effort, and sacrifice. Which is why sometimes, we have to learn the hard way, to choose our commitments very carefully.
3.07 Where The Boys Are
As surgeons, we are trained to look for disease. Sometimes the problem is easily detected, most of the time we need to go step by step. First, probing the surface looking for any sign of trouble. Most of the time, we can't tell what's wrong with somebody by just looking at them. After all, they can look perfectly fine on the outside, while their insides tell a whole other story.
The truth with any kind of wound or disease is to dig down and find the source of the injury - and once you've found it, try like hell to heal that sucker.
3.08 Staring At The Sun
Many people don't know that the human eye has a blind spot in its field of vision. There's a part of the world that we are literally blind to. The problem is, sometimes our blind spots shield us from things that really shouldn't be ignored. Sometimes our blind spots keep our lives bright and shiny.
3.09 From A Whisper To A Scream
Cristina: As doctors, we know everybody's secrets. Their medical histories. Sexual histories. Confidential information that is as essential to a surgeon as a ten-blade, and every bit as dangerous. We keep secrets, we have to, but not all secrets can be kept.
Cristina: In some ways, betrayal is inevitable. When our bodies betray us, surgery is often the key to recovery. When we betray each other, the path to recovery is less clear. We do whatever it takes to rebuild the trust that was lost. And then there are some wounds, some betrayals... that are so deep, so profound that there is no way to repair what was lost. And when that happens, there's nothing left to do but wait.
3.10 Don't Stand So Close To Me
At the end of the day, when it comes down to it, all we really want is to be close to somebody. So this thing where we all keep our distance and pretend not to care about each other, it's usually a load of bull. So we pick and choose who we want to remain close to, and once we've chosen those people, we tend to stick close by. No matter how much we hurt them. The people that are still with you at the end of the day, those are the ones worth keeping. And sure, sometimes close can be too close. But sometimes, that invasion of personal space, it can be exactly what you need.
3.13 Great Expectations
No one believes that their life will turn out just kind of okay. We all think we are going to be great. And from the day we decide to be surgeons, we are filled with expectation. Great expectations of who we will be, where we will go. And then... we get there.
We all think we're going to be great and we feel a little bit robbed when our expectations aren't met. But sometimes expectations sell us short. Sometimes the expected simply pales in comparison to the unexpected. You got to wonder why we cling to our expectations, because the expected is just what keeps us steady. Standing. Still, the expected's just the beginning, the unexpected is what changes our lives.
3.14 Wishin' And Hopin'
As surgeons, we live in a world of worse case scenarios. We cut ourselves off from hoping for the best because too many times the best doesn't happen. But every now and then, something extraordinary occurs and suddenly best case scenarios seem possible. And every now and then;something amazing happens, and against our better judgment we start to have hope.
As doctors, we're trained to give our patients just the facts. But what our patients really want to know is - will the pain go away? Will I feel better? Am I cured? What our patients really want to know is - is there hope? But, inevitably, there are times when you find yourself in the worst case scenario. When the patient's body has betrayed them and all the science we have to offer has failed them. When the worst case scenario comes true, clinging to hope is all we've got left.
3.15 Walk On Water (1)
Disappearances happen in science. Disease can suddenly fade away, tumors go missing, and we open someone up to discover the cancer is gone. It's unexplained. It's rare, but it happens. We call it misdiagnosis. Say we never saw it in the first place, any explanation but the truth. That life is full of vanishing acts. If something that we didn't know we had disappears... do we miss it?
3.16 Drowning On Dry Land (2)
Like I said, disappearances happen. Pains go phantom. Blood stops running and people, people fade away. There's more I have to say, so much more, but... I disappeared.
3.17 Some Kind of Miracle (3)
There are medical miracles. Being worshippers at the alters of science we don't like to believe miracles exist, but they do. Things happen... we can't explain them, we can't control them, but they do happen. Miracles do happen in medicine. They happen every day just not always when we need them to happen.
At the end of a day like this, when so many prayers are answered and so many aren't, we take our miracles where we find them. We reach across the gap and sometimes, against all odds, against all logic, we touch.
3.18 Scars And Souvenirs
People have scars. In all sorts of unexpected places. Like secret road maps of their personal histories. Diagrams of all their old wounds. Most of our wounds heal, leaving nothing behind but a scar. But some of them don't. Some wounds we carry with us everywhere and though the cut's long gone, the pain still lingers.
What's worse, new wounds which are so horribly painful or old wounds that should've healed years ago and never did? Maybe our old wounds teach us something. They remind us where we've been and what we've overcome. They teach us lessons about what to avoid in the future. That's what we like to think. But that's not the way it is, is it? Some things we just have to learn over and over and over again.
3.19 My Favorite Mistake
Surgeons always have a plan. Where to cut, where to clamp, where to stitch. But, even with the best plans complications can arise, things can go wrong. And suddenly you're caught with your pants down."
The thing about plans is they don't take into account the unexpected, so when we're thrown a curve ball, whether its in the O.R. or in life, we have to improvise. Of course, some of us are better at it than others. Some of us just have to move on to plan B, and make the best of it. And sometimes what we want is exactly what we need. But sometimes, sometimes what we need is a new plan.
3.20 Time After Time
A patient's history is as important as their symptoms. It's what helps us decide if heart burn's a heart attack... if a headache's a tumor. Sometimes patients will try to re-write their own histories. They'll claim they don't smoke, or forget to mention certain drugs... which in surgery can be the kiss of death. We can ignore it all we want, but our history eventually always comes back to haunt us.
Some people believe that without history, our lives amount to nothing. At some point we all have to choose: do we fall back on what we know, or do we step forward to something new? It's hard not to be haunted by our past. Our history is what shapes us... what guides us. Our history resurfaces time after time after time. So we have to remember sometimes the most important history is the history we're making today.
As interns, we know what we want, to become surgeons. And we'll do anything to get there. Suffer through killer exam, endure 100-hour weeks, Stand for hours on end in operating rooms, you name it, we'll do it.
Too often, the thing you want most is the one thing you can't have. Desire leaves us heartbroken, it wears us out. Desire can wreck your life. But as tough as wanting something can be. The people who suffer the most, are those who don't know what they want.
3.22 The Other Side Of This Life (1)
The dream is this - that we'll finally be happy when we reach our goals - find the guy, finish our internship, that's the dream. Then we get there. And if we're human, we immediately start dreaming of something else. Because, if this is the dream, then we'd like to wake up. Now, please!
3.23 The Other Side Of This Life (2)
Maybe we accept the dream has become a nightmare. We tell ourselves that reality is better. We convince ourselves it's better that we never dream at all. But, the strongest of us, the most determined of us, holds on to the dream or we find ourselves faced with a fresh dream we never considered. We wake to find ourselves, against all odds, feeling hopeful. And, if we're lucky, we realize in the face of everything, in the face of life the true dream is being able to dream at all.
3.24 Testing 1-2-3
A surgeon's education never ends. Every patient, every symptom, every operation... is a test. A chance for us to demonstrate how much we know. And how much more we have to learn.
3.25 Didn't We Almost Have It All?
Richard: Being Chief... is about responsibility. Every single surgical patient in a hospital is your patient. Whether you're the one who cut them open or not. The scalpel stops with you. You need to be able to look at her family. And to tell them your team did everything they could to save someone's life. The husband, the wife. Taking care about the people's families. And responsibility... it makes you... you take care of the people's families. But you sacrifice your own.