In the second episode of ‘The Resident,’ Conrad’s patient has been waiting for a heart transplant for two years, but Dr. Bell needs his perfect match for a congressman. Who do they save?
It’s career day at a local high school, and the science teacher, Micah Stephens (portrayed by Power star Patrick R. Walker) introduces Dr. Conrad Hawkins to his class as the doctor who diagnosed his heart condition early. Conrad goes into a story about how he realized he wanted to be a doctor when he saw a woman jump out of her car to help a man who crashed his moped. “I knew in that moment that I wanted to be a person who could jump out of the car to help people, so that’s what I do,” he says. Students start asking questions and Micah tries to answer. He’s out of breath, and sweat starts to bead on his forehead. As he falls back onto a table, Conrad catches him before demanding a funnel, tubing, and a balloon. He uses the tools to create a make-shift stethoscope. Someone calls 911 as Micah’s pulse gives out. Conrad doesn’t hesitate before punching him in the chest, and the teacher starts breathing again. “Am I out of time?” Micah asks as he’s wheeled out on a stretcher by an EMT team. “Not yet,” Conrad replies.
Later at the hospital, Conrad delivers life-changing news when he tells his patient that after two years of waiting, they’ve finally found the perfect match for a heart. It looks like Micah really isn’t out of time after all. But after a hunting trip gone awry involving Dr. Bell and Dr. Lane Hunter (played by CSI: NY star Melina Kanakaredes), congressman Trip Dunlap (Lindsay Ayliffe) and Mitch Kaplan, (John Pirruccello) both need medical attention. Not only did Mitch suffer a “gunshot wound to the buttock,” but congressman Dunlap needs a heart transplant STAT. While that would typically take months to find a match, Dr. Bell suggests they test to see if he’s a match for the heart that’s supposed to go to Micah. After finding out that Dunlap would be able to accept the heart, the hospital pulls some strings and reallocates the heart, canceling Micah’s surgery.
Conrad finds out about the change of plans, and immediately hunts out the chief of surgery. “They both needed a heart. It was a tough decision,” Dr. Bell bluntly explains about the reallocated organ. “My patient is 28 with his whole life ahead of him. That heart could have given him 50 more years,” Conrad rationalizes. “Trip Dunlap is 63 and a smoker. His body is a lot more likely to reject the heart. And even if it does take, what does it buy him? Ten more years?” Bell asserts that the decision was made based on medical reasons alone, and Conrad tries to argue before being reminded that he’s only a resident, and Bell is chief of surgery.
Meanwhile, Devon is working his first shift without Conrad’s help. He’s assisting on taking the bullets out of Mitch’s bottom, when he realizes the patient is coughing infrequently. After realizing he might have a pulmonary embolism, which is when an artery in the lung becomes blocked by a blood clot, he has Mitch rushed to get a CAT scan. He passes out during the exam, and Devon makes the executive decision to get him into emergency surgery, ignoring warnings from his colleagues that he should really run it by his supervisor first.
Conrad learns that Chloe, a brain dead patient, is also a perfect donor for Micah’s heart surgery — the only problem is that her mother has decided she doesn’t want to take her off life support. The resident decides to try and convince Dr. Bell to talk the patient’s parent into donating her daughter’s organs. Bell, however, refuses to do it, and Conrad takes it to mean that he’d rather have the hospital make $100,000 a week for the ICU bills. “The whole world is about the bottom line,” Dr. Bell responds before walking away.
Dr. Bell finds out that the congressman’s surgery can’t happen without a splenectomy after they find out he’s suffering from a lacerated spleen. Bell agrees to do it as his hands start to shake. He finds Dr. Mina Okafor, who’s proven to be one of the most precise surgeons, and tells her has an “opportunity” to assist him. Still angry about being forced to perform surgery for him while he got all the credit, she turns it down. “I’m never saving your ass again,” she says.
Micah’s hands and feet are cold, and Conrad can barely feel his pulse. “I can’t lie down and when I do, it feels like I’m drowning,” he says between gasps. “Lungs are building up with fluid because heart is struggling to pump efficiently,” Conrad explains. The resident forms a plan to swap out Trip’s blood for the sample of someone’s who doesn’t match at all. He convinces one of the other doctors to test the congressman again, making it look like he wouldn’t be able to take the heart. The organ is then given to Micah, and he gets to have surgery later that day.
But Dr. Bell realizes the press is waiting for the political leader to make a full recovery, so he approaches Chloe’s mom and convinces her to donate her daughter’s organs to help save a life. He confronts Conrad, knowing that he switched the blood samples. “Two patients are getting organs. Two lives saved. If you want to dirty this win with a scandal, be my guest,” Conrad responds to his threats. Bell says he’ll relent as long as he also gets his way. Conrad then goes and convinces Dr. Okafor to assist with Bell with the spleen surgery. With her help, the splenectomy and transplant go off without a hitch.
Devon’s leukemia patient Lily is sent home by Dr. Hunt, even though her white blood cell count was really low earlier in the day. When Nic asks why she let him leave, Dr. Hunt tells her not to question her in front of the staff. Nic does some digging and finds out Lily’s file is missing from the surgery. It turns out Dr. Hunt keeps her patients’ files in a separate dat base, and she essentially owns the rights to them.
Later at a bar, Devon meets up with Nic, Mina, and Conrad. His supervisor is angry that he made a bad call by sending Mitch into surgery. Devon makes a case for himself, saying that he made the right call and his patient is now recovering nicely. “Look at this guy, he forgot rule #1,” Conrad says to his colleagues, referencing his stipulation that Devon should always listen to him. “I didn’t forget it. I broke it,” Devon claps back. “Because you are not always right. No one is.” As he tries to walk away, Conrad calls him back. “Congratulations. You just passed Independence Day.”
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