John Dorian, J.D. to friends, is a boyishly handsome, self-deprecatingly funny, likeable guy who would be confident if he only realized his assets. Three years of medical school have prepared J.D. for his first day as an intern at Sacred Heart Hospital -- but he has his doubts. As J.D. is thrown into the chaotic world of hospital life, we not only get to see the quirky characters that he encounters, but also hear the humorous commentary of thoughts streaming through J.D.`s head.
J.D. , Turk and Elliot are two weeks into their hospital intern program and things are going well. The procedures are becoming easier and no one`s life has been endangered, yet. J.D. and Turk`s apartment has become a safe haven away from the stresses and challenges at the hospital. Elliot has started to become a frequent visitor at their apartment. Although he denies it, Turk thinks J.D. is interested in being more than just colleagues with Elliot. Meanwhile, Turk has his own eye on another member of the hospital staff, Carla (Judy Reyes), the nurse.
Although they are roommates, J.D. and Turk lead separate lives at the hospital. J.D. is on the medical rotation and Turk works the surgical rotation. After spending long hours at the hospital together, J.D. and Elliot start to develop romantic feelings. While standing over a sleeping patient and discussing their busy schedules and lack of personal lives, Elliot unexpectedly leans in and purses her lips for a kiss. A stunned J.D. is about to kiss her, but is interrupted as Dr. Cox enters the room. As a result of this missed opportunity, J.D. has 48 hours to kiss Elliot, or they have to remain friends
The three interns are each assigned patients with various illnesses. Statistically speaking, one of the three will die. J.D.`s patient is 86-year-old Mrs. Tanner (Kathryn Joosten), who is in renal failure; Twenty-year-old David Morrison (Travis Webster) is Turk`s hernia patient and Elliot`s patient Mrs. Guerrero (Esther "Tita" Mercado) only speaks Spanish and might have lupus.
Elliot Reid`s 13-year-old patient Jared, who is very sick with leukemia, has an unusual request: he wants to see the boobs of a real, live girl. With J.D.`s prodding, but still against her better judgement, Elliot bares her breasts, which causes Jared`s condition to improve. Thinking this might work with other patients Elliot bares her breasts for two other patients, with various results. Meanwhile, J.D. also gets Turk into a sticky situation when he makes a rude comment and incorrect assumption about Turk`s and Carla`s sex life.
J.D. is assigned a VIP patient, Jordan Sullivan (Christa Miller), who is spoiled, beautiful, and has an undetermined illness. She also just so happens to be a hospital board member, so J.D. enlists her help in getting Dr. Cox`s suspension lifted. Meanwhile, Elliot continues to feel overwhelmed about her internship, and uses her new patient -- a psychiatrist with a broken jaw -- as a sounding board. And Carla and Turk take their relationship to the next level.
Now that J.D. , Turk and Elliot are more familiar with the hospital and its procedures, they have an air of confidence and cockiness. But a rival intern Nick Murdoch (Sean Hayes of "Will & Grace"), also smart and well liked, shows them that being confident is sometimes a mask for pure fear. Meanwhile, Dr. Cox has his own problems when he introduces two patients to each other: one believes that he is Jesus Christ and the other believes that he is Satan.
During a rare lunch break, J.D. and Turk stop by the neighborhood strip joint. But a TV crew and a bunch of protesters picketing the club block their way in. Just as J.D. and Turk explain that they are against the club, the cameraman collapses and J.D. and Turk rush to his aid. But after their quick save, they are quickly brought back down to earth by the fact that intern evaluations are due. Meanwhile, Elliot is trying to establish a friendship with Carla (Judy Reyes), but as usual she manages to put her foot in her mouth.
It`s Thanksgiving and J.D. and Turk are letting off a little steam at the local bar, The Free Clinic. A sharp pain in J.D.`s side sends him back to the hospital, where Elliot performs a rather rough exam on him, but can`t determine the cause of his pain. He is later diagnosed with appendicitis. Concerned about her bedside manner, Elliot polls another patient to find out if she really is that rough. She is, but J.D. has other fears to deal with when he learns that Turk will be performing his appendectomy. Meanwhile, another patient has been admitted, Dr. Benson, who is the former chief of medicine and a mentor of Dr. Cox`s .
After working at the hospital for a few months J.D. , Turk , Carla and Elliot have bonded and even start sticking up for each other. J.D. and Carla attempt to take their relationship beyond their professions and actually try to become friends. Turk meanwhile, has found a sanctuary from the craziness of the hospital -- a bench that has a stunning view of the valley. He eats his lunch there everyday until Dr. Kelso (Ken Jenkins) shows up and states that this has been his lunch spot for 23 years. And Elliot deals with a new patient, Jill Tracy (Nicole Sullivan), suffering from stress and exhaustion who has no problem standing up to Dr. Cox`s rudeness and sarcasm.
As Christmas nears, Turk`s idealized notion of the wonderful holiday is challenged by the grim reality of the hospital, while Dr. Cox asks J.D. to videotape the birth of his friends` baby -- with calamitous results. Elsewhere, Dr. Cox also has to contend with his abrasive ex-wife Jordan (guest star Christa Miller of "The Drew Carey Show"), and Elliot searches for a sickly teenaged woman (guest star Granger Green) who disappeared after Elliot told her she was pregnant.
It`s an unusually hectic night at the hospital, with the doctors busy juggling patients and Dr. Cox barking orders at them. Cox is more gruff than usual because he is trying to have the equivalent of a pitcher`s no hitter - having no patients die during his twelve-hour shift. Meanwhile, hospital social worker Alex Hayden, (Elizabeth Bogush), slipped in the hospital, knocking herself unconscious.
Continuing from the last episode, Alex (Elizabeth Bogush) is about to emerge from the M.R.I. machine. J.D. is waiting in anticipation because he just asked her out but he doesn`t know what she looks like. She`s hot. The two of them have a romantic dinner at a restaurant one night and are enjoying a second date the next night when they are interrupted by a page from Dr. Cox. Meanwhile, Carla and Turk are enjoying their newly announced love for one another.
J.D. strikes up a romantic relationship with Alex, an attractive social worker, (guest star Elizabeth Bogush, "Titans") but he soon learns that Elliot is not only jealous but thinks his new squeeze is bad news. Meanwhile, Turk discovers that Dr. Cox also has romantic designs on Carla (Judy Reyes), while Carla encounters hard stares from her fellow nurses when she strikes up a car-pool friendship with the hated Dr. Kelso (Ken Jenkins).
J.D. and Elliot decide to take their relationship into a different direction - so they end up spending a whole day in bed together. After the initial awkwardness passes, they realize that the two of them are very compatible. But later, Elliot is reluctant to share their relationship with their friends. Meanwhile at the hospital, the interns, Carla and Dr. Cox are participating in a psychology research project. They recount their earliest memories of what made them become a doctor. They also discuss their relationships with their significant others, whether successful or unsuccessful.
When a rampaging Dr. Cox suddenly shows up at his door in a strange funk, J.D. sees a possibility of a breakthrough in their relationship -- until he feels betrayed when he learns that Cox loses control in almost an annual rite. Meanwhile, Turk elects to partner with Elliot on a research project so that he can maneuver her back with his buddy J.D., and Carla struggles to fulfill a comatose patient`s final request -- playing AC/DC music in his room.
Now that they know a little more than they did three months ago, the interns are given the chance to supervise their own medical students. Elliot`s student is Philip Chambers (Adrian Wenner), who starts out being rude and annoying. Better still, he`s the son of the CEO of the corporation that owns the hospital. Josh (D.J. Qualls) is J.D.`s student and he is eerily very similar to J.D. He`s nervous, clumsy and not quite sure of himself. Turk gets Kristin Murphy (Kelli Williams), who, at 32-years-old, is a little older than most medical students. Her other unique quality is that she`s attracted to Dr. Cox , and the feelings are mutual. Amazingly, when they are formally introduced, Dr. Cox is almost speechless.
Dr. Cox`s hospital romance with medical student Kristin (Kelli Williams) continues to heat up. But things get derailed when their special evening is postponed due to a situation that Dr. Cox has to attend to -- helping Carla pick-up a dresser after work. He later gets a startling jolt when his ex-wife Jordan (Christa Miller) suddenly appears in his apartment for one of their post-divorce booty calls. Things go from bad to worse when Jordan and Kristin meet in the cafeteria, and then Carla stops by to thank him for helping to pick-up the dresser. Elliot meanwhile, is obsessed with an old song that may or may not be the voice of Dr. Kelso (Ken Jenkins). And J.D. is upset because of how he treated a patient that he and Carla had who died.
Elliot and Turk are down in the dumps because their parents, Diane (Markie Post) and Spencer Reid (Lane Davies), and Martha Turk (Hattie Winston) are coming to see them present their joint paper on peripheral vascular disease at a medical conference. J.D. half-heartedly sympathizes with them, until his own father Sam Dorian (John Ritter) shows up, sending J.D. in to a funk too. As their parents` visits wind down, the interns realize you can`t pick your parents, but you can pick your friends.
Elliot meets a new patient, Sean Kelly (Scott Foley), who she is immediately attracted to. They`re both anal retentive, neurotic and single. Elliot gives off plenty of hints that she`s interested in him, but Sean doesn`t seem to notice. Turk and J.D. battle over one of J.D.`s patients, who J.D. wants to treat medically with drugs, while Turk wants to treat him with surgery. Elsewhere, Dr. Kelso (Ken Jenkins) and Dr. Cox wage their own battle when Dr. Kelso fires the Coffee Lady.
J.D. is accidentally stuck with a needle that was just used to test a patient for Hepatitis B. He`s pretty calm considering the fact that he may contract a dangerous disease. The wait for the test results is a long one, during which he meets four doctors who frighten him with their worst case scenario stories. Meanwhile, Elliot and Sean`s (Scott Foley) relationship is going so far so good. But too much of a good thing is never good. And Turk starts to feel self-conscious about his weight.
Jordan`s brother Ben is admitted at Sacred Heart for having an accident with a nail gun. Ben and Dr. Cox are long time buddies, and they go out for drinks after Ben is released. They bring J.D. with them, who quickly bonds with easygoing, spontaneous picture taker Ben. But while playing pool, Ben`s hand starts to bleed, which takes them back to the hospital for more tests. When the results are back, J.D. learns that Ben has leukemia, but won`t believe it since both Elliot and Turk had wrong results on their patients. Unfortunately, J.D. isn`t so lucky and has to face the sad reality of telling Ben his condition.
Ben (Brendan Fraser) takes the news of his diagnosis pretty well - better than his sister Jordan (Christa Miller) and J.D. at least. Remarkably, it is Dr. Cox who is the voice of reason and compassion, until his own fears get in the way. Meanwhile, Turk and Elliot have their own issues to deal with. Turk is upset because he wasn`t chosen to assist on a difficult surgery and Elliot is criticized during rounds by Dr. Kelso (Ken Jenkins) for the 100th time.
It`s June and the interns are one day away from becoming full-fledged residents. They`re excited, but there is something else in the air. Carla and Turk are arguing about dating other people. Elliot finally rebels against being everyone`s doormat and J.D. is just trying to stay out of people`s way. Adding to the weirdness is Jordan (Christa Miller), who drops a final bombshell on the group.