Scrubs focuses on the bizarre experiences of fresh faced medical intern John "J.D." Dorian as he embarks on his career in a surreal hospital crammed full of unpredictable staffers and patients, where humor and tragedy can merge paths at any turn.
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. Four years of medical school have prepared J.D. for his first day as an intern at Sacred Heart Hospital--but he has his doubts.
Sardonic Dr. Cox gets to J.D., who's in desperate need of acceptance; tactless Elliot irks Carla, who's being wooed by slick Turk.
Professional and personal situations test the bounds of friendship between J.D. and Turk; a sexist matter entangles Elliot with Kelso.
"On my first day," recalls intern J.D., "my resident told me if you don't count the emergency room...or the maternity ward...one out of every three patients admitted to this [hospital] will die." That reflection, chilling though it be, introduces an insightful, compassionate episode that invites speculation on the fates of three new patients.
J.D. points out what seems to be a technical mistake to Dr. Kelso, but it was really an attempt of Dr. Cox to save a woman without insurance using a dead guy's insurance.
Dr. Cox is still facing the threat of suspension, and coincidentally, J.D. is assigned to a special patient: Jordan Sullivan, an important board member. She is very demanding and J.D. ends up sleeping with her after he confronts her.
J.D. is finally doing well at rounds and getting respect from his peers. He starts getting competition from Nick Murdock,a new intern. J.D. wants him to stop stealing his shine, but Nick is so nice J.D. cant stay mad at him.
Turk is having trouble in the O.R. due to confidence problems. Carla knows something is wrong, but he wont open up to her, so she seeks help from Dr. Cox.
J.D. and Turk become heroes after saving a cameraman's life on TV while heading to a strip club. But Turk quickly becomes the target of a new publicity campaign led by Dr. Kelso, exploiting the hospital's diversity.
J.D. finds out he needs his appendix removed and becomes a patient at Sacred Heart Hospital. For the first time he gets to see the hospital he works at from the patients’ point of view. Elliot ends up being J.D.'s doctor and is caught off guard when J.D. brings to her attention that her bedside manner is "too cold". At the same time Turk is angry with J.D. because he is skeptical about Turk being his surgeon, due to the fact that J.D. still sees Turk as his immature college buddy. Meanwhile Dr. Cox is fighting with Dr. Kelso for the attention of Dr. Benson, the former Chief of Medicine for Sacred Heart Hospital. Dr. Cox seems to want the same approval from Dr. Benson, which J.D. is always seeking from Dr. Cox. Dr. Benson feels Dr. Cox is putting his own career in jeopardy by not "playing the game" with Dr. Kelso.
J.D. begins a new relationship with Carla -- J.D. gains a new nickname, "Scooter," - and his relationship with Nurse Carla evolves as he begins to outdistance her medical knowledge.
It's Christmas, and even though J.D. and the others don't really feel like celebrating, Turk makes a huge deal about it (especially after one of J.D.'s patients suddenly returns from coma).
A woman slips and falls on the wet floor of the hospital. Afraid she might sue the hospital (and consequently having some big heads roll), Dr. Kelso asks J.D. to stand by her and be friendly so she won't sue them.
J.D. is frustrated when his budding romance with an ex-patient wilts as their dates are constantly interrupted by emergency calls while the beastly Dr. Kelso becomes less fearsome to the wide-eyed interns when Dr. Cox informs them how to avoid the blowhard's bite.
J.D. chooses Alex over Elliot when the two argue over missing medication, based solely on his chances of (quoting Turk) "booty"; totally ignoring Elliot's feelings.
After going to bed and spending an entire day having sex, J.D. and Elliot go to work trying to hide their new secret romance, but everybody already knows it.
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 learns that Cox loses control in almost an annual rite.
J.D., Elliot and Turk are receiving their first medical students, and now they finally get a chance to see what it feels like to be on the other side. Elliot can't wait to unleash all her medical student frustration on her intern.
J.D. has a patient who's rude to him and the nurses, and eventually dies from cancer. J.D. feels awful for not giving him his full attention and worries maybe he could have saved the guy if he was nicer to him.
An assortment of moms and dads descend on their offspring at home and in the workplace.
Turk's competitiveness is starting to annoy J.D., especially when it crosses the line of personal jokes and becomes patient matters (whether or not a patient should go into surgery is their latest feud).
J.D. fears being contaminated with Hepatitis B. after a needle accidentally sticks his forearm. From then on, he tries to avoid any contagious patient, trading one of them with Dr. Cox.
Jordan's brother Ben is admitted at Sacred Heart for having an accident with a nail gun.
Ben takes the news of his diagnosis pretty well - better than his sister Jordan 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.
It's J.D.'s last day as an intern. It's been quite a year for the three new doctors. But nevertheless they have work to do.