While enrolled in a demanding residency program, Meredith Grey and four other first-year surgical interns try to balance life and work at Seattle Grace Hospital.
A young woman clings to life after a brutal attack, leaving the surgical staff optimistic; Meredith puts her career on the line to save a newborn in the hospital nursery.
Interns compete to treat severe injuries, as the emergency room fills with an assortment of patients from the annual bike-messenger race.
Cristina's encounter with a former nurse, now a patient at Seattle Grace, changes her forever.
Meredith believes she may have erred during surgery and endangered her career; nothing goes as planned for Izzie, who tries to throw a party for her new boyfriend.
Alex works hard to gain the trust of Annie, a shy patient with a gargantuan tumor, only to make a fool of himself in front of her later.
Derek and Meredith try to be discreet after spending the night together at her house; George is reluctant to voice his suspicions that an anesthesiologist is drinking on the job.
Meredith becomes disenchanted with her ignorance of parts of Derek's life; Alex treats a patient whose religious beliefs jeopardize her chances for recovery; a 40-year-old pregnant woman with cancer disagrees with Cristina's advice.