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Middleman

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Middleman

Abby snarks, "Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the waterbed this morning." Susan walks in and says, "Yeah, me." Shane thinks Susan really has a waterbed. Shut up, Shane. Susan tells Carter that she can't do the schedule because they don't have enough Attendings. Carter suggests hiring part-timers, but Susan says that they can barely afford the doctors they have. Pratt returns to tell Sam to order a head CT, and Sam says he'll need an Attending to sign off on that. Pratt is surprised to learn that residents can't order CTs now. Susan explains that they're trying to cut down on unnecessary and expensive tests. Pratt insists that it's necessary. Susan says he was only with the patient for two seconds, and that he probably didn't even do a neuro exam. Pratt sighs and says it could be a cerebellum mass. Susan says it could also be an inner ear infection, and that Pratt still needs to do a thorough exam before an Attending signs off. Pratt complains that he's a third-year resident, and he's been ordering his own CTs since he's been there. So he only likes arbitrary rules when he gets to make them up. Pratt says it's stupid, and asks Carter to back him up. Carter reminds him that it's Susan's ER. Susan sing-songs, "Sorry, Pratt. It sucks to be you."

Pratt pulls back a curtain and asks the patient, Mr. Turner, about his complaint. Mr. Turner wants pain meds, and he wants them now. Pratt sternly says that he can't write any prescriptions unless Mr. Turner has a legitimate need, and for that to happen, Pratt needs to know what's wrong. Mr. Turner snarls, "Vicodin. Morphine. Go!" You'd think Pratt would respond well to that treatment, since that's pretty much how he treats his patients. Instead, Pratt throws the curtain closed in disgust. Malarkey asks Pratt for help with a homeless patient named Rocky who claims she knows Pratt. Pratt waves and tells Malarkey that Rocky is just lonely, and knows exactly what to say so that she'll be allowed to stick around for a few hours. Malarkey complains that Rocky's breath is killing him, and Pratt advises him to call Social Work to hold Rocky's hand. Malarkey makes a leering comment about Wendall. Shut up, Malarkey.

Susan walks up and tells Pratt that she's applying for a Robert Wood Johnson grant. Hey, I know that foundation from their support of NPR, which makes two mentions of NPR-related subjects in as many weeks. Someone's a fan. Anyway, Pratt wishes Susan luck, and asks for a handout on rehab for Mr. Turner. Susan presses ahead, explaining that they need to pull some charts and fill out some forms for the application. Pratt isn't interested. Susan promises to put his name on the paper. Pratt says, "I'm not into research and I'm not interested in publishing." Maybe he shouldn't work at a teaching hospital, then. Susan says that he'll be sorry when he's looking for a job and they hire someone from Harvard with a five-page CV including three books published. Pratt says he's writing something about "the abuse of power by Attendings in the county hospital system." Susan half-chuckles and says she needs the forms back in a week.

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