Is the hardest lesson for a doctor learning to prioritize? Meredith thinks it is, and VOs that a doctor will try to avoid amputation but that if they have to cut off a limb to fix someone, they'll do it without hesitation. That's... reassuring. I think. She tells us the decision depends on the stakes, and doctors are basically gamblers trying not to lose everything. That's somehow less reassuring. Meredith is seeing a number of patients, asking them to remember three words she taught them a few months previously: truck, cabin, and spoon. I'm a little confused now about how much time has elapsed since I didn't think she and Derek had been working on this study for a few months already, but in life and in recapping I'm learning to go with the flow so, a few months it is. The patients beam when they remember all three words; it's actually incredibly wrenching to watch the ones that struggle.
She's then paged to the Chief's office and when she arrives, she finds him with her mother's journals still strewn all over the desk and Derek hanging out behind his chair. Richard announces grandly that he wants to start a clinical trial to help cure type 1 diabetes, and he wants Meredith to participate. She's rather confused since she's already attached to a different clinical trial but Derek tells her to hear Richard out. Because Richard discovered the basis for the study in Ellis' journal -- it was research she was doing when she contracted Alzheimer's herself -- he thinks Meredith should be the one to continue her work, and in fact says he wouldn't feel right doing it without her help. He goes so far as to actually call it her birthright, which is laying it on pretty thick, and Meredith's smile is strained as Derek advises her just to think about it, and assures her it's entirely her decision. Strangely, he seems to be playing the part of a legitimately supportive husband, and I don't recognize him like this, without some sort of thinly-veiled selfish agenda.
Back at the apartment, Arizona has blended up something green and chunky that looks like honest-to-goodness vomit, which she pours into a glass. My face at home mirrors Callie's revolted look and she's not reassured by Arizona chirping that it's an apple juice and kale smoothie. Doesn't smoothie in fact contain the word "smooth"? Those chunks do not a smoothie make, lady. Mark walks in while Arizona is lecturing that it's time for Callie to think about getting the baby nutrients, but Callie just wants coffee and contends that she can safely have one cup a day. Mark's ready to agree with her until Arizona mentions studies that have shown that it is in fact bad for pregnant mothers, and her glare makes him meekly change his tune to match hers. Arizona declares that it's just a matter of doing things differently now, like taking it easy at work and eating better. She claims that if it will help, she and Mark will give up caffeine too but Callie growls, "That helps no one." She's not wrong. Three surgeons with caffeine withdrawal sounds like a malpractice suit waiting to happen. They take a vote and of course, it's 2 to 1 in favor of the green goo. Callie tries it and gags. I, meanwhile, start to appreciate the mug of coffee I have in front of me that much more. I'm going to take another sip this moment just for good measure.