Eric, Billy, and Asad:

What follows is a brief scene by scene summary, with our more recent thoughts and my own ideas inserted with comments and criticism. I am taking the christian god perspective here (omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent) but that's only for convenience, I do not mean to imply my voice is any more than one among four.

I suppose the reason I am writing this is because I'm not quite comfortable enough with the plot to start turning out more dialogued scenes, so I've put together a lot of suggestions and clarifications. I need feedback now, because I'm unwilling to spend time writing dialogue we're not going to use. What I'm saying is that it's time to come up with a more or less finalized plan for the film to hang the dialogue onto.

Scene 1 is dialogued. Interrupted graduation ceremony and parents-poker game scene. One of our strongest scenes. Only problem is how in the fuck are we going to get the graduation shot, but that's for you to figure out Asad.

Scene 2 is dialogued. Dr. Mac's office. Billy had an idea to improve this scene but neither of us can remember it. It's very funny as is but if you recall your suggestion there may be some changes.

Scene 3 is the first of several scenes that parallel the life of the white trash cop with the med student. In our last meeting we agreed to strongly demphasize this aspect of the film to at most a couple of passing exchanges (the junior cop getting pimped should certainly be included) in favor of further development of the our central characters and plot (the med students and their retinue). Per that decision I assume this scene is to be cut.

Scene 4 is partially dialogued. This scene follows Richard on the first day of med school and portrays him as a huge dork to the point that strangers treat him badly, except for Shoopa. We are introduced to Taylor handing out flyers and treating Richard badly. Becker is introduced as an arrogant asshole making fun of Richard. Shoopa and Becker snap at each other and reveal their past. Shoopa takes an interest in Richard. A couple of pokes at the anorexic spectacled asian dweeb (A.S.A.D), of which there should be many to come. There is a small piece about Buddy that can be cut. There is mention here of our senile dean, which I'm not sure if we still want to include. This scene sets up the becker-shoopa-richard triangle and puts becker and richard into character straightjackets. I will have more to say about the triangle later, but I would like to loosen up a bit on the pigeonholing here, especially becker could be more subtly introduced. I had the thought that when Shoopa welcomes Richard to Dallas she would say with a flat affect that it is the fake titty capital of the world. I would like to show a bit of how eager everyone is to meet each other on the first day and do a bit of characterizing of all the different types of personalities that show up on the first day, maybe by sampling a variety of conversations that occur between neighbors as everyone packs into the lecture hall. For example there might be several conversations where the participants have nothing to say because they have no personality, puncuated by some of the typicals eg. a guy with a ridiculous indian accent, a computer geek, a dumb blonde whose dad donated $3 million, two ASAD's talking to each other in chinese, etc.

Scene 5 is our introduction to Skeeter. I see Skeeter as a sort of comic relief character; a minor role player who pops up a few times to manifest his skeeterness. That he is white-trashy makes dwelling on the white trash cop even more redundant.

Scene 6 is another cop-parallel scene, to be omitted.

Scene 7 is preparty and party. Richard as very insecure before the party, and at the party where again no one wants to have anything to do with him. Party banter among eager classmates, with more opportunities to poke fun at the kind of person who comes to med school ala scene 4. Shoopa entrance to _summer love_. Becker tricks Richard into walking in on strip poker, making him out to be even more of an idiot and even falls down the stairs. Intro Carolyn and Debbie, who is hitting on med students. Dale is there, talking suggestively about corpses. Skeeter is socializing easily among the med students. I would like to see some suggestion here of what happens when medical people get together which is that they talk shop, excluding any layperson from the conversation. A suggestion here, to come back to later when med students have a lot more in common than that they all want to be doctors eg third year. I also wonder if in light of our decision regarding Dale (which I'll come back to) if he should be here. It's kind of funny, but the problem is that the audience doesn't know he's the mortician yet which makes the diaglogue confusing. This scene, along with scene 4, is an important introductory scene where many of our major players get airtime. It would be a good time to voice how nervous many students are, and maybe do something like have a student playing Mr. Confident at the party and then later confessing (to someone) that he doesn't think he has what it takes. That Taylor is repeating first year (that is what he's doing, right?) should come out here. Debbie hitting on med students will set up a later conversation regarding women who doctor-hunt. That people hang out with their likes, eg a pack of chinese guys, a pack or preppy guys, a group "cooler" kids smoking cigs can be emphasized.

Scene 8 is a meeting between Richard and Carolyn at a restaurant. Richard is flirting with the hostess and maybe other chicks, and tells carolyn that he came to med school for money and chicks. Carolyn mentions the peace corps. I don't understand this scene. I think a catch-up between carolyn and richard is a natural and appropriate way to give the audience insider info on both of them, but Richard as money and chick-hungry is very inconsistent with his hitherto representation and makes him much less likable. I don't like it. There are plenty of other characters we can pawn those motives off on, my feeling is that Richard has been awed by physicians ever since he went to Dr. Mac's office and that supports his pursuit of medicine. Carolyn as the consummate nice and down to earth girl starts here, I see her as perhaps our most likable character. This would be a great place to get in anything we may want to say about pre-med, like the fact that everyone tries to play the admissions game that essentially boils down to two numbers, or that mutual friends who didn't get in (one of whom had all the right credentials and would have made a wonderful doc but couldn't do the MCAT) are working shitty jobs, making the point that very little separates the doc from the dentist/lawyer or even the Gap manager.

Scene 9 is the first day of anatomy. Dale does the introduction, making necrophilia suggestions and acting very weird and inappropriate. Spliced into this is a procession of students filing into the lab and taking a look at their cadavers. The other part of this scene is another Richard-fuckup-becker-asshole-shoopa triangle episode. I think that this is a great time to take our licks at the bizarre mortician, specifically raising the question of do scary people become morticians or does being a mortician make you scary. This question points to a later question about how we choose a specialty. Based on our new plotline that gets richard in trouble - debbie's drug rep misadventures - we should make all our dale/necrophiliac suggestions here and ignore the issue until the very end when the guys are arrested and they happen to see dale in the holding cell who was arrested for making necrophilia porn videos. Also the anatomy entrance is a great opportunity to play up the most notorious med school scene among laypeople. I see four tankmates looking at the closed tank nervously, then a slow motion cadaver's-eye-view of them opening the doors to a mysterious glow that illuminates their anxious faces ala the pulp fiction suitcase. We can show a number of reactions and conversations ranging from the eager beaver to the fainting, hytrionic and flamboyantly gay Warren.

Scene 10 is cop and dean related and appears deletable.

Scene 11 is the coming together of Richard and Taylor, walking to their cars from anatomy. This conversation establishes Taylor as a more cynical and sagacious guy who tells Richard about gunners and they talk about why people become doctors. Richard is, again, awed by docs and desires the repect and prestige they are accorded. Taylor admits to a long family history of physicians but while interested in medicine is very critical of it and the motives of people like Richard. As I understand it, the point Taylor makes is that most people go into medicine because they think physicians occupy a privileged place in society but in fact they don't. Although there is a fairly extensive description here regarding how this scene is going to come off, I'm not sure how I'm going to write it. What I strongly agree with is the penultimate sentence that purports to pose questions rather than answer them. My vision for this scene is to raise the core questions that we will be addressing for the remainder of the film, namely, why does someone decide to go to medical school and how do we cope with the varied stresses of medical school. This also might be a good place for a joke I had in mind, where bill asks bob why he went to med school, bob answers "Well, I'm Jewish" with a completely straight face and then bill responds with understanding nods, as if it would be obvious to anyone that being jewish is reason enough to go into medicine. I thought it might be good in this scene just the two of them, and then later on again with a larger audience, all nodding in understanding. I don't understand the meaning of the final sentence which contains the "bastards in the class" comment.

Scene 12 is happy hour, Richard walks in clumsily, orders a drink clumsily, and overhears talk of class elections. He dreams of glory and med school class president groupies and announces his intention to run. There is a brief exchange with Shoopa/Carolyn and two other med school chicks. After Richard in his infinite dweebness drives the four of them off, Taylor talks critically of the different groups in the class. I'm not sure if the election still has a role, outside of fueling the rivalry between becker and richard. I think it should be deemphasized a bit, keeping it just prominent enough as a piece of plot scaffolding to hang much more interesting points off of. The most important point we can make about the elections is that no one gives a shit about them and that the people who run are interested only in their own resumes, but this is a minor point, too. The part about the different groups should focus less on a narrator (taylor) announcing our (the filmmakers) points about these groups. Rather, we should guide the audience to our point of view by showing these groups in action. I proposed we do this in the house party scene, and we could do more here. I'm a little worried about getting all these people in once place at the same time; we need to keep in mind that this all has to be actually filmed and should keep logistics in mind so that Asad doensn't have an impossibly hard job come springtime. In any case I'm not sure what Taylor would be saying about the groups anyway, besides something like "look over there - the christian right. and near the door is the requisite indian contingency." as the camera zooms in on them making some sort of joke about Patel and patella.

Scene 13 is Carolyn's house, post-happy hour. Carolyn studies while Debbie stumbles in with a guy and they head into Deb's room to make out. Carolyn falls asleep on her books, the guy creeps out the next morning, and Debbie later emerges hungover. Debbie discusses her nine to fiveness, living for the weekends, waiting for payday, etc. Remember Debbie is now a pharm rep. This is our opportunity to contrast medical school with what everyone our age is doing, which is more or less hating their jobs. Debbie can show a bit of envy here, maybe give out the requisite, "I could never do that." One of the points I would like to make is that med students aren't inordinately smart or capable, just a bit dorkier than everyone else and able to do the MCAT. This is not the scene to make that point, but is a good place to bring up the fallacy that most (educated) lay people couldn't do med school, or at least show the layperson that thinks that, as we have all run into a thousand of them. for comic relief the cell phone that the dude forgot rings, it's his mom wanting the car back (turns out he isn't the accomplished day trader he told Debbie). Later in Deb and Carolyn's conversation he storms back in to get the forgotton phone, and can't remember Debbie's name. This may be the place to bring the security blanket of medical school - how just following through with your responsibilities guarantees you security, respect, etc., while out there you have no such security and the freedom to make drastic changes in your life, a freedom that scares the shit out of most people our age.

Scene 14 is at Shoopa's house. They prepare girly posters for Richard's upcoming election. Richard makes more of a bumbling fool of himself trying to stir up conversation with Shoopa, whom he has obviously fallen for. At the same time Carolyn is obviously falling for Richard. By now all of you know that I think we should deemphasize the Melrose Place feel of the film. I think that these kind of plot pieces are fine as long as they are not the focus - the focus needs to be med school, because that's where we have something original to say. Let's leave a detailed treatment of love and jealousy to Shakespeare. That said, I really like this scene. It's short and very high school, which excites my sense of nostalgia. We can include a piece here about how indian households pressure the kids to pursue medicine, maybe with a spot on shilpa's dad and her younger being encouraged to be like her sister or something. I could make it funny/ridiculous in its blatentness and still make the point. Before scene 15 we might insert some quickie spots on what students are doing in preparation for their first test: Becker studying, with mom bringing him a big plate of food; Richard trying to study but being distracted by Skeeter; a series of random students trying to study but not eg somebody is making elaborate designs in his biochem book, another is distracted by a phone call from an ex-lover, another distracted by her kid (Mere Bylington), and increasingly ridiculous distractors: another distracted by her plant (which needs trimming), another distracted by trying to stand her highlighter on its end, another starts plucking his arm hairs, etc. Along with a study montage we can have a few classroom shots, casting appropriately humerous lights on biochemistry (imagine some PhD nearly ejaculating on himself as he points toward a rotating molecule of molecular weight 22 million, tying to impress the class with how knowledge of which bonds lie in which planes will really make a difference in your daily practice of medicine. also imagine embryology: some playboy with a huge stache drawing a few scribbles on the board that look like absolutely nothing and calling it the head, another part of the the scribble will become the heart, this last part - which occupies most of the scribble - will become the female clitoris.)

I feel good about the progression of the film, the character development, and the content until this point. Starting with the election I feel that we lose a lot of direction.

Scene 15 is the election speeches. Backstage we meet Melanie the gunner bitch, inviting Shoopa but spurning Richard. Ching Chen as an incomprehensible Hitler with one vociferous supporter, Okemah defending his admission and then asking for black equality. Next becker, and then Richard. I don't like this gunner-groupie thing at all. It's pure melodrama, serves very little point if any, and is not even based in truth. I don't want to include it and don't think as it stands Melanie has any role. I see this scene as a brief one, funny speeches and then cut to scene 16. And we can't say anything about black people getting in by affirmative action, it's too politically charged to be funny.

Scene 16 is a brief tribute to Becker, who wins the election, and has a posse complete with a right-hand kiss ass, who tries to insult Shoopa. The vallient Becker stands up for her, however, and Wally is quieted. This all fits in with the plotline I hate from scene 15. Grease can get away with this stuff because it's a musical.

Scene 17 shows a dejected Richard, fresh from his election loss, coming home to Skeeter shaving a dog in his bed.

Scene 18 is a cop scene, to be deleted.

Scene 19 is the anatomy lab at night. Becker and the gunners have a pimp-off with with Richard and Taylor. Dale then starts talking about the bodies in a mystical way. The painting of the big toe is hysterical, but in light of our revised ending I don't think we need anything more out of Dale here. The pimp off is best done casually and subtly rather than as a competition. I see Becker walking up, starting up some bland conversation and over the course of the next moments knowing stuff that Richard and Taylor don't. He can look satisfied with himself but as far as I'm concerned the less dramatic the better - what will hit home with the audience is not blatent showing off or competition, which doesn't really happen and comes off like a daytime soap, but someone else demonstrating knowledge in an appropriate situation that I don't have.

Scene 20 is Richard in McDonald's, threatening a big black dude who ostensibly is eating his big macs, only to see his big macs on the adjacent table. My supposition is that this is supposed to be a humerous way of showing that Richard is getting fatigued, but it's totally unrealistic which makes it a lot less funny. We could show Richard falling asleep on a stranger or trying to drink out of the remote control to his TV or something like that. In any case I think those jokes, while they are right on, should be during surgery and not first year. But I might be missing the point here. If this scene has some other purpose I'm not seeing, let me know.

Scene 21 is at the library. Brief exchange among ASADs, then Melanie making a loud speech to gunner bitches then making fun of the asians. Next a conversation between Carolyn and Shoopa where Carolyn extols the virtues of balance (vs. gunnerdom), leaving Shoopa unconvinced. Becker interrupts and tells Shoopa he wants to be valedictorian. I think this is the right time for a library scene, and I agree with the theme, namely how students are coping with the stress of learning a lot of material, but it's not done right as is. Let me take a step back. As I see it there are properly two types of exchanges in our movie: the funny and the serious. The funny is obviously what everyone wants to see, and the serious gives the film balance and allows us to make the points we want to make so that the film amounts to more than the slapstick. Furthermore the serious must be based in reality, else it has no impact. The best stuff is funny AND based in reality. Anyway what we write has to be either funny or based in reality. My objection with the portrayel of gunnerness as it stands now is that it is neither of these two. I would like to start the library scene with a funny exchange or two, one that comes to mind is a group of kids studying netter's, one of them claiming that there's no way he could be expected to know all the muscles in the hand, right? or something naive like that. After that we can show a group of gunners studying and shoopa/carolyn (+ richard or taylor?) studying, having conversation about the theme I mentioned above. My perspective on the theme is as follows: Many of us cruised through school until we got here, what I mean by that is that we could both make the highest grades AND pursue whatever outside interests made us happy - no compromise. What becomes clear very quickly in the first year is that you can no longer have both; that you have to make a decision based on what is essentially a zero-sum, and that is that you can do .9 studying and .1 other, which gets you great grades, or you can do .6 studying and .4 other, which gives you some lesser grade and more fun. Of course there are four students in the class like Brian Jamieson who can both not study and excel, and we should mention that, but emphasize that the paradigm of pre-med is over for most of us. Anyway the point is we consciously or unconsciously and usually after much pain have to CHOOSE where we want to fall. For many of us there is a strong component of lazyness that battles our hatred of subpar grades, as most of us have supported our self-esteem with academic excellence. This latter point is critical - the heart of this issue is how we sustain our egos in the face of declining academic performance. Some of us are so driven to do well that we subordinate everything else and become a gunner. A gunner is someone who places her grade above all. Some of us do as little as we can to stay afloat and support our self-esteem with the thought that we are actually better off than the 75% of the class who makes better grades because we are more complete as people. Some of us get depressed, some of us don't make it, think Tae Lee and Jennifer Ege (we need to at least briefly show this). Most of us fall somewhere between these extreme responses to the problem I posed a moment ago, but I think we all agree it is a struggle every day to balance our desire to sleep, fuck chicks, and write stimulating emails with the call to excel (a call we answered in order to get here) and the call to learn as much as we can to be the best doctor we can be. On this last point, there are two extreme camps again: one says that the more you know the better doc you are, one says that you need only master a finite (and comparatively small) body of knowledge in your specialty and the rest is only useful for ammunition in roundsmanship games. The truth as usual lies in between, keeping in mind the opportunity cost to knowing more medicine. A further point is that we more or less stay in the same place in the class from the start and more importantly we will not change our ways in residency and in practice - a notion that has crucial implications when you're wondering if you should marry this medical student you've been dating for a few years. Okay so how are we going to convey this to our audience? The answer is not to have richard or tayor say it, though certainly there will be much of that, but to show our characters in this struggle. I think this is really the core of our film, where we can really contribute and say something. It is personal to every person who goes to med school and though Dr. Waller did her best very few people I talk to really get it. The implications for our film are that I think it excludes this idea of a bunch of "teams" with people like shoopa switching among them. Again it's not funny and it's not true, there are no Melanie's in medical school. What does happen is that we discover while studying for our early tests the amazing fact that we are being presented with more information than we can actually learn in the time allotted. What a realization that was. Our initial response is to try to learn it all, but it doesn't take long for most of us to recognize that to try to learn it all is a recipe for misery. We later have conversations with our parents (and our classmates), after our first round of tests, where they ask us how we did, and 75% of us have to either deny or assimilate an identity of not being in the top quarter. We are called away from the books and sometimes we answer the call and sometimes we ignore the call and study. We face the monster procrastination. We find ourselves taking our place in the class and suprised that somehow we more or less know where everyone is in the class, and we talk about medicine with people way above and way below us and we speak differently to those two groups. Some of us act like we know more than we do and some of us act like we know less than we do. Some of us are ashamed of how poorly we do and some of us are ashamed at how well we do, so we tend to hang out with people near us in class rank not to be constantly reminded of how inadequate we are as students or how one-dimensional we've become. That's what I want to show in our film, and it can start in the library in this scene.

Scene 22 is a motage of studying, test taking, and getting results. Everyone responds to their grades. Taylor makes fun of Wally the Gunner. Shoopa ends up at the gunner table. I don't like the way this is portrayed, which very black and white and the whole shoopa-switch I think is just silly. I would like to have a few minutes at this point devoted to the actual test taking experience; I envision us filming an actual first or second year class test with 200 hundred people filing into Gooch. People cramming at the last second, looking like they haven't slept in three weeks. Pencils on scantrons. A couple wandering eyes (how funny if we could get Dan Kim to do this). Andy Boyd breaks up the initial tension with a heroic sneeze. I would like to have a post-test scene, everyone talking about the test or trying not to talk about the test. People looking up answers just after the test. People getting their grades (the other-side-of-the-mailbox view is a terrific idea) and responding in the ways I mention above. I really don't like the "teams" and the shoopa-switch, but I haven't considered how cutting that would affect the film, later. Let's discuss.

Scene 23 is the bar scene with the guy who fakes the heart attack and Becker made a fool of. It's basically written. This sets up or augments whatever bad feelings there were between Taylor/Richard and Becker. It may be the place to elaborate on the idea that women love docs and that some of us are uncomfortable being adored because we're going to be docs.

Scene 24 shows a tender moment between Shoopa and Carolyn, with Melanie giving Shoopa the "are you coming?" in classic afterschool special style. This scene epitomizes what I most dislike about the film as written. We have to and will be a lot more subtle than this.

This ends the first half of the film, the first two years of medical school.

After my review of the latest set of scene descriptions for part II, it is clear that most of the small amount of plot there we have nixed. At the same time, there are some tremendous scenes already laid out and a lot of important (if loosely organized) plot structure as well. I will briefly summarize all the scenes as written, pointing out my feelings as I go, and then start in with my ideas regarding plot structure, then specific ideas about scenes.

I sense that both of you (especially Eric) are getting a little antsy about more dialogue. Let me put your worries to rest by telling you firstly that the pace of my involvement has this week picked up dramatically and secondly by spending a little bit of time laying out the ideas first (the part where I really need help) the process of creating dialogue will be easy and quick.

The scenes, as written:

In scene 21 (which would be scene 18, but I'm just going to use the numbers in the old version in front of me) we see a dripping trash bag that hits Richard as he confusedly walks around the halls of Parkland, thinking to himself that he's a total imposter. Although I like the dripping trashbag, (see trash bag idea below), I think I have a better idea for an opening to third year, see below.

Scene 22 introduces Reuben the medicine intern, with his team that includes Melanie (no longer with us, but there is certainly a call for several gunner characters wandering throughout the film and especially on the wards), Wally (no longer with us), Carolyn, Shoopa, and R2 Sheryl McCone. Nothing really happens in this scene. I think that casting me as an intern is fine; and I would like my first appearance in the film to be here and not in scene one (I was thinking Ethan for that role).

Scene 23 is another team, with Richard, Taylor, Becker (what a coincidence!), some gunners, and Dr. Jackson, who is the doc-dork who uses his status to get babes. Dr. J starts talking about himself, impressing the gunner girls who laugh at his miserable jokes, and then assigns Richard to a ROMI and Becker to an asthmatic.

Scene 24 is medicine team #1, doing some introductions. Carolyn is sincere, while the others are gunning, which makes Carolyn look silly. Reuben signs out patients to the studs, and expresses some of his intern views. I don't want to focus much on life as a resident – that's another film and besides we don't know much about it.

Scene 25 is one of several scenes that was created to develop the cop/dale fiasco that we have abandoned. We must find a place for Billy's cop-to-cop pimp session somewhere in the third year, after the pimp scene with the students.

Scene 26 shows Richard and Becker presenting to Dr. Jackson. Richard stumbles through the inept presentation as we show him hesitantly knock on the patient's room, interview the patient, then nervously perform a pelvic exam ala Eric/Jeff's faculty roast skit. I imagine that Jackson wonders why Richard did a pelvic exam on a lady with chest pain. Next Becker presents in a way that reveals that he treated the patient badly to get the information, but his presentation is much more complete and better delivered than Richard's. Jackson rewards Becker and admonishes Richard; the moral is that there may be a higher good than the best grade. I'm not sure how this is going to come off.

Scene 27 is Taylor and Richard talking about their first week. Richard thinks he knows nothing, but can't wait "to get the chicks" like Dr. Jackson. As they talk about Dr. Jackson, we see Dr. Jackson getting rejected by girls in high school, college, and medical school. Taylor warns Richard that there is much not to like about Dr. J. This scene is distasteful to me for a number of reasons. I have come to accept Dr. J as a dork/womanizer, but I think that by showing him in action we need not (and should not) explicitly point him out as a dork, and the "fuck off dork" scenes I don't think are all that funny. Said differently, and I know you've heard me say this before, I think we do much better to make our point through our character's actions than through straight out narrating what we want to say. It's a balance, of course. I suppose what I'm saying is that I think this dork doctor turned womanizer is uninteresting enough so that while it is certainly worth representing, it doesn't deserve much emphasis.

Scene 28 is the cocaine scene, where Richard accidentally fucks Becker. Since we have decided that the "feud" between Richard and Becker needs to be deemphasized, I'm not sure this scene still has a role. It is not particularly funny. I like point about the surgical hierarchy, and elaborate on it below.

Scenes 29 and 30 develop the Becker-Richard feud and should be omitted (there's not much to the scenes to begin with).

Scene 31 is the bookstore/Dr. Jackson skit, where the cashier tries to strike up conversation with him, the elderly couple wonder if he's a doc or a nurse, and then Dr. J. sits with a lady who is obviously interested because of his outfit. The problem with this is that it's to cliche and to obvious. I think a scene like this good, but it has to be rewritten in more realistic and less Melrose way.

Scene 32 is attending rounds in rotating perspectives, and is going to be one of the highlights of the film. See below for my latest version of it.

Scene 33 is Dr. Jackson on a date with the girl from the bookstore. She admires him a laughs at his dumb jokes, but he is uninterested, even with her admiration. I'm not exactly sure what we are trying to say with this scene, are we saying that you need more than admiration to be happy?

Scene 34 is Richard and Taylor at a bar, Richard complaining, about Becker, Shoopa, and medical school while Taylor vows to "take care of Becker." The part about the pimp session has been made redundant by the attending rounds scene, and we're not going to taking care of Becker, but a "medical school is getting me down" session may be warranted.

Scene 35 is the circumcision scene, where Taylor "fucks" Becker into chopping up a hindu penis. The idea is good for cheap laughs, but since we're not doing the becker vs. Richard thing we need another premise for it.

Scene 36 is a library/Melrose Place scene that is to be omitted.

Scene 37 sets up the porno scandal and needs to be reworked based on the Debbie scandal.

Scene 38 is the uninterrupted graduation.

Scenes 39, 40 and 41 are part of the defunct porno scandal

Scene 42 is ten years later. Richard is the owner of pizza place, narrating again. He tells about the right and wrong reasons to be a doc (I haven't figured this out myself yet so I'm not sure how it's going to come out) and how happy he is now.

Scene 43 is Taylor in an African clinic (can we go on location in Africa?)

Scene 44 is Richard coming to his wife Carolyn's pediatrics clinic. Carolyn hands out a (fentanyl?) lollipop to an exiting patient.

Scene 45 is the scene outside Becker and Shoopa's house, interlaced with scenes of them in an unhappy doctor marriage. Little boy and mom, "maybe YOU could be a doctor when you grow up and you'll be happy too." Fade to black. I have always liked this.

My initial ideas about plot:

So there's obviously a lot of work to do regarding the second half plot. The meat of the second half of the film is going to be a series of illustrative scenes about third year, as there is so much stuff to say and make fun of that happens on the wards. I see the plot elements that we superimpose on these scenes as follows, in no particular order:

1. Richard has crush on Shoopa, Carolyn has a crush on Richard.
2. Shoopa, in her battle with grades and self-esteem we develop in part I, is now essentially a gunner but we're not going to focus on her gunner-ness as it manifests itself on the wards, we are going to portray more sympathetic view that shows her being torn and ultimately choosing grades over friends.
3. Becker is our feature gunner, and has a natural antagonism with Richard. The nature and extent of their rivalry isn't as of now worked out.
4. Third year appears to get the best of Richard, who just gets more and more beat down.
5. Dr. Jackson is a resident who though he has been a social misfit his entire life now finds himself admired, especially by the ladies. He tries to take advantage of this but can not feel truly satisfied by the emptiness of admiration.
6. Debbie gets greedy and has a scheme. Sell her endless samples to Richard and Taylor, who can sell them to patients. We would have to make both of them have exceptional financial need as they are not supposed to be thieves. OR, to make Richard and Taylor less culpable, we can show them only telling Debbie which patients need the samples; this involves them enough to get them arrested but not enough to make them immoral in the eyes of the viewer. However we do it, it ends up getting Richard and Taylor arrested at graduation.
7. Intern Reuben has an undefined role. There is a "truth-sayer" aspect we had talked about; I'm not sure exactly what to do with it mostly because it seems that really is Taylor's role. We need to talk about this. It's possible we might want to shift Taylor's perspective from less omniscient to more "I'm going to do the absolute minimum required" type ala Pratap or a Brian Jamieson without photographic memory. Not only would this fill an important character void but it would create room for a "wise" Reuben that makes sense for someone two years ahead. Most of what has been written for Taylor fills this role nicely, maybe with some small changes and some additions.
8. Resident Sheryl, no role as of yet.
9. endgame: richard ends up owning a pizza place, married to carolyn, becker is with shoopa, miserable.
10. we have to come up with some fate for Skeeter.

Specific scene ideas, in no particular order:

1. The first scene of third year. Black screen. White text on bottom says: THE THIRD YEAR – MORNING AFTER FIRST CALL NIGHT. As these letters slowly fade to black, we hear the beeper alarm sound we have come to dread {as an aside, guys, you should know that I haven't been paged since early May}. Screen is still black, we hear Richard sighing deeply, waking up after a good hour of sleep. We see Richard illuminating his pager, which shows the time 04:15. Student walks in to patient room, still mostly asleep. "Doctor" "I'm not a doctor. How do you feel this morning?" Patient looks desperate. "Am I going to live?" Not really hearing this, blinking off the question: "how do you feel this morning?" Now patient grabs student by the arm, seems to begging our hero for his life] "Doctor I have a wife and four young children. Am I going to make it through this?" Now Richard wakes up, thinking so the audience can hear, as the camera focuses on his expressionless face – [is he going to live? What disease does this guy have? …… Who is this guy?] "Sir, how exactly do you pronounce your last name?" "Jones." "Jones…" [Mr. Jones…Mr Jones…what does he have? Fuck.] "one moment Mr. Jones." [he goes outside, a nurse passes by.] "hey, why is Mr. Jones in the hospital?" "Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia." [thinking…CLL. Fuck I don't remember anything about that disease.] He goes back in. "Doc" [he's crying now] "am I going to make it?" "Umm. I'm not sure." [the patient is getting hysterical] "wait. Listen. We have really good treatments for your disease. Don't worry. [he's thinking oh my GOD I have no idea what I'm talking about] everything's going to be fine." "really? Thanks doc." "Sure. How do you feel this morning?"

2. trash bag transition: as one hospital scene finishes up, the camera slowly turns from the characters to a dripping trashbag, over the shoulder of a janitor. Some funky music starts up. The camera follows the trash bag through the hospital halls where bizarre stuff is happening, like a guy bleeding profusely from his head asks the janitor where the ER is; several Hispanic ladies in labor are directed to the fourth floor, one of them is too far along so the janitor quickly delivers her, then sends her up to the fourth floor; a band of three dozen ball-and-chain convicts is led by a few cops; gang shoot-out at the main intersection; the janitor goes into the medical record room, through the miles of medical records, to a remote corner where the staff is playing twister; back into the hall where a homeless drunk asks the janitor for change; etc. etc. etc.

3. Richard is awoken on call and has a huge erection, which he has to cover with his white coat. (yes I know it's a ripoff from HOG but it would still be hilarious)

4. Richard calls medical records, asks for a record, clerk says, "I'll page you when it's ready." As she is about to hang up, Richard says "don't you want my name or pager number?" clerk laughs and says, "sure, honey."

5. Rounds, resident says, "this guy needs to be seen by surg onc." Carolyn says, "who is Serge Onc? Why does he have to see so many patients?"

6. Surgery attending walks by the trauma pit, a few students standing around, one of the senior residents sitting in the chair. Attending says, "why don't you teach the students about neck trauma?" Resident looks confused and says, "Teach?"

7. First surgery rounds of the rotation, attending lecturing on the importance of adhering to the surgical hierarchy. He goes into explicit detail about this hierarchy. At the conclusion, Richard asks where patients fit into this hierarchy. Camera to attending's blank expression, then cut.

8. Reuben's patient asks about her surgical plan. Reuben says to her that he doesn't know, but the surgery attending will have left a note in the chart. He opens the chart, the note is (you guessed it) illegible. Music starts. He starts walking down the hall, finds the attending (my first choice is either Dr. Bergen or Dr. Huber) and starts screaming at her, going off at the audacity of some doctors to make the rest of us decipher their fucking chicken-scratch. The attending cowers in the face of his wrath, at which point Reuben, furious, says "You're too busy to write something we can read, eh? We'll see about that." Attending cries "oh god no, no!" Reuben then proceeds to beat the shit out of her.

9. Richard doing physical exam, pressing down on the belly, patient is watching TV, completely ignoring Richard mashing down with brute force. Richard asks him some questions, pt responds per below. Richard walks out, attending is standing right there, "Oh hi Dr. Seldin." "Richard, is Mr. Smith your patient?" "Yes, I just-" "So, you've performed an exhaustive history and physical exam, yes?" Richard hesitantly nods "And you've formed your assessment, including a differential diagnosis and plan?" "Uh, yeah." They both stand there for a few seconds, Dr. Seldin waiting expectantly, Richard, oblivious. "Well are you going to present this patient, or are you waiting for me to do a little dance first?" "Yes-" "Excellent." Richard takes a deep breath, conjuring up a miracle from within. "This is a 32 year old male without significant past medical history who presents with one month of intermittent abdominal pain. He describes the pain as burning, located at the epigastric region, and alleviated by food. Physical exam is unremark-" "VITALS!!" "Oh yes, um, vital signs are stable." "[glaring]Oh are they?" "Yes. Physical exam is unremarkable. Abdomen is completely benign. My assessment is that this man has an ulcer, and I would like to start him on a proton pump inhibitor." "Anything else?" "No." Seldin looks calmly at Richard for a few moments. "It's always nice to work with a medical student who casts a wide diagnostic net, who refuses to be lured by the siren song of common symptoms and signs and leaves no stone unturned in the formulation of his differential diagnosis." Seldin walks in as drum-heavy music starts {right now I'm at a coffee shop and Blondie's Atomic is playing, which seems to fit well here}. The patient is in obvious distress, diaphoretic, motionless and rigid as a board. Seldin walks over and stands next to the bed, quietly assessing this patient who looks like he is about to become a statistic. Seldin slowly turns his head toward Richard, who somehow is not surprised. "Good afternoon Mr. Smith, I'm Dr. Seldin. Where is your pain?" The patient is too sick to answer, but looks down at his abdomen. "Is it your belly?" Patient faintly nods. Seldin tries to put a hand on the abdomen, but as soon as he touches skin screen to black as the patient wails out in the worst pain of his life.

10. Attending rounds. We enter as Becker is finishing up his (well done) presentation. "In summary, this is a 44 year old Hispanic female with sharp nonradiating flank pain of three days duration. Her heart rate has been in the high 90s since admission, with other vital signs within normal limits. Physical exam is notable for a nondistressed patient with mild LLQ tenderness and without CVAT or CMT. Laboratory examination is notable for a negative urine HCG, small urine RBC's, a mild anemia and borderline leukocytosis without a left shift. [camera to Richard, who is impressed and slightly disgusted] The differential for a perimenopausal woman with flank pain and this constellation of nonspecific findings includes appendicitis, gastroenteritis, nephrolithiasis, pelvic inflammatory disease, urinary tract infection, ovarian pathology such as a ruptured cyst, and a left lower lobe pneumonia. Less likely possibilities include pancreatitis, a GI malignancy, pyelonephritis, aortic aneurysm, endometriosis, and irritable bowel syndrome. I would like to continue the workup of this patient with diagnostic imaging studies such as a supine and upright abdominal plain film, a transabdominal ultrasound or perhaps a pelvic CT." Dr. Seldin says "Thank you Becker. [Turns to Richard] Richard how do we know this patient is not pregnant?" "Well the urine HCG was negative." "The urine HCG is negative, you say. Does a negative HCG rule out pregnancy?" "I guess not." "You guess not?" "Well-" "In almost all cases a negative urine HCG does rule out pregnancy." [Richard's face says: why is this ass hole doing this to me?] "I have an intern-level question." Reuben perks up. "When does a negative urine HCG not rule out pregnancy?" He turns to Reuben. "Very soon after conception - before embryonic trophoblasts make enough hormone to be detectable in urine." "True. If we suspect this to be the case, are there any tests we can use verify or rule out pregnancy?" "Serum beta HCG." "Correct. Richard if this patient had been beta HCG positive, would that change our management?" Richard looks at Dr. Seldin, pausing, thinking, opens his mouth to speak but it's too late. "Becker?" [confident, business-like] "In a pregnant patient with abdominal, flank, or pelvic pain we must consider an ectopic pregnancy." "Richard, what is the triad of ectopic pregnancy?" Richard does not know. {eric you are in many ways typecast} He says slowly, "The triad of ectopic pregnancy." Seldin doesn't wait around. "Becker?" "Vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, and an adnexal mass in a sexually active patient." As Becker says this, the camera slowly zooms in on Richard's face and holds his face front and center while Seldin begins to speak. "Richard what is the most common site of an ectopic pregnancy?" As Seldin speaks, the camera zooms out, revealing Richard to be completely naked, his hands covering his genitals. "The fallopian tubes?" No shit, Dr. Seldin thinks as he says, "Yes Richard. Where in the fallopian tube do most ectopic pregnancies occur?" Richard didn't realize that there were different parts to the fallopian tubes. He looks hopeless and says "Where?" Dr. Seldin asks, "Becker?" The camera shift to Becker, who as before looks confidently at Dr. Seldin and says, "The ampulla." With the camera still on Becker in a normal view as Seldin says, "That's right," Becker punches the air in front of him, overly satisfied with himself. He turns to Richard and starts dancing wildly "Yeah, baby – the ampulla, uh-huh, the ampulla, uh-huh." He dances over to Richard and starts twisting on both of Richard's exposed nipples while continuing to sing and dance. Richard stands there placidly. As Becker dances circles around Richard, The camera goes back to Seldin (we hear Becker singing in the background) who says, "Richard, please tell us the three parts of the fallopian tube." Camera to Richard, obviously frustrated, who says, "I haven't the slightest fucking idea." Camera to Seldin, who calmly responds, "Richard, please show us your penis." View from behind Seldin, we see Richard taking his hands off his penis and the whole team points and laughs. Camera to Seldin, who is laughing hysterically, uncontrollably, doubling over with laughter. Seldin begins to recover and says, "Whew. Where were we. Yes, the ampulla of the fallopian tube is the most common site of an ectopic." The camera is now slowly zooming in on Becker's face, who is back in his original position, impossibly recovered from the antics of five seconds ago. Becker's face held front and center as Seldin talks. "Richard what are the risk factors for ectopic pregnancy?" Camera to Richard, who is dressed normally. "I don't know, which is a good thing because my only role here is to make Becker look good." Camera on Richard as Seldin says, "And you're doing a marvelous job. So, Becker…" Camera back to Seldin, who is now on a pitcher's mound in an empty stadium. We hear Seldin continue his sentence but the camera shows him in the classic pitcher's pose, glaring at the batter, lips unmoving. "Tell me the risk factors for ectopic pregnancy." Seldin winds for the pitch and the camera pans to Becker at the plate, waving the bat around like Mark McGuire about to slug the shit out of the pitch. From the catcher's view we see Seldin after his windup pitch the slowest, easiest underhand lob. Becker says, "Previous tubal surgery" just before he crushes the pitch into the stands. Repeat the windup and home run as he says "History of diethylstilbesterol exposure" and "History of pelvic inflammatory disease." View is back to rounds, camera slowly zooming in on Seldin, front and center. "Excellent, Becker. An extrauterine gestational sac is one of the obstetric emergencies; the astute clinician must be able to promptly recognize and manage the possible ectopic pregnancy. In any female of reproductive age with a presenting complaint between the chest and the knees, the most important test is the qualitative urine pregnancy." After freezing on Seldin's face front and center long enough to make clear we are shifting to his perspective, the camera continue to zoom it so that ultimately his moving mouth takes up the entire screen. "In the setting of a positive urine HCG, the patient's vital signs and general appearance must be assessed for stability. If she is unstable, it is presumed the tube has ruptured and must be managed surgically." The camera slowly zooms out, to reveal Dr. Seldin dressed as Moses. He is walking through some natural setting, carrying two enormous stone tablets. "In the stable patient, the next step is a transvaginal ultrasound examination to look for an intrauterine pregnancy. If a gestational sac is found in the uterus, it may be safely presumed that there is not an additional ectopic pregnancy as the risk of a heterotopic pregnancy is classically estimated at one in 30,000." As he says this, he comes upon the team, dressed in biblical attire, kneeling in a semicircle facing him. "Unless the patient is on fertility-enhancing drugs, in which case you must have a much lower threshold for presuming an ectopic pregnancy if the clinical scenario is suggestive." Seldin approaches Reuben and as the rest of the team puts out their in reverence, Reuben humbly receives the tablets. Cut to black.

11. The musical. One scene, on the wards, one time, 5 minutes, it's going to be like the scene in everyone says I love you. Toward the end of third year, when Richard is really beat down, he's walking down the hall, he picks up a chart, notes that this 94 year old guy with every medical problem on the planet had his seventh stroke and was found apneic. Resuscitated, now vegetative. He walks in to a patient room. Patient is old and comatose. Does a little exam on the patient, starts talking half to himself and half to himself, eventually tells the patient "you would be better off dead." Richard turns to the camera and then sings "you'd be better off dead" as the music starts. In a few bars the vegetative patient chimes in, they waltz out of the room down the hall as other patients nurses, janitors, everyone joins in. I haven't the slightest idea as to how to choreograph or even write a musical piece but I'll bet Ms. Jaqmin would love to give me some suggestions. You two give me other ideas before I talk to her (I just came up with "you'd be better off dead" and I'm not in love with it. It could be funny, it's also an interesting point that I could probably write a song about but I would love other suggestions. eric you have seen more musicals than any dozen heterosexual males your age, gimme input)

12. Conference. Wagner presents some case, asks about a diagnosis, everyone mumbles softly to each other. Then Wagner says, "What if I told you this patient was an Ashkenazi Jew?" Suddenly the room gets loud with excitement and speculation.

13. Surgery resident pimps Richard regarding the management of a patient. Richard responds, surgeon says, "Yes. That's how a nurse would do it. Any idea how a doctor would handle this case?"

14. Patients who do stupid shit
a. "I get an asthma attack every time I smoke crack." {true story}
b. "I was cleaning my house when I slipped and this barbie doll just went right up my butt." {true story}
c. "I ran out of my Haldol and my Riserpdol, and I take three of each of those drugs every day, so I though that I would just take six more of my coumadin tablets per day." {true story}
d.I know you two have more ideas

15. scut.
a. chasing the xray. after hunting in six different rooms, Richard arrives in the main xray storage area, asks the clerk for an xray. clerk directs him to Derek, in the back. Richard wanders through the endless files, approaches Derek, who is a very large black man. Richard says "Hi, I'm one of the third year medical students and-" Derek gets up from his seated position and says in his best Ving Rames impression, "You had better not be asking me for an xray." He approaches Richard with the look of a convicted killer and says, "I'll kick your ass." Richard runs for his life.
b. chasing the coffee, based on a true story: resident asks student to find coffee. student looks around for a couple of minutes, can't find coffee. goes back to resident, says he can't find coffee, offers to buy resident new cup of coffee. resident says, "no, I want that cup of coffee. keep looking."


Final notes
1. do we have a Becker yet? Have we considered Peleg?
2. first half scene ideas
a. study group scene, with mnemonics. finally, The RNA Viruses will get the recognition they deserve.
b. make fun of "I want to help people" as a reason to go to medical school. in the initial party scene – flash to person A saying "I want to be a doctor because…I really want to help people." [totally serious, nodding] [pause…] Bogach, smoking a cigarette and listening disinterestedly, responds, "Really." [nodding, not really caring but looking at him] "Yeah. I want to help people." [camera lingers on person A, nodding]
3. I need assistance with all aspect of writing. I need help on plot, and I certainly need more scene ideas. I would like to get more of a feel for what the second half is going to look like before I start dialoguing the first half. Eric are you going to forward seth's good suggestions to me or what?