I'm sure you've heard the stereotype that all surgeons are narcissistic jerks. It's not entirely true, but like many stereotypes, it does have some basis in reality. People used to ask Nick what specialty he was interested in. When he told them surgery, their immediate reply would be "But you're far too nice to be a surgeon." I'm happy to report that Nick has maintained his niceness as he continues to prepare for a surgical career.
Nick is doing his Sub-Internship rotation right now in the Burn Trauma ICU. Before he even started it, he heard that one of the attendings was a jerk of the highest order. When he started his rotation, he was pleasantly surprised to find this physician on vacation, but Nick continued to hear from his colleagues that this guy was impossible to please, made ridiculous demands, and personally attacked people in front of their peers.
The doctor came back from vacation, and Nick thought he was just a typical, demanding doctor who did not live up to his reputation of awfulness. But then Nick heard the other doctors talking about how amazed they were with the transformation that had come over the jerk doctor. They were astonished at his new-found civility and his thoughtfulness in teaching the residents.
So, the question is, why the sudden change? Apparently while the doc was on vacation, his long-time girlfriend dumped him. As she left, she cruelly spelled-out for him what kind of man he was and perhaps how he would die alone, friendless (that last line is pure speculation on my part, but I think it would make for a more dramatic scene.)
This broken-hearted good behaviour probably won't last long, so Nick's rotation is well-timed.