This week’s episode of “House” introduces Amber Tamblyn as the newest doctor on House’s team. Since he’d hired and fired two other female doctors, Cuddy chose to hire her for him. Their relationship is tested on both a personal and professional level as a result.
Dr. Martha Masters, played by Tamblyn is a third year medical student, who graduated high school at the tender age of 15, and holds two Ph.D’s, but has no formal experience as a doctor. The patient is a campaign manager for a local senator up for re-election. He exhibits a rash and other serious symptoms with seven days until the election. The team must work to figure out what is wrong with him, and naturally goes through a course of wrong diagnosis before finally arriving at the correct one.
Dr. Masters is patronized by House for her inexperience. She doesn’t agree to the inspection of the patient’s home without his permission and wants to tell him the truth. Ethically, she has issues with lying to the patient, even though it may save his life. For instance, House asks her to tell the patient chemo therapy is the only treatment option because if he knows he could also elect the less effective steroid treatment, he will. True to her ethics, Masters offers both solutions, and the patient opts for steroids, which do not treat him, and in fact make him worse. House “fires” her.
Masters confers with Cuddy and lets her know what happened, suggesting she isn’t fit for the position because she does so much better alone. Perhaps taking on medical school was trying to do too much?
Talb knows Masters because he interviewed her at Hopkins. The fact that she’s so smart and can remember numbers and academics so well, but cannot remember him, bothers him. Foreman, Chase, and House have fun trying to determine what it is about her that bothers him so much.
Foreman, Chase, and Talb go back to the patient’s house to reinvestigate and hopefully come up with a better diagnosis. They’re caught by the cops, and arrested. House doesn’t go to bail them out, so without anyone else to bounce ideas off of, he re-hires Masters.
After a series of re-hiring and firing Masters, House and the rest of the team come to the conclusion that the patient has Hepatitis C because he shared drugs with the Senator, (though the testing does not show it as a result of all previous treatments) and to cure him, they must give him Hepatitis A. Masters vouches for House with Cuddy in regards to the unconventional treatment.
House battles with either following protocol and facing the medical consequences or lying to Cuddy and dealing with the personal consequences. He has the senator come in and get tested under the patient’s name to show proof of Hepatitis C to Cuddy for approval. She sees this “proof” and signs off on the treatment.
Masters is able to prove herself to House when she convinces the patient to go with the unconventional treatment of Hepatitis A. She does so without lying, by suggesting House wouldn’t go with such a treatment and put his job on the line if he didn’t have faith. This action secures her position on the team.
The episode ends when a nurse asks Cuddy about the Senator being seen in the clinic. She doesn’t know about it, and the nurse informs her House saw him there. Cuddy prompts her to go through the testing records, finding several negative tests on the actual patient, with a positive test around the time the senator was seen, under the patient’s name. Cuddy realizes House lied to her to get what he wanted, and shows visible signs of upset. The patient shows signs of improvement, and Masters approaches Talb about how they know each other.