Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki
Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki

We give children stickers and lollipops after they visit the doctor. We congratulate them for putting on a brave face. Needles in their arm. Strangers inspecting their bodies for signs of illness. "Here's some candy, kid. Try to smile." We do it to adults, too. It's considered impolite to discuss your cancer diagnosis at a dinner party. You're supposed to smile, make small talk, suck on the invisible lollipop. Because for some reason, someone decided a long time ago that naming pain is impolite, that hiding it and hiding from it makes more sense. It doesn't. It's a lie. A lie that both comforts and destroys us. A survey showed the typical adult says "I'm fine" 14 times a week. But less than one in five of them means it. Our default is to put on a brave face. But sometimes it's braver to admit something's wrong. Because pretending everything's fine eventually catches up to you. And when it does, you better hope you can repair the damage that's already done.

A Diagnosis is the fourteenth episode of the sixteenth season and the 356th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[]

DeLuca is irritated after Meredith takes over his patient Suzanne whose symptoms continue to stump the doctors at Grey Sloan. Elsewhere in the hospital, Jackson, Owen and Jo work on a couple injured in a bear attack and Levi is hurt when Nico doesn’t want him to meet his parents.

Full Summary[]

Jackson arrives at the ER with the wounded Scott and Rachel Burke. Owen guides them to the trauma rooms.

Suzanne has a severe rash on her arm. Hadley tries to put on a brave face for Matty. Meredith walks by the room.

Maya arrives in the ER. She hands the nose over to Taryn. Carina watches her.

In the OR, Jackson and Taryn work to clean up the nose. Afterward, they prepare to attach it to Scott's arm.

Jo and Owen work on Rachel's arm in another OR.

Suzanne asks Matty to fetch her a soda. Once she's gone, Suzanne throws up. Hadley turns to Andrew and begs him to give Suzanne medication. He leaves the room. Outside, he begs Lauren to end Suzanne's suffering. Lauren tells him suffering is better than dying. They need to get the diagnosis. She orders him to stay the course.

Amelia receives a text from Link asking her to at least let him know she's okay. Maggie enters the room with breakfast. Maggie thinks she should be checked out but Amelia refuses. Amelia recalls Maggie hiding out and rejecting comfort and love when she was going through losing Sabi. She and Meredith respected Maggie's wish for privacy. Maggie understands the message but refuses to leave until Amelia eats some toast.

Nico finds Levi apartment hunting. Levi once again brings up Nico letting him stay at his place but Nico refuses. Levi then invites him to come check out an apartment with him tonight but Nico has to meet his parents tonight. Levi wants to meet them but Nico says they are super critical and have impossibly high standards. As he walks off, Cormac tells Levi it's time to work.

They enter Joey Phillips' room. It's time for his PT. His range of motion hasn't improved for two days. Levi tells Joey he might never regain his mobility if he doesn't do his PT. Cormac says they'll be back later. As they walk off, Levi asks Cormac if they're letting Joey off the hook. Cormac wants to find a way to make it less daunting for him.

Jo checks with Link if he's heard from Amelia. He hasn't. She hasn't heard from Alex either. She talks about Scott jumping in front of a bear to protect his wife. She thinks a bear is headed for her and Link. Link calmly tells her Alex will tell her about his family when he's ready. He's a good guy who loves her. Jo then says Amelia does this sometimes. She recalls the time Amelia spent her days camping out on Stephanie's couch when she had a fight with Owen over having kids. She had a brain tumor back then, though. Link is not sure what to do with the situation.

Bailey informs Richard of her plan to have him train the new residents from Pac-North. He privately asks her if this is her worrying about his marriage ending. It is. He tells her he's fine. She goes to invite him for dinner but he leaves with the group of residents.

Taryn presents Scott's case. They put the nose into his arm, where it'll stay until his facial wounds have healed. The blood supply in his arm will keep the nose viable. He asks about seeing his wife.

Owen and Jo are checking on Rachel, who still has weakness in her arm. They need to do a washout to prevent infection. Rachel says they had just woken up. Scott was going to make some coffee and then there was a bear. Owen tells her they have managed to salvage the nose. Jo offers to take her to go see Scott when a man comes running in and kisses Rachel.

Cormac asks nurse Karen to find the video game cart, which he thinks will help Joey do his PT. Meredith tells him about her pro bono surgery day for the uninsured. She then directs him to the game room on the fourth floor. Andrew interrupts their conversation to ask her about Frank Mercer, whom Meredith operated on two years ago. When Cormac points out his rudeness, Andrew tells him to give him a second in Italian. Cormac replies, in Italian, that he needs to learn some respect, surprising both Andrew and Meredith. Cormac tells Meredith he's in for the pro bono surgery day and leaves to find the game room. Andrew has been going through all lectures he could find and Frank shares two symptoms with Suzanne. Carina is standing nearby and notices how rapidly Andrew is speaking, as does Meredith. She asks when he slept last. It's been three days since they took Suzanne off her meds and he refuses to answer if he's slept since. Meredith says the rash on Frank was propofol-infusion syndrome. Lauren comes up and tells Andrew that the pericardial biopsy came back negative for carcinomatosis. Meredith asks Lauren if there's any progress. Lauren says every diagnosis she rules out is progress. Meredith points out Andrew seems fried. Lauren says Suzanne could be dead by the time she's brought someone else up to speed. And DeLuca is a machine. Meredith disagrees. Andrew is obsessing. Lauren is actually relying on that.

Maggie enters Amelia's room. She called in sick. She is backing out of their deal. She appreciated the space because she grew up an only child and is better at solving problems on her own, but Amelia grew up in a wolf pack. She climbs into bed with Amelia. She's only ever seen Amelia get out of a spiral by spiralling out loud until she lands on something that is healthier than whatever is happening inside her head. Amelia tells her she's an excellent sister.

Taryn enters Rachel's room to take her to Scott. Rachel asks Brian if she should go after what he did for her. Brian says she has to tell Scott sooner or later. Rachel tells her doctors she loves Scott but she's not in love with him anymore. She and Brian know each other from high school and they reconnected online. Rachel was going to tell Scott on the camping trip. She doesn't know what to do now. Jo says they'll tell Scott she's being prepped for surgery. She urges Taryn to bite her tongue.

Jo is briefing Scott on Rachel's condition. Scott wants to be taken to her. Jackson thinks they can arrange that but Jo claims the OR is on a strict schedule. Scott asks Jo to tell Rachel that he loves her.

Outside the room, Jo tells Jackson what's going on with Rachel.

Hadley and Suzanne are trying to record a message for the kids but Hadley is struggling with the filters. Andrew comes in to draw more blood. Out of nowhere, Suzanne's mouth starts bleeding. Andrew checks her most recent lab and sees all of her cell counts are down. Hadley asks what that means. He yells he doesn't know and immediately apologizes for his outburst. He has Lauren paged so they can perform a bone marrow biopsy.

Carina walks with Meredith, who knows she's worried about Andrew. She has been for a while, actually. Andrew's at the age where their father's symptoms started. It runs in the family. Carina points out it's not just Suzanne's case. Andrew has had high highs and low lows, like when Sam left and then suddenly he became a rock star at work. He's exhibiting signs of mania, including his aggressive pursuing of a relationship with Meredith and taking the fall for her crime. Now Andrew is not sleeping or eating. Meredith wonders how to tell healthy obsession apart from mania. Carina points out she wouldn't be asking this if she wasn't in love with him.

Bailey is having hot flashes in her office. Meredith comes in and says she's worried about their Chief Resident. She sits down and spills the beans.

The new residents are practicing in the skills lab. Richard is staring out the window, barely paying attention to them.

While Andrew is taking a biopsy of Suzanne's bone marrow, Lauren asks him if he's still dating his boss. She explains she observes people closely. People who have slept together argue in a different way. Andrew thinks they are still dating but he's not sure. Lauren says that explains her concern over his wellbeing.

Levi and Cormac are trying to get Joey to play a tennis game, which has the same movements as his PT exercises. Joey refuses to try it. He can't play video games and being taken care of while he has no idea if his siblings are okay. He's so scared for them and no one seems to care.

Jo and Owen are working Rachel's arm. Jo asks Owen what he would do if he found out Amelia's baby was his. She claims it's a hypothetical but wonders if it would change things for him and Teddy. Jo says she's barely heard from Alex and Rachel cheating on Scott is making her consider the worst case scenarios. Owen says it took him a long time to get to this place with Teddy. He won't let anything screw that up.

Bailey has called Andrew into her office. As soon as she starts talking about patients getting under your skin, he figures out Meredith has talked about him. He tells Bailey he is not making mistakes. Bailey says Meredith is taking over Suzanne's case, which means she has to approve every step. Andrew has to sleep. Bailey has instructed Meredith to put Suzanne back on her medication. Andrew says this will kill Suzanne. He can feel they are on the verge of something. Andrew starts to object but Bailey tells him to walk away before he says something he'll regret.

Cormac catches up with Bailey and brings Joey. She guesses he doesn't want to do his PT. Cormac wants to find a way to help Joey out. Bailey has been thinking about what happens if they discharge him. Cormac wants to start by helping Joey out today by reaching out to his siblings.

Amelia tells Maggie her son is healthy. She's further along than she thought, which means the baby might be Owen's. She and Link are really good together. It was perfect and now it's not, because Link is not sure if he wants to be with her if the baby's not his, which makes Amelia unsure if she wants to be with him if the baby is his. She wants Link to love her enough for the baby's biology not to matter. Maggie understands Link. She would be terrified that Owen being the biological father could reignite whatever embers still linger between Owen and Amelia. It wouldn't have anything to do with not loving her enough. Amelia asks Maggie to be on her side for a minute. Maggie imagines the hormones would be overwhelming and she would want to be held and loved no matter what and assured that she's not going to be alone. She then does just that as Amelia breaks down in her arms.

Owen ends up on an elevator with Link. Owen's in single-dad mode since Teddy's out with the flu. He asks how Link's holding up now that Amelia's half-way there. Owen has noticed that Amelia has missed some days at work. Link admits things are complicated but the baby is healthy. Owen remembers feeling useless when Teddy was useless. Men can only listen and sympathize and keep trying to help, even if they're not sure how.

Andrew finds Lauren packing up her stuff. He tells her she can stay and consult. Lauren says Bailey's order undoes everything they accomplished. They made Suzanne suffer for nothing. Andrew receives word that the bone marrow biopsy shows hemophagocytosis. Suzanne says that means it's MAS, a known complication of Still's disease. She has never seen it before in person. They figured it out. They don't have much time before Suzanne's organs shut down.

Jo tells Brian that Rachel will make a full recovery. Brian says he used to judge home wreckers. He never thought he could be one himself. Life came in and turned him upside down. He's so in love with Rachel that he doesn't care who gets hurt. He swears he's not a terrible person and proves it by talking about his life. He's just a person who's terribly in love.

Owen and Jackson rush into Scott's room as Taryn is performing CPR. He's coding. They try to resuscitate him. Owen decides to open his chest right there.

Jo asks Brian to step out of Rachel's room but Rachel starts freaking out because she thinks Scott has found out. Jo closes the door and tells Rachel and Brian that Scott has passed. Brian wants to comfort Rachel but she forbids him from touching her. She breaks down and tells Brian to leave.

Jo leaves Alex a message. She tells him she needs him to call her. She needs to know what's going on, whatever it is. She would jump in front of a bear for him.

Cormac, Levi, and Bailey enter Joey's room with his siblings. He hugs them. Cormac explains Bailey pulled some strings. As it turns out, their new foster parents are okay. Sarah apologizes for getting help against his instructions but he says she did the right thing. Bailey says the kids can stick around for pizza. And video games, Cormac adds.

As she leaves the room, Bailey is surprised to see Zander leave for the day. Richard let them go for the day. Bailey is confused since it's not even 5 o'clock.

Andrew and Lauren rush into Suzanne's room and tell her, Hadley, and Meredith that she has Still's disease, which is extremely rare. Meredith stops Andrew as he's about to inject something into Suzanne's IV. He says he doesn't have time to ask for permission and injects the meds. He then explains he administered high-dose steroids, which will make her feel better almost immediately. Hadley wonders what if they are wrong. Lauren assures her they are not. Meredith asks Andrew for a word outside.

She tells him they could have had a conversation before he pushed the meds. He ignores her and runs off. Lauren comes out and Meredith says the steroids could kill Suzanne if they are wrong. Lauren says she's not. Meredith was wrong for taking the case from them. Meredith reminds her she is Andrew's supervisor. Lauren points out she's also his girlfriend.

Suzanne is feeling much better. Meredith is informing her and Hadley on the diagnosis. The fatigue was all part of it. Her innate immune system was in overdrive. She can't stay on the high-dose steroids forever so they are setting her up with a rheumatologist to get her on the right meds. Suzanne wants to see her kids. Meredith says they can arrange that.

She steps outside and tells Andrew to go in there so they can thank him. He's alright. He suggests Meredith go in and take the credit. She took the case so it's her patient. Meredith says he saved Suzanne's life. No thanks to Meredith, he says. Meredith points out she could have died had he been wrong, which could have ended his career. Andrew wonders if she would have given her permission if he had asked for her permission. She would have asked some questions and still thinks he could at least have taken a moment to inform Meredith on what he was giving her. At that time, Andrew was not in the right state of mind to make life-and-death decisions. Andrew insists it was the right decision. She points out he's not acting like himself. He yells that she's a hypocrite since she never follows rules. Cormac overhears that and stands up for Meredith but she tells him it's fine. Andrew yells that he saved Suzanne's life against all the odds. Meredith points out he's sounding like his father. She tells him to go home and get some sleep. Andrew doesn't need this or Meredith. He says they are done. He walks off. Cormac suggests Meredith write him up but she's fine.

Bailey sits down with Richard outside. He repeats he doesn't need her checking up on him. she doesn't need her residents leaving early. Richard says these residents are not Grey Sloan caliber. Having them here feels like a punishment, like Catherine won. She knows this isn't an easy time but she wants to help. Richard says he's bone tired. She thinks that sounds like depression. He says he'll be okay and walks off.

Outside the game room, Levi tells Nico he got Joey to do PT. Levi says he wants to meet Nico's family. It can just be dessert of coffee. Nico meet most of his family. Nico repeats his parents are critical. Levi knows how to take criticism. He can take Nico's parents thinking he's not good enough. Nico says they are so critical that he hasn't even told them he's gay. He knows what he said to Levi about being a baby gay and the shame spiral. He walks off to go meet his parents for dinner.

Suzanne's kids rush into her room and hug her. Andrew watches them with a smile.

Link is at Meredith's house speaking with Maggie, who says she has heard from Amelia and assures him she's doing okay. He wonders why she doesn't want to talk to him and tell him what the test said. Maggie says Amelia doesn't know the results. Amelia comes down the stairs and says she's not going to pick up the test results. Maggie apologizes for lying. Amelia wants to raise the baby with someone who will love him and her no matter what a blood test says. As it turns out, that's her sisters. She tells Maggie she's not an only child anymore. She's everything Amelia never knew she needed. She then tells Link to go home. They are over. She heads into the kitchen. Link asks Maggie if Amelia is telling Owen the baby might be his. Maggie doesn't think so. Link is lost for words. He leaves. Soon after, there's a knock at the door. Jackson tells Maggie he shouldn't have left her alone in the woods. He was too proud to give her that apology. As it turns out, there are, in fact, bears out there in the woods. She thanks him for that.

Meredith sits down and texts Alex that she needs him. He starts typing but stops, which worries Meredith.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]


Medical Notes[]

Scott Burke[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Chest lacerations
    • Left hemothorax
    • Deep soft-tissue facial injuries
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery
    • Temporary ectopic replantation
    • Thoracotomy

Scott came into the ER after being attacked by a bear. His face was severely damaged and his nose was missing entirely. He was rushed into surgery, followed by his nose, which was washed and tagged for reattachment. Unable to reattached it to his face immediately, Jackson instead relocated it to his lower arm. They planned to reattached it once his facial injuries had healed. He later coded. They opened his chest bedside, but were unable to save him and he died.

Rachel Burke[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Severed brachial artery
  • Treatment:
    • Surgical repair

Rachel came into the ER after being attacked by a bear. Her arm was in a tourniquet because an artery in her arm was severed. She was taken into surgery to have the damage repaired. After surgery, she had weakness in her arm. The next day, they took her in for a washout so she wouldn't get an infection. She was expected to make a full recovery with physical therapy.

Suzanne Britland[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Hemophagocytosis
    • Macrophage activation syndrome
    • Still's disease
  • Treatment:
    • High-dose steroids

Suzanne developed a rash on her body and vomited. Later, he mouth started bleeding. Labs showed her platelet count was very low, so they did a bone marrow biopsy, which showed hemophagocytosis, leading Riley to diagnose Macrophage activation syndrome, a complication of Still's disease. They went to Suzanne's room and Andrew gave her steroids to start her treatment. She started feeling better almost immediately. She was then told she'd be referred to a rheumatologist to manage her condition.

Joey Phillips[]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Physical therapy

Joey was recovering from his surgery and had to do physical therapy every eight hours to recover his full strength and range of motion.


Song Performer Scene
"This Is the New Wave" Claire Guerreso
  • Scott and his wife come into the hospital.
  • Suzanne gets more tests.
  • Maya brings in Scott's nose and catches Carina's eye.
  • Scott has surgery.
  • Rachel also has surgery.
"While I've Still Got Hope" Mr. Spades
  • Jo tells Brian that Rachel will need time to recover.
  • Brian defends him and Rachel being together.
  • Scott is coding and Owen opens his chest bedside.
"Hide and Seek" Regina Price
  • Rachel cries for Scott.
  • Jo calls Alex and leaves him a message to call her.
  • Joey's siblings come to see him.
"Giants" Jackson Guthy
  • Levi brags to Nico and says he wants to meet Nico's family.
  • Nico tells him to let it go and then admits he's not out to them.
  • Suzanne's kids come in to see her.
  • Link asks Maggie about Amelia.
  • Amelia comes downstairs.
"The Vow" RuthAnne
  • Amelia dumps Link.
  • Link is upset and leaves.
  • Jackson apologizes to Maggie for leaving her in the woods.
  • Meredith sends Alex a text asking where he is.
  • He starts typing, then stops.

Notes and Trivia[]


Grey's Anatomy 16x14 Promo "A Diagnosis" (HD) Season 16 Episode 14 Promo

  • This episode's title originated from the song A Diagnosis, originally sung by the cast of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
  • This episode scored 6.04 million viewers.
  • Danielle Savre appears as Maya Bishop under Grey's Anatomy credits, leaving Jay Hayden as the only main cast member of Station 19's third season who has not yet appeared on Grey's Anatomy. Alberto Frezza also never appeared on Grey's Anatomy but he left the main cast of Station 19 prior to the third season, at which point ABC started to merge the worlds of both shows more.
  • Promotional photos show a scene where Maya offers coffee to Carina, but that scene appears to be cut from the episode.
  • Kim Raver is missing for the third episode in a row. In the previous episode, Teddy was said to be at home with the sick children while in this episode, she has the flu herself.


Episode Stills[]

Behind the Scenes[]


See Also[]

A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.