Tom Koracick is the head neurosurgeon from Johns Hopkins Hospital whom Amelia brought to Seattle to operate on her tumor and assist on her research project. He later developed a relationship with Teddy Altman which led to him splitting his time between Baltimore and Seattle.
At some point in his life, Tom got married and had a son named David with his wife. When David was 10 years old, he died when he got hit in the head with a baseball bat. David's death happened two weeks before Halloween, which was David's favorite holiday and Tom and David's thing. They had prepared a Stormtrooper costume to go trick-or-treating that year. David never got a chance to wear it and the costume hung on the his bedroom door for months as Tom couldn't bring himself to take it down. His son's death left him hating Halloween.
After learning she had a large brain tumor, Amelia called Tom, her former mentor, to come to Seattle to operate on her. After he arrived, he agreed to operate and also made it clear that Amelia wouldn't be allowed to treat patients until he cleared her, as the tumor was affecting her judgment.
Amelia's surgery went smoothly and a few days afterward, Koracick cleared Amelia to go home.
When Amelia attempted surgery on her first day back, she asked Tom to scrub in, unsure she could handle it herself. He scrubbed in, but she was able to remove the tumor easily without his help. After the surgery, he admitted he'd hoped she'd fail because that would mean she's not better than him anymore. After their shared success, they had sex in an on-call room.
Amelia called Koracick back to Seattle again to help with researching a technique to remove Kimmie's tumor. After seeing Kimmie and her scans, Koracick believed it was pointless to try to perfect it within such a deadline and wanted to quit, but during a fight with Amelia over the issue, he had an epiphany and discussed a possible solution with Amelia. They later tested it and while it didn't work perfectly, it had more success than their prior attempts, giving them hope.
Tom came to the game night Maggie organized so Amelia and Meredith could meet Clive. He played as April's partner and had a good time. When the night abruptly ended, Tom ended up driving an intoxicated April home.
After waking up from their one-night stand, Tom stuck around at her place and tried to figure out why she was so different from the woman Amelia had chosen for her Power of Attorney during her surgery. He eventually figured out that it was a crisis of faith and talked to her about his own faith, which was tested when his son died in a freak accident involving a baseball bat to the head at age ten. His marriage fell apart after the death of their son and his priest recommended talking to God. Since he didn't want to talk to God, he decided to go to Mass and speak to his son instead, something he told April he still does.
Treating Noah and New Direction with KimmieEdit
After Noah Brosniak was diagnosed with an HH tumor, Tom and Amelia decided to use the treatment they were developing for Kimmie to help him. They had to control the lasers very carefully to make sure they were destroying the tumor but not his brain. The procedure was successful and Noah lived, but the difficulty made them realize it would take more time than Kimmie had left to fine-tune it to work for her type of tumor. Therefore, they decided to develop a treatment plan that would allow Kimmie to live until summer when Koracick planned to take vacation time and fly Peg and Kimmie to New York to see as many Broadway shows as possible before she died. Alex became angry when he learned of this plan and shoved Tom up against a cabinet before backing off.
Tom and Amelia continued their research into using the laser treatments to remove tumors.
Tom and Meredith were both summoned to Los Angeles for a VIP patient. They speculated that it was someone famous. When they arrived, Catherine told them it was a 65-year-old female who had severe back pain. She showed them the patient's scans, which showed a large spinal tumor. Then she revealed that she was the patient. Tom ordered a biopsy so they would know if the tumor was benign or malignant. When the tumor was found to be malignant, Tom became worried for his friend. She told him of all the things she'd been through and challenged him to find a way for her to live through this as well.
Tom worked with Amelia to create a surgical plan to remove Catherine's tumor, which they knew would be extremely difficult. Jo helped them out by showing them a new thing she had read about to visualize the tumor in 3D.
Tom and Amelia took her in for her surgery. They worked for hours on her spine from the back, but when they couldn't free the tumor, they decided to move her onto her side and come at it from the front and the back at the same time. They discovered that the tumor was attached to her brachial plexus. They used Richard's cancer pen to find the edges of the cancer, but despite this, they had to leave a piece of the tumor behind, meaning she'd be living with cancer and would need frequent scans to track the tumor.
Tom was called in to consult on the case of Lucille Reid, who had an aneurysm in her brain. He and Teddy operated together to fix her. They also observed that she had two men doting over her: her husband, Marvin, and her best friend, Julian. After working on the case, Tom wondered about the analogous situation happening with her and Owen. That night, she went to his hotel room to show him that she was only ever meant to be friends with Owen.
Tom attended Catherine's party, with Teddy as his guest. At the party, he and Owen butted heads over his relationship with Teddy, which included a planned pre-baby vacation to Palm Springs. Owen confronted him about it, but he was unconcerned until Owen said that he's not a father. When he heard that, Tom punched Owen. Teddy corrected Owen that Tom is a father and stopped Owen from punching Tom back. Tom then iced his hand as the party continued until a plastic pan accidentally placed in the oven forced an evacuation of the building.
Conflict with OwenEdit
After Owen left a birthing class Teddy had invited Tom to be with Teddy after she experienced some troubling symptoms, Tom realized Owen was trying to shut him out of the experience. He warned Owen that he would fight for Teddy to have the person who loves her and only her.
Teddy's House HuntEdit
When Teddy decided she wanted to buy a house before the baby was born, Tom helped her look, as he claimed superpowers relating to houses.
After Kari Donnelly was paralyzed in an accident, Link found a study that involved directly injecting stem cells into the spines of quadriplegic patients in the hopes of regaining the use of their arms. He suggested this treatment for Kari, who agreed to try it. In surgery, Tom injected the stem cells.
Thirteen days after her infusion, Kari still had no mobility in her upper limbs. She had other health issues associated with her paralysis, which weakened her.
Preparing for Teddy's BabyEdit
With only three weeks left until she was due, Teddy had not purchased a house for them to live in. Tom took up the mantle and found Teddy a house that fulfilled all the requirements she'd set out. He then surprised her with a set of keys, which he admitted were just a prop because he hadn't been able to go pick up the actual house keys.
Tom later purchased a crib for Teddy's baby and said he'd put it together for her.
He tried calling Teddy, but she didn't answer. He then figured she had given birth and went to the hospital. He found her in a room with her newborn daughter and a crying Leo Hunt. He admired the baby for a moment and took Leo off her hands. He knew Teddy had gotten back together with Owen after he rode in on a white horse and made all the right promises. Teddy took all the blame for her decision and told Tom he was wonderful. Tom knew that and stated it wouldn't last and that she'd come to regret her decision. He told her he would be there for her when it ended because he loved her, and in the meantime, they would remain friends. He then brought Leo back to daycare so she could rest. A week later, Tom had a meeting with Catherine and accepted her offer to become Chief Medical Officer of her Foundation, meaning he would get to oversee all Chiefs of Surgery of her Foundation's medical centers.
Tom arranged to permanently move to Seattle and he asked his protégé resident Blake Simms to move with him. Blake refused as he couldn't leave his grandmother behind. However, Tom wanted him so badly that he paid for Blake's grandmother to move to Seattle with them.
On his first day at the job, Tom enjoyed taunting Owen before revealing his promotion to him to put him in an awkward position. He made Owen let him step off the elevator first. While rounding the hospital, he found out Bailey had set up a skills lab for the residents and dismissed teaching, ignoring Jackson's remark that Grey Sloan was a teaching hospital. In the ER, he found that Owen and Maggie were working excessively to resuscitate Reid Kim. He ordered them to stop but Owen ignored him. Before he could shock Reid's heart again, the rhythm returned suddenly. Owen punted to put the already-charged paddles aside but accidentally shocked Tom in the crotch. Tom fell the floor while squirming in pain. His protégé resident Blake Simms helped him to a wheelchair and got him Catherine Fox to treat him. Owen briefly apologized while rushing the patient to the OR but he dropped by Tom's room for a proper apology afterwards. However, in the meanwhile, Tom had obtained an emergency restraining order against him for acute emotional and physical distress. Owen was baffled. Tom directed him to his lawyer for any questions and made him leave. Tom had fun in abusing the restraining order to exert power over Owen by making him leave his trauma room while he examined Owen's patient. Later, he made Owen leave the ER altogether.
After Meredith released an exposé that trashed Grey Sloan's reputation, Tom quickly came up with a plan to get the hospital free positive publicity. He called Dana and Peter Martin to inform them that Jackson Avery would operate on their daughter's deformed skull pro bono if they allowed them to film the surgery and use it for promotion. The parents consented since the surgery would otherwise require them to take out a second mortgage. Tom hired a camera crew to document Jackson's miraculous work. Jackson hated the set-up, which only increased as Tom was more concerned with getting proper testimonies as publicity material than putting the parents' concerns at ease. After Tom asked the father to repeat his testimony while filmed from another angle with less backlight, Jackson cut in and told him that the surgery was hard enough on the parents already. Tom reminded him that he was the boss and wondered if he should get Catherine to explain it to him again. However, Jackson went behind his back to have the surgery take place without being documented and had him replaced by Amelia. Tom found out and went to confront him in the OR, where Jackson told him he would call security if the camera crew came near the OR. Tom wanted to pull rank again but Jackson pointed out that he was Foundation, too, owning more shares of the hospital than anyone else, and that his cosmetic procedures provided quite an income for the hospital, so Tom better leave him alone. Tom tried to reason that fires like the one Meredith had started spread rapidly and that it would burn down more than this hospital alone but Jackson didn't budge. Tom realized that they needed good doctors to stay and went to inform Owen that he had gotten rid of the restraining order, but he came too late, as Owen had taken a job at Pac-North. Tom thought he would come to regret that and invited him to call him when that happened. He also reminded Teddy she could still call him if she regretted her choice of picking Owen over him.
Tom put Andrew on his service to get him to make Meredith make things right with the hospital. Meredith herself then turned up with a sick Zola. They did some scans and found that her shunt needed to be revised. Tom flawlessly performed the surgery.
On Halloween, Tom worked on a patient with Teddy and Bailey. While he dismissed Halloween every chance he got, Teddy was stressing out over Owen's apparent hint for her to make costumes for their children. She said they skipped so many steps from friends to a family of four that she didn't feel prepared for the situation, leaving her to feel like she had no idea what she was doing. Tom then said he didn't understand her either and told her not to let Owen make her feel inept as a mother for not making costumes like his mother had done. He finished up his part of the surgery and went back to the ER to save more Halloween casualties. The patient made it through the surgery. Afterwards, Bailey confronted Tom with his incessant complaining about the holiday and he told her that his son's death ruined Halloween for him as it used to be their thing. Hearing the story made a hormonal Bailey sob in front of him, which she had been trying to avoid, and he comforted her.
Tom stayed at the hospital while most of the attendings took the day off to support Meredith on the day of her hearing before the medical commission. He was surprised to find Amelia, Link, and Teddy back soon and learned that they had diagnosed Paul Castello, the man who had killed Derek, with a hypertensive intracerebral hemorrhage. Tom performed a craniotomy and managed to evacuate the hematoma against all odds. However, a sudden rebleed happened and Tom was unable to save Paul.
When Tom learned that Teddy was scrubbing in with Maggie on a cardiothoracic surgery after months, he came into the gallery to observe her and complimented her technique. After the patient's heart wouldn't restart, Maggie quit because she had lost faith in her abilities. Tom tried to convince her otherwise but she had made up her mind. Tom then asked Teddy to become his Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery again. She got mad thinking he fired Maggie to give Teddy what she wanted. She told him that she loved Owen and had moved on from Tom. She said he would make some woman or several women very happy but she asked him to stop barking up this particular tree. Tom then said Maggie actually quit and he wanted her to replace her. Tom then pointed out that Owen had a baby with her and hadn't even proposed yet while Tom was ready to marry her today, which made him wonder if she really wanted to close the door on him.
Tom sprung into action when his protégé Blake Simms sustained a mid-facial fracture when a car crashed into Joe's bar. He insisted on checking the scans for brain bleeds himself and found none. He then checked if Jackson was good to operate after the long night he'd had. Jackson said he didn't need a babysitter and went ahead with the surgery. Tom requested an update on every step. Jackson couldn't help but make a snide remark about using this case to exploit Blake's vulnerability for free publicity. They neglected to provide him with updates so Tom came in furious when they were wrapping up the surgery. Owen then stopped Jackson as he saw a sign of a CSF leak. Tom scrubbed in and found and patched up the leak. Tom called Blake's grandmother and while Jackson showed her to her grandson, Tom thanked Owen for catching the CSF leak and they shook hands. At the end of the day, Tom watched in disdain as Teddy and Owen announced their engagement to the hospital staff.
Tom puts up a tough exterior at work and he is not shy from praising his own skills, both of which contribute to other people generally disliking him. However, Tom is funny and actually an emotional person as confirmed by Lorraine Simms. As such, he knows when to let go of his tough facade and show his true colors to people who are in need of comfort, like when he helped April Kepner acknowledge her crisis of faith or when Miranda Bailey needed some comfort after suffering a miscarriage. The loss of his son David rendered him with a notable soft spot for children as evidenced by his excellent bedside manner with Kimmie Park and the lengths he went to to make her final weeks perfect for her.
He was previously married, but their marriage fell apart and they divorced after their son David died. Before David was born, she had two miscarriages.
He had sex with April after they met at Maggie's game night.
He and Nicole had sex after she became blind.
After learning that Teddy was pregnant with Owen's baby, but they weren't a couple, Tom expressed interest. When he later found Teddy in a lounge massaging her feet, he offered her some of her fries and fed them to her because her hands were covered in feet.
After he operated on Catherine, Teddy offered to celebrate with a drink, but he took a rain check, saying he needed a shower.At Jo and Alex's New Year's Eve party, Tom and Teddy shared a kiss at midnight. Later, he saw her lying down because her feet were hurting and said she should go get a mani-pedi at his favorite place. They ended up getting mani-pedis together, which they both enjoyed.
Their relationship hit a small snag when Tom wondered about her relationship with Owen. However, she allayed his fears and he invited her into his hotel room to have dinner.
His son died at the age of ten when he was hit in the head with a baseball bat.
After operating on Catherine, he went to the chapel to talk to his son and tell him his dad did well.
Tom later told Meredith that Catherine was the one who woke him back up after his son died, reminding him that he was still alive and shouldn't sleepwalk through his life.
As her mentor, Amelia has professional respect for him, though she acknowledges and loathes his arrogance. He likes to take credit for her surgical skills. After her tumor was removed, he stayed to cover her service until she was cleared to return. However, she stopped him from leaving and asked him to join her on her first case back as she needed some hand-holding.
After they operated together, he had sex with her after he told her she was a better surgeon than him. He later claimed he only said that to get her to sleep with him, though she didn't buy that. She also told him she dislikes him intensely.
While they worked on their research together, Tom gave Amelia advice on how to get where she wanted to be with Owen.
He helped to cover her service at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital while they planned to remove her tumor and stayed to do so until she was cleared to return to work. He later partnered with her on her innovation project regarding ultrasound ablation of inoperable gliomas and gained privileges at Grey Sloan to jump in and help out when necessary.
Catherine appointed Tom Chief Medical Officer at the Catherine Fox Foundation, meaning he was the Chief to all the Chiefs of Surgery at the Catherine Fox Medical Centers, Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital included.
Notes and TriviaEdit
- He plays music and sings along while operating.
- His Grey Sloan Memorial lab coat has Tom Koracick embroidered on it, while the lab coats usually display the doctors' full first names.
- He grew up Catholic.
- He likes to play Operation before surgery to get himself in the mood.
A more complete gallery with pictures of Tom Koracick can be found here.
The following episodes are Tom-centric or are otherwise very informative about his life:
|Grey's Anatomy, Season 14|
|#01||"Break Down the House"||#09||"1-800-799-7233"||#17||"One Day Like This"|
|#02||"Get Off on the Pain"||#10||"Personal Jesus"||#18||"Hold Back the River"|
|#03||"Go Big or Go Home"||#11||"(Don't Fear) the Reaper"||#19||"Beautiful Dreamer"|
|#04||"Ain't That a Kick in the Head"||#12||"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger"||#20||"Judgment Day"|
|#05||"Danger Zone"||#13||"You Really Got a Hold on Me"||#21||"Bad Reputation"|
|#06||"Come on Down to My Boat, Baby"||#14||"Games People Play"||#22||"Fight For Your Mind"|
|#07||"Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story"||#15||"Old Scars, Future Hearts"||#23||"Cold as Ice"|
|#08||"Out of Nowhere"||#16||"Caught Somewhere in Time"||#24||"All of Me"|
|Grey's Anatomy, Season 15|
|#01||"With a Wonder and a Wild Desire"||#10||"Help, I'm Alive"||#19||"Silent All These Years"|
|#02||"Broken Together"||#11||"The Winner Takes It All"||#20||"The Whole Package"|
|#03||"Gut Feeling"||#12||"Girlfriend in a Coma"||#21||"Good Shepherd"|
|#04||"Momma Knows Best"||#13||"I Walk the Line"||#22||"Head Over High Heels"|
|#05||"Everyday Angel"||#14||"I Want a New Drug"||#23||"What I Did for Love"|
|#06||"Flowers Grow Out of My Grave"||#15||"We Didn't Start the Fire"||#24||"Drawn to the Blood"|
|#07||"Anybody Have a Map?"||#16||"Blood and Water"||#25||"Jump Into the Fog"|
|#08||"Blowin' in the Wind"||#17||"And Dream of Sheep"|
|#09||"Shelter from the Storm"||#18||"Add It Up"|
|Grey's Anatomy, Season 16|
|#01||"Nothing Left to Cling To"||#09||"Let's All Go to the Bar"||#17||"Life on Mars?"|
|#02||"Back in the Saddle"||#10||"Help Me Through the Night"||#18||"Give a Little Bit"|
|#03||"Reunited"||#11||"A Hard Pill to Swallow"||#19||"16.19"|
|#04||"It's Raining Men"||#12||"The Last Supper"||#20||"16.20"|
|#05||"Breathe Again"||#13||"Save the Last Dance for Me"||#21||"16.21"|
|#06||"Whistlin' Past the Graveyard"||#14||"A Diagnosis"||#22||"16.22"|
|#07||"Papa Don't Preach"||#15||"Snowblind"||#23||"16.23"|
|#08||"My Shot"||#16||"Leave a Light On"||#24||"16.24"|
|Station 19, Season 3|
|#01||"I Know This Bar"||#07||"Satellite of Love"||#13||"Dream a Little Dream of Me"|
|#02||"Indoor Fireworks"||#08||"Born to Run"||#14||"3.14"|
|#03||"Eulogy"||#09||"Poor Wandering One"||#15||"3.15"|
|#04||"House Where Nobody Lives"||#10||"3.10"||#16||"3.16"|
|#05||"Into the Woods"||#11||"3.11"|
|#06||"Ice Ice Baby"||#12||"3.12"|