Tom Koracick is an attending neurosurgeon at the Catherine Fox Foundation. He was Chief Medical Officer of the Foundation before being replaced by Richard Webber. He was Head of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he trained Amelia Shepherd in the field. In Seattle, he developed a relationship with Teddy Altman until she chose Owen after having his baby, though the two later developed a short-lived affair.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early Life
- 1.2 Amelia's Tumor
- 1.3 Treating Kimmie Park and Helping April
- 1.4 Continuing Research
- 1.5 Catherine's Cancer and Dating Teddy
- 1.6 Lucille Reid
- 1.7 Catherine's Party
- 1.8 Conflict with Owen
- 1.9 Teddy's House Hunt
- 1.10 Kari Donnelly
- 1.11 Preparing for Teddy's Baby
- 1.12 Promotion
- 1.13 Affair with Teddy
- 1.14 COVID-19
- 2 Personality
- 3 Relationships
- 4 Career
- 5 Notes and Trivia
- 6 Gallery
- 7 Notable Episodes
- 8 Memorable Quotes
- 9 Appearances
- 10 References
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 Luke Skywalker 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 David's death, Tom went numb and sleep-walked through years of his life. Eventually, he crossed paths with Catherine Fox and she finally woke him up again and reminded him what it was like to be alive. They performed sacral nerve implantations so often that they came up with a routine of singing "They Can't Take That Away From Me". Over time, they ended up having sex though they never were romantically involved beyond that.
Tom was Amelia's mentor at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
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.
Treating Kimmie Park and Helping April
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.
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.
As Tom and Amelia continued their research into using the laser treatments to remove tumors, he spent time in Seattle more frequently. After Meredith turned down his flirtations, Tom caught a first glimpse of Teddy when he witnessed an awkward interaction between her, Amelia, and Owen on the elevator. While working on their research, Amelia began listing reasons for her to be appointed interim Chief over Teddy. Tom picked up on the jealousy shining through in her comments on Teddy's history with Owen and pointed out Amelia didn't need to pretend like she was a victim in her marriage to Owen. She had been an ass to Owen and the sex she had with Tom the day after they separated screamed that she was glad to be rid of Owen. With their research failing spectacularly, Tom took the time to give Amelia some advice. He told her to knock the other player, Teddy, out of the game if she wanted Owen back. Amelia refused to take personal life advice from him. Tom then shared his biggest regret in life was not fighting for his wife when she decided to walk out of their marriage into the bed of another man.
As Amelia was pulled into surgeries often, Tom often worked on the project by himself out of boredom. When Link mistook Tom for the new interim Chief, Tom helped him find Alex. Tom then witnessed how Alex swiftly approved Link's request for a new 3-D printer to make prosthetics without asking for any details. Tom sarcastically commented Alex was very chiefly while he previously thought Bailey had only picked Alex to make herself look better. Over their research, Tom proposed more sex to Amelia, who turned him down as she had turned a new page with Owen. Tom went to the ER to find Alex to get him to approve a requisition before he would be fired. He then took over when Vik's patient with a nosebleed deteriorated quickly due to Vik's incompetence. Tom rushed the patient to the IR suite to embolize the artery and called in Alex for help, but they failed to get vascular access in time and the patient died on the table. Alex dismissed Roy but Tom wanted him to call time of death first. Roy stated this mistake couldn't be put on him as he was an intern and left. Tom then told Alex he was failing at his job.
Catherine's Cancer and Dating Teddy
Tom and Meredith were both summoned to Los Angeles for a VIP patient. They speculated that it was someone famous. Before their private plane took off, Meredith told him about how she had dabbled in neurosurgery and how that had come to an end. Tom noticed how uncomfortable Meredith was on the plane and she requested he keep talking to keep her distracted. Catherine met the two of them at the new Catherine Fox Medical Center. On their way to the radiology suite, Catherine told them the patient was a 65-year-old female with crescendo neck and back pain. She showed them the scans and they were in awe of a tumor that had invaded the vascular and nerve domains, which they agreed could not be removed easily. Catherine then revealed that she was the patient. Tom apologized for his bluntness. The tumor required a biopsy and Catherine stated she would not inform Richard or Jackson until they got those results back. She then took them to the IR suite right away. As he performed the biopsy, Tom ordered a worried Meredith not to backseat drive the procedure. Tom told her that she was a Big Gun, like him, spending her days with worst-case scenarios. He told her Big Guns don't worry until there is something to worry about.
As Catherine started to wake up after the procedure, Tom started singing "They Can't Take That Away From Me" to her. He informed her they were still waiting on the results. Meredith wanted to call Richard but Catherine wanted to get a drink first. As they entered the bar and ordered tequila, Catherine asked the two of them to talk her through the next steps if the tumor turned out to be malignant. They tried to dance around the subject but Catherine pointed out that nothing they could say could be worse than what she had been imagining since finding out about the tumor. Tom and Meredith then said there were two options, osteosarcoma or chondrosarcoma, with a chondrosarcoma being likely to render her quadriplegic. Tom excused himself to the restroom and returned with the news that the results were in. Catherine requested one last drink before heading back to the hospital. After finding out, Tom and Meredith attended the hospital's ribbon cutting. When Tom commented on Catherine's looks, Meredith asked what was going on between them. He then shared how Catherine had saved him after his son's death. He confided that he was now worried about his friend, who had a grade 3 chondrosarcoma that he had no idea how to remove without paralyzing her. Catherine came over and told Tom to find away because after surviving her parents' deaths and raising her siblings and building this legacy for herself, she might just survive this tumor, too. Catherine went to call Richard, who didn't answer his phone as he had been arrested. Richard called her back after Meredith bailed him out, but Tom answered her phone. Richard hung up, believing that Catherine was having an affair with him.
Tom returned to Seattle after the windstorm and recruited Amelia's help to figure out a surgical plane for Catherine's tumor. Their plans were disrupted when Owen came to explain to Amelia that he and Teddy had just been fighting as friends, while Amelia stated fighting like that is what couples do. Tom then requested Owen leave so they could focus. Once he was gone, Tom once again expressed interest in Teddy. After a failed VR practice run of multiple approaches, Amelia was paged away for a consult. When she returned, they started arguing over the impossibility of the situation, which attracted Jo to their study room. She shared that there was a brand new way of 3-D tumor visualisation called ORBEYE. As Jo dug into the case, Tom marvelled over her beauty and miraculous solution. At the end of the day, Tom met Teddy in the attendings' lounge and sat down to eat his fries. He estimated she was about 16 weeks along, which was spot on. They introduced themselves to one another and Tom fed her fries as she was rubbing her feet.
With better visualisation available, Tom and Amelia came up with a plan to remove the tumor. As the day of the surgery drew nearer, they spend every waking moment studying the tumor and preparing. On the morning of the surgery, Teddy came across Tom playing Operations on a bench outside. Teddy was confident that he and Amelia were ready. Tom and Amelia came to Catherine to explain to her and her family their approach. Amelia interfered when Tom's smug demeanor rubbed Jackson the wrong way. On their way to the OR, Amelia and Tom went over the plan again. Tom had to admit he was nervous when even his arrogance was off. He admitted was thinking about how he couldn't lose another person dear to him and how countless men would be left with sexless lives if this surgery were to leave Catherine unable to operate. They then did the superhero pose and entered the OR to meet Catherine. She reminded them to get clear margins and preserve her motor function. Tom and Amelia gave her a private moment with her husband. Jackson then put on "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and the staff all danced to the song together.
The first part of the surgery went well, with Tom loudly singing along to the music. The new microscope gave them perfect visualisation. When they came to the part of removing the tumor en bloc, Amelia found that she couldn't get it free. Tom then told her to do a suck and pluck but they found the tumor was too dense. Tom had the music killed and said they needed to go in from the front. Amelia was in disbelief that Tom wanted to flip Catherine with her spine open but she realized they had no other choice. The flip went well but Tom froze as he was now directly facing Catherine's face. Amelia then feigned a problem so they had to switch places, which brought him back. They freed the tumor from the brachial plexus but the electrophysiologist warned them that the signal in one of her arms was lost. Since removing the tumor en bloc was no longer an option, Richard told them to remove the tumor piecemeal and use his PathPen to see if they got it all. They chose to follow that approach. After hours of doing so with still tumor left behind, they were warned that continuing would impair the motor function in her arms. They decided to stop operating and leave some of the tumor behind. Catherine woke up after the surgery with her motor and sensory functions intact. Tom and Amelia then shared that they had to leave some of the tumor behind. Tom and Amelia apologized for that but Catherine was glad to still be alive with no impairment. Tom said she would have to have scans every three months to track the tumor's growth, but Catherine added she could just live her life in between those scans. She thanked her surgeons for giving her her life back. She planned on throwing a party to celebrate this miracle. Afterward, Tom ran into Teddy in the lobby. She congratulated him and noticed that he wasn't in a celebratory mood for not having succeeded at removing the entire tumor. Teddy stressed that he did save her life and her career and invited him to Joe's to buy him a drink. He asked for a rain check because he wanted to smell good when she would spend money on him. She agreed to that and he walked away with a smile.
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 Owen
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 Hunt
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 Baby
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.
Affair with Teddy
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.
Bailey took some unexpected personal time off while the injured residents were still out, increasing Tom's workload. On her first day back, he commented on her unexpected leave multiple times. At the end of the day, she told it wasn't just a vacation but instead time to grieve her miscarriage. He sympathized with her, having been through two miscarriages with Dana before they had David. He shared that it is not as easy to get over as people make it seem, as a miscarriage takes away a piece of your heart that can never be replaced. That is why he developed a habit of lighting a candle on the babies' would-be birthdays. Bailey took his advice and found comfort lighting a candle in the chapel.
Maggie met with Tom to ask her for her job back but he was hesitant as he had Teddy already to replace her. As Catherine purchased and subsequently closed down Pac-North, she had Tom interview the staff to see who could be transferred to Grey Sloan. Bailey wanted to make some recommendations but Tom refused to hear her out. Tom went to the waiting room and started with Richard. Tom immediately told him that Catherine had already secured his position at Grey Sloan, which angered Richard and made him refuse. He also met with Maggie despite Catherine already having re-hired her, too, just to make sure it wouldn't seem like he was playing favorites. However, he stressed that it was still Teddy's department. Owen grew impatient when Tom started interviewing residents after meeting all the other attendings. When Owen suggested he was playing a game, Tom promised him he would be out in time for his wedding and continued to interview the residents. When he had seen everyone but Owen, Tom took his time consulting with Catherine on the phone. At the end of the day, he found Bailey, Jackson, Richard, Meredith, and Owen waiting for him in the conference room. They told him they were prepared to quit unless he agreed to all of their terms, which he could present to Catherine as his own ideas to save face and ensure that Catherine wouldn't fire him for causing her top doctors to quit. He was forced agree to re-hire Owen and to have the Cardio and Peds departments led by Co-heads.
As a blizzard hit Seattle, Teddy learned that Amelia was on leave and asked Tom about it, but he didn't know why, only that it was not about her baby. Later, Tom brought Teddy hot cocoa as she was enjoying the snow out in the ambulance bay. She told him that she was trying to quiet her mind as she had been having this fear for months that Owen was the father of Amelia's baby. She admitted she was afraid that Owen would always be in love with Amelia. Tom assured Teddy that Owen was very much in love with her, even though he would like for it to be different. Teddy told him he was a good man. He opened up and said people didn't seem to like him despite his attempts to get in with people. Teddy told him she didn't dislike him at all. Tom then initiated a snowball fight. That night, Teddy came by his hotel room. As soon as he opened the door, she started kissing him. He let her in and closed the door.
On his way to VIP patient Griffin Ford, a multimillionaire who was behind a rocket explosion over the city causing severe injuries, Tom overheard Owen and Teddy discussing wedding venues. Tom was surprisingly nice to Owen. Teddy was afraid it would make Owen suspicious. Tom wanted to keep seeing her and discuss what it meant but Teddy said it meant nothing and that she had acted impulsively because she was afraid that Owen could be the father to Amelia's baby. Tom then went to see Griffin, who talked about the bad press the explosion had left him with. He pleaded with Tom to do a thorough examination in order to find a medical reason that could have caused him to make the mistake that led to the crash. Tom recruited Meredith, who was annoyed that Tom had cleared an entire floor for Griffin, causing troubles with admissions in the hospital. She started her exam but left it to Jackson so she could care for her own patient. Jackson couldn't find anything. Griffin then offered Tom a bribe, asking for a fake diagnosis in exchange for a large sum of money that would allow him to do good in the world. Tom consulted with Meredith about what she would do with Griffin's money and how she decided which rules to break. She gave him some ideas and said she just followed her gut in order to improve the world. Tom then decided to accept Griffin's bribe and "diagnosed" him with an aneurysm that could have influenced his judgment. At the end of the day, Teddy came to see Tom in his office and apologized to him, saying he deserved better than what she had done. She explained Tom made her feel good and like she was in control. She didn't want to hurt him because he was such a good guy. They then kissed again.
Meredith organized a pro bono surgery day with 25 surgeries scheduled. Tom increased the pressure by only allowing OR access until 7 PM. During the day, Teddy pulled him into a supply closet and told him that Owen was not the father to Amelia's baby. However, that didn't change the way that Teddy felt about Tom. She was paged away and Tom went to check on the pro bono surgeries. He found several patients and their loved ones yelling at Meredith for increased waiting times. Tom then agreed to give her more time and pay for the overtime as well. He confessed Griffin Ford gave him some money and Meredith immediately figured out what he had done. He reminded her that she told him to follow his gut to fix the world. Afterward, Tom met up with Teddy in the OR gallery and told her that while he had slept with a lot of women, he drew the line at married women because he had been the guy whose wife had slept with another man. He wanted to make it easy for Teddy so he told her to go home to Owen and spend time with him.
Tom was part of the team of physicians trying to find out what was happening to Richard. Teddy caught up with him at work and he casually suggested she not marry Owen. He then suddenly froze as they were approached by Dana Hamilton and her son, Guthrie Hamilton, who bore an uncanny resemblance to Tom and Dana's son David. Dana explained that Guthrie had a brain tumor with a spinal met and she didn't know who else to go to. Tom had Guthrie admitted and ordered new scans. Noticing how it made Tom upset, Teddy paged Amelia and informed her about the situation so she could take the case. As Amelia went to introduce herself, Tom used his busy schedule as an excuse. Owen paged Tom for a consult on Vera Kitano, who kept on singing after waking up from her surgery. Tom diagnosed musicophilia and went to check out her scans. Teddy found him in the scan room and an emotional Tom told her that he always thought he could have saved David if he had gotten him to the hospital in time, but now it was like David was there and he couldn't even stand to be in the same room as him, meaning that thought he had been holding onto was a lie. Shortly after beginning the operation, Amelia started to experience contractions. She had Tom paged to take over. He desperately asked her to work through it but she was confident he could do it. Teddy calmed him from the gallery, making him focused enough to diagnose an air embolism. They got it out and Tom finished the surgery successfully. He delivered the happy news to Dana, who apologized for having put him through this. Teddy came by his office to comfort him and apologized for the pain she had caused him. He told her she had taken away more pain than she had caused him. They briefly held hands until she pulled away and left.
Tom and Amelia agreed that Richard was suffering from Alzheimer's, which convinced Catherine to take him home. Later, Owen came to yell at Tom for ignoring his request for time off for the wedding. Tom said he had ignored the e-mail because he didn't think it was urgent based on the subject line, though Owen informed him that they had moved up the wedding to tonight. Tom was surprised but approved Owen's time off. Once he left, Tom called out Teddy for not warning him. He feigned happiness for her. When new symptoms arose, Amelia and Tom performed an EMG, which proved peripheral nerve damage, thus disqualifying the Alzheimer's diagnosis. Tom ran into Teddy again and he brought up the wedding, which he thought she was rushing to convince herself that she could live without Tom. Teddy insisted the wedding would happen, which Tom doubted. Tom then went to see Catherine, who told him she might be asking him to take on a bigger role in the Foundation as she wanted to devote more time to Richard as she was determined not to give up on him a second time. This inspired Tom to page Teddy to his office. He told her not to throw her life away and reminded her that she loved him, too. He insisted he wouldn't give up on her and said he would be waiting for her in his car at 7 PM, ready to take her wherever she wanted to go. As she started kissing him again, she said she couldn't do that but admitted she loved Tom, too. They proceeded to have sex, during which Teddy told Tom that this was goodbye as she was still going to marry Owen. Unbeknownst to them, they were recorded on a voice mail that Teddy was accidentally leaving Owen.
The affair effectively ended while word about the butt dial accident spread around the hospital.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Seattle, Bailey sprung into action to prepare the hospital for the incoming patients while Tom maintained his casual, laid-back attitude. He nonchalantly walked around the hospital with a nine-iron golf club to keep people at a distance when necessary and refused to keep Bailey informed on the order of PPE he had placed. Eventually, the delivery arrived. Tom was joined by a handful of excited doctors, amongst them Teddy, at the loading dock to unpack and distribute the box. However, they soon found that all of the boxes contained booties while there were no masks or other protective gear. Frustated by his mistake, Tom started hitting the boxes with his golf club and broke down on the spot.
Tom heard that Richard made up a system using a UV light cleaning robot to clean masks and other PPE. Afraid of facing Catherine's wrath over his mistake, he tried to convince Richard to let him take the credit for Richard's idea, which Richard refused. He hid from her throughout the day but she paged him and Richard to the conference room at the end of the day. She told Tom that the crisis had proved bigger than him and she would accept his resignation at Chief of Chiefs, in return offering him a position as neurosurgery attending. His ego bruised, Tom claimed he could find a job anywhere he wanted, though Catherine pointed out that word of his sexual escapades had gotten around. He then accepted her proposition.
Richard replaced him as Chief Medical Officer. Tom joined Owen and Jackson in the lounge as they were watching his speech announcing mandatory COVID tests for all hospital staff. He joked Richard was doing better than his last on screen performance, to which Owen reacted by throwing him out of the room. Richard helped Owen set up drive-through testing, which Tom had been putting off for weeks. Richard tasked Tom with introducing the new interns to the hospital's workings during the pandemic, but he only handed out assignments and told them to find someone else for questions. Due to his lacking guidance, James Chee failed to finish progress notes in time so Tom had to help him out. Later, while waiting in line for his COVID test, Tom overheard Owen instructing Mabel Tseng to show Sara Ortiz how to properly put on her PPE, which Owen said "someone else" should have shown her earlier. Tom took the hint. After clashing over a patient discharge with Alma Ortiz, who told him half of her class had quit, Tom went to Richard's office. Citing the disasters with the interns quitting or failing at their jobs, he told Richard he wasn't a natural teacher like him. As he prepared to go home, Teddy joined him in the lounge and asked him to let her buy him coffee to apologize for the lack of contact between them these last few months. He asked her to leave him alone so he could get over her, because she had broken him and he had had enough hurt for a lifetime. To make matters worse, Owen came in to inform Tom that his COVID test had come back positive, meaning he had to go straight home and quarantine for 14 days.
From home and still asymptomatic, Tom virtually attended an attendings' meeting. As he demanded a new test, Jackson flipped over the tablet to shut him out. Taryn delivered the test to his house. Not allowing residents in his home, he had her wait outside while he did the test on himself. Through the window, she noticed he had created an algorithm predicting the global spread of COVID-19 by adapting the algorithm for a zombie apocalypse game. The test came back positive. He demanded another one but his request was denied. His mood had taken a turn for the worst since his simulation had shown they would all die within a year. In the evening, Teddy showed up with soup to cheer him up, but he ignored her as he sat on the floor sweating and shaking, finally symptomatic and forced to face the reality of his diagnosis.
As his symptoms rapidly worsened, he was taken to the hospital, where he seized upon arrival. He was in a postictal confused state as Teddy started the work-up in the ER. Amelia consulted on the case, coming out of her maternity leave. The exam showed no neurological deficits and she guessed the confusion had to be attributed to hypoxemia or possible early sepsis. She later did another EEG to exclude another seizure while his numbers remained stable. Teddy remained in the room afterward and said she hoped he had been too sick to answer the door, because that meant that there was hope for them, that their relationship or friendship could be salvaged despite the hurt she had caused him. She said they couldn't go through it alone and if he wanted her gone, he had to wake up and tell her to leave. He then opened his eyes and told her he had in fact ignored her. Glad to see him awake again, she jokingly told him she hated him. He stated they both knew that wasn't true and then asked for a sponge bath.
His condition improved though he suffered mentally from having people die around him. The confrontation with his mortality had made him nicer to the point where he talked to Maggie without using diminishing nicknames. He told her he had put his hopes on beating the virus himself on Meredith pulling through, so he was delighted to hear that Meredith was awake, too. He got some rest but woke up to Maggie failing to resuscitate his roommate. Tom got emotional and asked for the man's full name so he could properly pray for his family, whom he had heard during the numerous video calls. To cheer him up, Maggie informed him that Meredith was still stable. Tom then bribed a nurse to wheel him to Meredith's room. Inside, he told her he wanted to see that it was possible to beat this thing. As he said he wanted to be in a room where no one was dying, he broke down. She reached out and held his hand. As they had a friendly conversation, another patient down the hall died. Tom opened up and told Meredith that all he had in life was work and a long list of women he had slept with. She told him she had more. As they talked about kids, a nurse discovered Tom in the room and took him back to his own room while judging him for breaking protocol.
Not long after, a somber Teddy came to inform him that Meredith's health had declined and they intubated her. She came to tell him in person because she wanted to be with someone who didn't hate her. Tom said he didn't hate her but he wanted her to hear from her sometime soon that she never loved him. She went back to work without doing so, but returned after operating on Andrew DeLuca. She commented that Tom's oxygen saturation had gone up, a good sign. She then told she did love him. She tried not to because she also loved Owen. She thought she could love them both but ended up tearing everything down to the ground. Tom pointed out that empirical evidence showed that she did not love them both, even though she may have convinced herself otherwise. He said he was still there while Owen did not want her anymore. If she actually loved him, they would be together and she wouldn't be so miserable. He needed for her to admit that so he could get up off the ground where she dropped him, if he were to survive COVID-19. She then tearfully admitted she never loved him. He thanked her for giving him what he needed.
With his health spectacularly improving, he attended Andrew's memorial service and was discharged not long after. He returned to work soon and hovered around the COVID ICU to keep an eye on Meredith. He heard about the ventilator shortage in the hospital and warned Owen, who had taken over Meredith's from Teddy, not to take her off the ventilator too soon or else she might not have one available if her sats were to decline again. Owen made it clear he was aware of that. Tom later overheard how the ventilator shortage forced the hospital to close its doors for trauma. Owen found Tom hovering outside Meredith's room and told him they would soon take her off the vent as she was consistently breathing over it. Tom said he would hate it if someone like him got to survive and someone like Meredith wouldn't make it. All too familiar with survivor's guilt from Iraq, Owen softened up and said that that feeling he was something he wouldn't wish on anyone, not even Tom.
His first case back was Karissa Skolaski, who had been in a car accident and had asked the first responder to save her first rather than her husband. Tom took her for a head CT, which showed no lesions that her selfish outburst could be blamed on. He had her admitted overnight for observation.
When Meredith failed to wake up with no plausible cause, Teddy took her for a head CT. Tom showed up in the CT boot as they waited for the results. A worried Teddy rambled on about the serious long-term effects. She then remembered that was a reality Tom was facing and apologized for her inconsiderately bringing it up. He brushed it off and said she was merely stating facts. Tom consulted on Felix Pelgado, a patient of Link's that Amelia had brought in. Amelia took the case and as she operated on the meningioma, Tom and Link watched her from the gallery. Tom said he enjoyed watching Amelia's elegance and focus. Link brought up Meredith. Tom stated he had decided to avoid the entire COVID wing. They both wanted to scream at God for the miserable reality they had to live through.
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 to Dana. They had two miscarriages before their son David was born. Unfortunately, David died at the age of 10 due to a baseball accident. Tom and Dana's marriage fell apart and they divorced after their son David died. Tom mentioned to Teddy once that he knew what it was like to be cheated on, making it likely that Dana cheated on him as their marriage unraveled.
After Amelia's first surgery when she had recovered from her tumor, she had sex with him, where he also admitted she was a better surgeon than him.
He had sex with April after they met at Maggie's game night. The morning after, he helped her with her crisis of faith and shared how he dealt with his son's death.
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 his 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.
Later after having a snowball fight and hot cocoa, she came to his hotel room and they kissed and he shut the door.
His son David died at the age of ten when he was hit in the head with a baseball bat. Tom always felt incredibly guilty over his death, always assuming he could have saved his son had they gotten to the hospital in time.
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.
Dr. Koracick was the head neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He trained Amelia Shepherd. 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. He then presumably quit his position at Johns Hopkins to spend his time at Grey Sloan, the best hospital of the Foundation. After he messed up a critical order of PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic, Catherine fired him and offered him an attending neurosurgeon position, which he accepted.
Notes and Trivia
- 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:
- Old Scars, Future Hearts
- Anybody Have a Map?
- Whistlin' Past the Graveyard
- A Hard Pill to Swallow
- Sing It Again
|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"||#08||"My Shot"||#15||"Snowblind"|
|#02||"Back in the Saddle"||#09||"Let's All Go to the Bar"||#16||"Leave a Light On"|
|#03||"Reunited"||#10||"Help Me Through the Night"||#17||"Life on Mars?"|
|#04||"It's Raining Men"||#11||"A Hard Pill to Swallow"||#18||"Give a Little Bit"|
|#05||"Breathe Again"||#12||"The Last Supper"||#19||"Love of My Life"|
|#06||"Whistlin' Past the Graveyard"||#13||"Save the Last Dance for Me"||#20||"Sing It Again"|
|#07||"Papa Don't Preach"||#14||"A Diagnosis"||#21||"Put on a Happy Face"|
|Grey's Anatomy, Season 17|
|#01||"All Tomorrow's Parties"||#07||"Helplessly Hoping"||#13||"Good as Hell"|
|#02||"The Center Won't Hold"||#08||"It's All Too Much"||#14||"Look Up Child"|
|#03||"My Happy Ending"||#09||"In My Life"||#15||"Tradition"|
|#04||"You'll Never Walk Alone"||#10||"Breathe"||#16||"I'm Still Standing"|
|#05||"Fight the Power"||#11||"Sorry Doesn't Always Make It Right"||#17||"Someone Saved My Life Tonight"|
|#06||"No Time for Despair"||#12||"Sign O' the Times"|
|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||"The Ghosts That Haunt Me"|
|#03||"Eulogy"||#09||"Poor Wandering One"||#15||"Bad Guy"|
|#04||"House Where Nobody Lives"||#10||"Something About What Happens When We Talk"||#16||"Louder Than a Bomb"|
|#05||"Into the Woods"||#11||"No Days Off"|
|#06||"Ice Ice Baby"||#12||"I'll Be Seeing You"|