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After completing medical school, young Dr. James Kildare returns to Dartford, Connecticut to see his mother Martha, father, Dr. Steve Kildare, and childhood sweetheart, Alice Raymond. The senior Dr. Kildare is disappointed that Jimmy wants to work at Blair General Hospital in New York, but wishes him well in his twenty dollar-a-month internship. On Jimmy's first day at Blair, he meets Dr. Leonard Gillespie, a brilliant, but gruff physician whose surgical career is now hampered by his confinement to a wheel chair. Though Gillespie pretends to disdain dedication and ideals, he sees that Jimmy could be a worthy successor. When Gillespie asks him to diagnose his condition, Jimmy reluctantly reveals that Gillespie has a melanoma and may only live a year. On Jimmy's first case, he is called to a bar where a man has collapsed. After examining the man, Jimmy is summoned to an attempted suicide at a boardinghouse. Jimmy tells Joe Wayman, his ambulance assistant to give the man oxygen on the way back to the hospital, then goes to the suicide case. Jimmy is able to save the life of the young woman, who will not reveal her name, but the man at the bar dies after Wayman, thinking that that man was merely drunk, failed to administer oxygen. When the man turns out to have been a prominent politician, Jimmy is blamed for the death and refuses to implicate Wayman. Jimmy's position changes, however, when the suicide case turns out to be Barbara Chanler, the daughter of a millionaire. Jimmy realizes that the girl is despondent, but disagrees with prominent psychiatrist Dr. Lane-Porteus, who diagnoses Barbara's condition as mental illness. Despite the attempts of hospital administrater, Dr. Walter Carew, to make him reveal what Barbara has told him, Jimmy refuses, so Carew suspends him. Despondent, Jimmy goes to a local bar and is surprised by Alice, who has come to New York with his parents. He tells her that he is going to return to Dartford, and when his parents arrive, he pretends that nothing is wrong. His mother knows that Jimmy is troubled and tell him to do what he thinks is right, no matter what the consequences. Taking his mother's advice, Jimmy goes to Barbara's fiancé, John Hamilton, and learns that he and Barbara had argued about her desire to go to the Blue Swan Club with shady race horse owner Albert Foster. Jimmy later confronts Barbara and she confesses that she had been with Foster that night and had gotten very drunk. She then went upstairs with him to a private room. Later, realizing that Foster had drugged her, she wandered the streets until she found the boardinghouse where she tried to kill herself. Now knowing the truth, Jimmy tells Barbara not to tell anyone else, but say that she tried to kill herself over an argument with John. A short time later, Barbara is fine, but Jimmy is dismissed by Dr. Carew, who does not know that Jimmy has helped her. Meanwhile, suspecting what has happened, Dr. Gillespie goes to Barbara and learns the truth. As Jimmy is packing to return to Dartford, Gillespie pays a surprise visit and tells him that the melanoma diagnosis was correct and he doesn't have much time to teach him everything he needs to know as his new assistant.