A surgeon's education never ends. Every patient, every symptom, every a test. A chance for us to demonstrate how much we know. And how much more we have to learn.

Testing 1-2-3 is the twenty-fourth episode of the third season and the 60th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short SummaryEdit

The interns take the biggest test of their careers, their first-year medical exams, as the residents attend to three injured mountain climbers. Meanwhile, Callie's suspicions of George and Izzie grow, and Cristina struggles to write her wedding vows.

Full SummaryEdit

Meredith gets dressed.

Meanwhile in the kitchen, Izzie, Cristina, and Alex are studying for their intern exams. They are stuck on a diagnosis. Meredith walks in and solves the problem for them. Meredith leaves for the funeral as Izzie, Cristina, and Alex keep studying.

Callie is quizzing George over his intern exam. He correctly diagnoses his patient, and Callie said she needed to give him a harder question. She looks through George's study book, finding a piece of paper. She wonders what it is and before George can tell her, she is ecstatic over George's Mercy West residency acceptance letter. She lists the pros of working at Mercy West and looks forward to the future with him. They kiss before Callie goes to work.

The elevator opens, and Derek sees Meredith in there. They greet each other. Derek consoles Meredith, saying that he brought a black suit just in case Meredith needs him to go with her. Both get paged, and Derek steps off the elevator. Before Derek could finish his sentence, the elevator doors shut.

Cristina is walking and studying. Burke walks up to her, reminding her that the minister needs to see her vows before the wedding. Cristina ignores him and keeps studying. Burke knows he shouldn't talk about their wedding on test day, but it's urgent. Cristina says he has 5 seconds. Burke says he has no best man since Bill Adams couldn't make it to the wedding. Cristina starts to comfort him, then tells him time's up and starts walking away. Burke tries to persuade her to stay, but she walks away, repeatedly saying "test day".

Addison enters the ER, asking Derek, Mark, Callie, and Burke if they all got paged by Richard. Callie and Burke affirm her that they all got paged. Addison says this better be good. Mark says Richard might be informing them that he won the race for Chief of Surgery. Bailey walks up to the group and interrupts Mark, saying that Richard will be making his recommendations for Chief of Surgery and Chief Resident to the board tomorrow. Derek wonders why they all got paged then. Bailey tells him that Search and Rescue found the lost climbers who got lost on Mount Rainier. Richard walks up to the group and briefs the attendings on the situation, stating Bailey and Callie will head the trauma team today. He reminds him that there will be no interns due to the intern exam, so every resident and attending will have to do all of the work today.

In the NICU, Alex is coddling a baby while Ava is quizzing him. Ava remembers her dad. and Alex is happy for her.

Out at the trauma entrance, Richard asks Burke is he's ready. Burke says he's always ready for surgery, while Derek interrupts saying that Richard was asking about the wedding. Burke goes on a rant about everything that is currently going wrong, and Derek tells him he's not ready. Richard reminisces about his wedding with Adele. Richard tries to persuade Burke to let him be the best man. Derek says he can't do that, due to conflict of interest of being Chief. Burke says he was going to ask Derek, not Richard, to be his best man. Derek accepts. The ambulance arrives. An EMT briefs the doctors on Dale Winick. They bring him into a trauma room.

The doctors are working on Dale. Addison calls Callie to help. The interns are looking through the trauma room window, observing the attendings treating Dale.

Another EMT rolls in Andy Meltzer to the ER. Burke goes over to examine him. The interns are in awe. Cristina suspects flail chest and drags Meredith over to observe the patient closer. Cristina wonders if Meredith is fine. Meredith assures her she is.

Izzie sees George's face and asks if he's okay. He said he is, telling her about his Mercy West acceptance. Bailey finds the interns observing the ER and scolds at them to study. The interns flee and she chases them down the hallway.

Derek and Addison are flirting in the ER. Derek is occupied with another patient and quickly leaves. Addison turns around and sees Joe and Walter. She asks if everything is alright. Joe and Walter said they needed a consult from her. They are planning on adopting. They need Addison to give the birth mother an exam. Addison says she'd be more than happy to, and to call her so they can schedule an appointment. Walter said she is here now and steps back so Addison can see her.

George and Izzie are talking in the hallway. She tries to convince him not to transfer to Mercy West. He tells her he made a choice and walks away, telling her that he's married and can't keep doing this anymore.

Alex checks up on Ava in her room. Alex wants to run a neuropsych test on her, but she tells him to go study for his exam. They talk, and Alex gets suspicious. Alex demands that Ava tells the truth of whether her memory is back or not.

Cristina is quizzing Meredith before she has to go to the funeral. Meredith says that she doesn't have time, but answers the diagnosis anyway. A drunk Thatcher steps off the elevator. He comes over to Meredith, uninviting her to the funeral. He said he trusted Meredith to keep Susan alive, but she killed her. Molly tells Thatcher that Lexie is waiting in the car and they need to go. Thatcher repeatedly states that Susan was all he had while walking towards the elevator. Everyone looks at Meredith.

Alex and Ava are arguing in her room. He yells at her to tell him more information, but she doesn't want to, saying there's nothing to tell.

Cristina, Izzie, and George are all comforting Meredith in the intern locker room. Alex joins in later, asking what happened. Richard comes in and tells everyone they all need to head upstairs and that Meredith will join them in a minute. Richard and Meredith talk privately. Meredith tells Richard to stop acting like her surrogate father.

In the ER, Derek and Burke are examining their respective patients. Derek asks how they fell. Andy and Dale tell them the story, recalling that they had to leave their dead friend behind, or else they'll be dead too. Burke gives his condolences.

The intern exam is about to start. The last of the interns enter the room. George hesitates sitting next to Izzie and sits in another spot instead. The test proctor begins the exam.

Addison is doing an ultrasound on the birth mother. She informs the birth mother that she is carrying twins. Everyone is shocked, while Joe passes out.

The interns are halfway through their intern exam. George looks up and notices Meredith doesn't have a single answer on her test paper yet. Worryingly, he continues taking his test.

Everyone is finished with their exam. Meredith walks away without saying a word. George informs Cristina, Alex, and Izzie that Meredith didn't write a single work on her test. He wants to go after her, but Cristina tells him to give her a minute.

The attendings, Callie, and Bailey are looking at x-rays of their patients. All patients have a diagnosis that requires Callie's consultation. The attendings fight over who gets to have Callie scrub in with them. Bailey suggests rock paper scissors. Burke wins. Everyone leaves the room except Mark and Bailey. Mark wonders how it feels to not have to worry about who Richard will pick for Chief Resident. He wonders how it feels to be the chosen one. He exits the room, leaving a smiling Bailey.

Meredith walks past Derek, ignoring him. She sits down in the waiting room alone which Cristina, Izzie, Alex, and George watch. Izzie tells Cristina to do something, but Cristina says that she doesn't know. She and Meredith don't fail things. All 4 gets paged by Bailey, hesitantly leaving Meredith.

Bailey gives Cristina, Alex, and Izzie their assignments. She tells George that choosing Mercy West is a bad idea. George tries to defend his decision but is stopped by Bailey. Izzie and Callie stand in the background, watching. Bailey tells him that she doesn't care about his personal problems, but she does care about his career. Before walking away, she tells George that his decision is a mistake.

George finds Meredith in the waiting room and sits by her. They talk about how life is a train. Meredith zones out while he talks. She says he needs to go, as he's still on the train. George hesitates, but gets up and leaves.

Adele calls for Addison in the ER. Addison asks if she's okay and starts to page Richard. Adele takes her pager away before she could do so. Adele makes Addison promise that she wouldn't page Richard, citing that they are separated and he shouldn't be worried about her. Addison promises not to page him and then starts examining her. Adele tells Addison she's pregnant.

Addison starts doing an ultrasound on Adele, saying that the baby is fine by Adele is spotting a bit. Addison would like to keep her overnight for observation, but Adele refuses. They talk for a bit. Addison walks out of her room simultaneously as Richard walks towards her way. Richard says he's heard the news. Addison starts panicking and asks him what news. Richard was referring to Joe and Walter's adoption status. Thinking that the birth mother was in the room Addison just left, he wants to stop by and say hi. Addison successfully convinces him not to enter the room. Richard walks away.

Alex sits down next to Meredith. She wonders if he'll give him an inspirational speech too. He says no.

Izzie finds George in the hallway. George says he can't talk as he's about to head to surgery. Izzie states that they should set their problems aside and help Meredith. George says there's nothing to do. They eavesdrop on Dale and Andy's conversation. George walks away.

Addison rants to Callie in the scrub room. Callie starts to comfort her but starts talking about George instead. She wonders if she and Addison can still be friends if she becomes pregnant. Addison jokingly says no and leaves the room.

Burke, Cristina, Bailey, and Callie are operating on Andy. Callie finishes stabilizing Andy and scrubs out.

Callie enters Mark's OR, asking how Dale is doing. Mark tells Callie that it's worse than he thought. Dale has no healthy tissue left in his hand. Callie suggests amputation. Izzie tries to reason with the amputation, stating that the left arm has less damage. Mark doesn't want to take Dale's hands, but when the infection is that deep, there's no other choice.

Derek and George operate on Jack. Derek asks about Meredith's exam, which George has a hard time replying to.

Alex walks into Ava's room and the two start arguing again. He reminds her that Missing Persons and the FBI are all looking for her and if she doesn't tell someone that she's okay, he will. She argues back, saying that the public will take her side over his. She tells him that he doesn't know her real self, let alone her real name. Alex walks out.

George scrubs out. Izzie walks in and asks him why he paged her. He says he thought of a plan to help Meredith, but he needs Izzie's help on it. They talk about their affair. Before walking out, Izzie tells him that he's not leaving the program.

Izzie goes to a supply closet to cool down. She starts crying.

Mark congratulates Callie on a successful day. He tells her that maybe the Chief Resident race isn't so close after all. Bailey listens from behind and asks Callie if she's running for Chief Resident, to which Callie replies she is.

Izzie brings Meredith to the conference room, where Richard is waiting for her. He is allowing her to retake her intern exam. Meredith tells him that he's not her father. Richard knows. Meredith starts crying, and Richard consoles her.

Derek sees Meredith retaking her exam and sees the interns sitting on the stairs, waiting for her. He walks away.

Addison goes to Joe's Bar and meets up with Derek, Burke, and Mark. She wonders why she's the only girl he invited. She isn't here for entertainment. She offers to buy drinks for everyone. Mark follows her.

Mark asks Addison about LA. They talk about their failed relationship. Addison wonders if they're still friends. Mark replies that they could be friends with benefits. Addison tells him to not push it. 

Richard leaves for the day and sees Adele in the hallway. Adele sees him and hurries into the restroom. Richard tells her that he knows she saw him and asks her to come out of the restroom. No response.

Cristina, Callie, Meredith, and Izzie are all helping Cristina with her vows at Meredith's house. Cristina asks Callie if vows are meant to be forever. Callie says they are. Izzie interrupts and goes on a rant about how you can't always be with the person you truly love. Callie gets suspicious. Meredith asks Izzie if she was talking about Denny. Izzie says she way. Callie gives a mean look at Izzie.

Meanwhile at the bar, Derek walks past a girl and smiles at her. She smiles back. She walks up to him at the stools and asks if she can buy him a drink. Derek declines. The girl says "that's too bad" and walks away.

Ava goes to the NICU and finds Alex. She reveals to him that Rebecca Pope is her real name. Alex smiles.

Richard still has no response from Adele. He enters the women's restroom. He finds Adele laying on the ground, motionless. He rushes over to help.

Addison sees Walter and the birth mother return to the bar. The birth mother complains of a really bad heartburn, then passes out. Addison instructs Joe to call an ambulance.

Bailey is on the phone with Tucker. She sees a patient being wheeled in the ER and tells him she'll call him back. She goes over to help and removes a blanket covering a patient's head, revealing an axe. They wheel him into a trauma room.

Richard sees bleeding and repeatedly calls for help. No one arrives.


  • Meredith Grey
  • Cristina Yang
  • Izzie Stevens
  • Alex Karev
  • George O'Malley
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Richard Webber
  • Addison Montgomery
  • Callie Torres
  • Mark Sloan
  • Preston Burke
  • Derek Shepherd
  • Jane Doe/Rebecca Pope/Ava
  • Thatcher Grey
  • Joe
  • Rina
  • Jack Vaughan
  • Andy
  • Walter
  • Dale
  • Molly Thompson
  • Adele Webber
  • Paramedic
  • Paramedic Nicole
  • Proctor
  • Dr. Lexie Grey

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit




Medical NotesEdit


  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:

Ava finally remembered her life before the accident. She denied remembering anything, but Alex asked Derek to run tests. She later confessed that she had woken up a few days prior and remembered everything. She told Alex her name was Rebecca Pope.

Dale WinickEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Frostbite
    • Infection
  • Treatment:
    • Cefazolin
    • Bilateral hand amputation

Dale, 32, was brought into the hospital with injuries related to being stranded while hiking. He had frostbite on his fingers, which they treated with warm water, but unfortunately, both of his hands had to be amputated.

Andy MeltzerEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Broken ribs
    • Antero-lateral flail chest
    • Frostbite
  • Treatment:
    • Surgical stabilization
    • Osteosyntheses

Andy was another of the climbers brought into the hospital. He had several broken ribs which was compromising his breathing. He needed surgical stabilization, which Callie performed.

Jack VaughanEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Bone fragments in the spinal cord
    • Frostbite
  • Treatment:
    • Internal fixation
    • Laminotomy

Jack was another of the climbers. He couldn't feel his legs, so Derek suspected a spinal injury. Later, he was able to feel Derek touching his feet, but Derek said they'd need an MRI to know the full extent of his injuries. He had bone fragments in his spine, so Callie performed an internal fixation.


  • Diagnosis:
    • Pregnancy
    • Heartburn
  • Treatment:
    • Pre-natal care
    • Antacid

Rina was Joe and Walter's potential birth mom. They brought her to Addison for a pre-natal exam. An ultrasound revealed that she was carrying twins, which she didn't know. She also had serious heartburn, for which Addison prescribed an antacid. Later, she came into the bar with severe pain in her chest and then collapsed, so she was taken to the ER.

Adele WebberEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Pregnancy
    • Miscarriage
  • Treatment:

Adele, 52, came into the ER after being in a minor car accident. She also told Addison that she was pregnant and she was spotting, so Addison wanted to keep her overnight for observation. Later, she passed out in the bathroom with vaginal bleeding.


  • Diagnosis:
    • Head trauma
  • Treatment:

Lonnie, the fourth climber, was brought into the ER with an axe in his head.


Song Performer Scene
"The Rope is Long" Let's Go Sailing
  • Meredith dresses for Susan's funeral.
  • Cristina, Izzie, and Alex are studying the exam when Meredith comes in.
  • Callie helps George study. She finds his Mercy West acceptance and is excited for him.
  • He's not as enthused.
  • Derek gets on the elevator with Meredith. He offers to go with her to the funeral, but she declines.
"Wake Up Alone" Amy Winehouse
  • Callie, Cristina, Bailey, and Burke operate together and talk about mountain climbing.
  • Callie finishes her work and leaves.
  • Mark is working on his patient's hands and Callie agrees they need to be amputated.
  • Derek and George are operating together. George tells Derek about Meredith freezing during her exam.
"Corner of Your Heart" Ingrid Michaelson
  • Ava refuses to tell Alex her real name.
  • Izzie and George talk in the scrub room about Meredith. Izzie tries to talk George out of leaving the program.
  • Izzie leaves the room and cries.
"Stains of Saints" The Weather Machines
  • Addison joins the bachelor party.
  • Derek and Burke talk about the wedding.
  • Mark asks Addison about LA.
"Million Faces" Paolo Nutini
  • Izzie lies and says she was talking about Denny.
  • Derek sits at the bar and is approached by a woman, who asks to buy him a drink.
  • He says no, so she walks away.
  • George sits alone.
  • Ava goes to Alex and tells him her real name: Rebecca Pope.
  • Richard finds Adele bleeding on the bathroom floor.
  • Walter brings Risa back to the bar. She collapses to the floor.
  • Bailey tries to talk to her son, but hangs up when paramedics bring in the fourth climber, who has an ax in his head.
  • Richard calls for help for Adele.

Notes and TriviaEdit


PROMO - 3.24 - "Testing 1-2-3"

  • This episode's title originated from the song Testing 1-2-3, originally sung by Barenaked Ladies.
  • This episode scored 19.58 million viewers.
  • Chyler Leigh's first appearance on the show as Meredith's sister, Lexie Grey.
  • This is the only episode in which all of the Grey sisters (Meredith, Lexie, and Molly) appear.


Episode StillsEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit


Mark: The bachelor party was short handed. Which explains why I'm here.
Addison: I'm the only woman here. Am I supposed to the be the entertainment? Because I'm not stripping.
Derek: That's all right, we've all seen it before.
Mark: True.
Burke: I haven't.

Izzie: Who's gonna hold us together when you're not here? You're the glue. You're George.

See AlsoEdit

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

The Grey Matter blog post on this episode can be found here.