In late 1954, Richard "Dick" Grant Jr. was going through an especially trying period. The cause of his frustration was the pompous and dictatorial Dr. Bart Thompson. Bart played Machiavellian head games with Dick, keeping him working around the clock and then upstaging him with other interns. When Dick complained, Bart snidely told him that he had a persecution complex and was not cut out to be a doctor. Finally, Dick became so physically exhausted and so emotionally demoralized that he "froze" during a skin graft operation and abruptly left Cedars. Holding Bart personally responsible, Richard Grant bitterly confronted the man who had terrorized his son, "You have criticized, harangued -- yes, undermined my son until his self-confidence was torn into little shreds," Richard shouted "You can say you don't understand me because you don't have a son. Well, I'll tell you this, Dr. Thompson -- you don't deserve a son."
Bart was chilled by the irony of Richard's statement because he did, indeed, have a son back in San Francisco who knew him only as his mentor. Almost 30 years earlier, Bart had walked out on his wife, Liz, and infant son, John, to devote his life to his prestigious medical career. Liz went on to marry a man named Brooks who adopted John, and the boy grew up never knowing the identity of his biological father. John became a doctor and chose psychiatry as his specialty. When he interned at the hospital where Bart practiced medicine, Bart insinuated himself into John's life and tried to steer him toward plastic surgery. It was Bart's secret hope that one day father and son could work side by side. When Bart transferred to Cedars, he was disappointed that Dr. Baird lacked the budget to create a position for John. It was Bart's intention to force Dick out so that he could bring John in. Now with Dick gone, that day had arrived and Bart steamrolled John into moving to Los Anglos and becoming his new assistant. John still did not suspect that Bart was his father, but both Dick’s friends Jim and Janet detected it when Bart became jealous of Jim and John's budding friendship. Janet began dating John in hopes of getting at the truth. Before long, John began to suspect that he had walked into a strange situation.
While John Brooks struggled to forge a personal and professional identity, Dick Grant found his own. Under the name Richard Edmonds, Dick moved to New York and lived in a boardinghouse run by the sympathetic Mrs. Laury. There he met a woman named Marie Wallace. Time healed Dick and he decided to decide to return to Los Angeles, where he walked right into the middle of a tragedy. John Brooks was killed in a car accident and never learned that he was Bart's son. Devastated, Bart admitted the truth to his colleagues at Cedars and apologized to Dick for his diabolical behavior.