- “Look how scared they are. It's like we're cheetahs and they're a pack of gazelles.”— J.D.
"My Student" is the seventeenth episode of Scrubs' first season. J.D.'s med student, Josh (D.J. Qualls), messes up a lot, and J.D. has to figure out how to get him to succeed. Elliot's med student, Philip Chambers, refuses to do any work, and Elliot can't do anything about it. Dr. Cox is attracted to Turk's med student, Kristen Murphy.
Now that they have nearly one year of experience as interns under their belt, Turk, J.D., and Elliot have very much found their groove at Sacred Heart. Every intern is assigned a medical student to mentor for the week.
J.D.'s student Josh is enthusiastic but makes a lot of mistakes on his first day, annoying J.D. to the point that he tells Josh he shouldn't be a doctor. After taking some time to think about the events of the day, J.D. realizes that it was he who actually failed Josh. He then forces Josh to perform a procedure the same way Dr. Cox did for J.D. on his first day.
Elliot gives her med student, the arrogant Philip Chambers, a very hard time, including some of the crap she took when she was a med student. She later learns from Dr. Kelso that Philip's father is the CEO of the company that owns the hospital. Elliot then lets Philip slide through everything and does many of his tasks herself. When Dr. Kelso sees this, he tells Elliot that she cannot let Philip walk all over her, and when she threatens to speak with his father, he becomes obedient.
Dr. Cox is attracted to Turk's med student, Kristen Murphy. Because he is not able to ask her out properly himself, Turk ends up helping him by forbidding them to see each other. At Cox's apartment he comes clean that he is only seeing her to get over "some nurse" but Kristin tells him she doesn't care, and the two proceed to make out.
- J.D. steps forward to scare the "gazelle" med students.
- J.D. changes into the Incredible Hulk and begins to destroy the room. He then calmly resumes his duties while still transformed.
- J.D., in old-fashioned clothes, teaches an excited Josh how to ride a bike.
When J.D. walks by, Janitor stops a phone conversation with his mother, and later tells J.D. that everything wrong in the hospital is his fault.
J.D.'s girl names
- Shirley, by Dr. Cox to J.D. and then by J.D. to Josh.
- “Aw, it's just a terrific time for you to skip away, Shirley, skip away.”— Dr. Cox
- “You put some gloves on, Shirley, and get the hell in here.”— J.D.
Episode running gags
- Turk advises Dr. Cox to "show 'em the booty," which he later does.
- Don Chastain as Whitaker Chambers
- Lynne Maclean as Nurse Kearney
- Rich Piana as Monster
- D.J. Qualls as Josh
- Bud Sabatino as Patient
- Adrian Wenner as Philip Chambers
- Kelli Williams as Kristen Murphy
- "Attitude" by The Replacements
- "High Time" by Michael Penn
- “Besides, this kind of overbearing machismo is usually just compensation for a lap-pinkie.”— Kristen Murphy
- “I actually have a great ass. It's firm, like mutton.”— J.D.
- “Gimme some hungry chickens!”— Turk
- “Newbie, the only way you could be less productive right now is if you were, in fact, the wall on which you're leaning against. Of course, then you'd be providing some jackass with a wall on which to lean against and reflect on what a jackass he truly is. I know! Here, it's a conundrum. But don't you worry about it—I'll tackle that one right upstairs [he taps his head]. In the meantime, you could at least pretend to be doing some work. And right about now, even though you don't have your basket, aw, it's just a terrific time for you to skip away, Shirley. Skip away. Skip away. Go on. Skip away.”— Dr. Cox
- The intro of this episode was filmed as one steadicam shot. According to the DVD extras it took Donald Faison more than 20 attempts to complete the basket in the intro.
- When J.D. helps Josh perform a procedure at the end, it is an exact parallel of the ending of "My First Day".
- J.D. takes on a Cox-like attitude when mentoring Josh, but later in his career, he is softer when teaching his interns and med students.
- The CEO of the corporation that owns Sacred Heart is called Whitaker Chambers, named after an American writer and Communist spy in the 1930's. (Wikipedia)
- Dr. Cox refers to the main trio as "The Mod Squad", which was originally an ABC television series with one African-American, one street kid, and one blonde woman.
- J.D.'s line "The Devil's greatest trick was convincing the world he doesn't exist" is a modified version of the original "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist," said by Charles Baudelaire in The Generous Gambler (1864).
- J.D. says he'll "call Ripley's", referring to Robert LeRoy Ripley, who founded Ripley's Believe It or Not!, a franchise that deals with events, subjects, and items that seem unbelievable.
- J.D. quotes Law from the book The House of God, by Samuel Shem ("Show me a med student who only triples my work and I will kiss his feet").
- Dr. Cox calls Turk "Curly", referring to one of the Three Stooges.
- J.D.'s fantasy of turning into a green monster is a reference to The Hulk, a Marvel Comics superhero. He is the alter ego of Dr. Bruce Banner, a genius in nuclear physics who, as a result of exposure to gamma radiation, became a large, superhumanly strong, green creature.
- Carla calls Josh "Thumper", who is Bambi's (Carla's nickname for J.D.) rabbit friend in the Disney movie Bambi.
- After Dr. Cox calls Turk, Elliot, and J.D. "The Mod Squad", the trio turn a corner and J.D. lifts his arms and, in the process, the top of his scrubs. His waistline shows, and the microphone cable he is wearing is visible.
- Even though Janitor was intended to be a figment of J.D.'s imagination should Scrubs not receive a second season, Turk appears to acknowledge his existence in this episode by staring at him as he, J.D., and Elliot enter the hospital.
- At this point in the season, the ratings were solid, and it was easily assumable that Scrubs would get another season.
- It is also possible that Turk was simply following J.D.'s gaze without actually seeing anything.
- The furniture in Dr. Cox's apartment is not the same furniture used in "My Mentor".
- When Dr. Kelso and Elliot are in the closet, there are continuity errors with Elliot's hair.
- Even though J.D. supposedly persuades Josh to stay, neither he nor any of the other med students shown in this episode (aside from Kristen) appear again.