Frankie Bell (Claire van der Boom) is a young high flier whose dreams come crashing down around her when she learns her kidneys have failed. Without medical intervention, she will die.
Eight years later, Frankie is now in her second year as a practising doctor, starting her first day in a Renal rotation. The stakes are high: Frankie wants to earn a permanent spot in
Renal, caring for patients suffering the same way she did, and working under Renal boss, Chad Berger (Owen Teale), the very doctor who saved her life. But Renal is fiercely competitive – only the strongest survive, so she must protect the secret of her transplant at all costs.
Frankie’s best friend, Lou Tannis (Andrea Demetriades), wants to be a surgeon, but is confronting the limitations in her own cutthroat field. Lou needs support if she is to one day break into the boy’s club of surgical training teams. Is her fling with hotshot surgeon Rowan Mitri (Blessing Mokgohloa) helping or hindering her progress? Female surgeon, Maggie Cutter (Susie Porter), is Lou’s hardest taskmaster. But can she be brought round? Will she become the mentor Lou needs?
Meanwhile, Frankie and Lou’s housemate Tabb (Arka Das) is starting his first day as an intern, terrified that he won’t stand up to the pressures, particularly when faced with his prickly, wounded-warzone cardio registrar Eli Nader (Liam McIntyre), who cuts him no slack.
Frankie has a win in diagnosing the mystery behind Zoe’s (Melissa Bonne) symptoms: Zoe needs a new heart. But Frankie is soon in strife again, after sending Shawn (Daniel Amalm) home without his life-saving dialysis. Of all people, Frankie should have known how critical it was and looked out for him, but instead couldn’t confront her past. Finding her courage, she goes above and beyond to get Shawn back into dialysis in time to get him a transplant.
Zoe isn’t so lucky – the donor heart is allocated to someone else, leaving her close to death. Berger warns Frankie that she is identifying too closely with her patients and that it’s blinding her to the realities of medicine: she won’t be able to save them all. He feels conflicted by the need to treat her as a doctor, but also as his patient. But after her dramatic first days Frankie is more determined than ever to make it in renal, to pay back the second chance she was given.