Jerome Littlefield is an orderly at the Whitestone Sanatorium and Hospital who suffers from "neurotic identification empathy"—a psychosomatic problem that causes him to suffer the symptoms of others and interferes with his ability to function effectively on the job. His unwitting propensity for slapstick-style mayhem sorely tries the patience of Dr. Howard and Nurse Higgins. When his high school crush Susan Andrews is admitted to the hospital after a suicide attempt, Jerome gradually comes to the realization that his problem is a result of his years-long obsession with her. While he fails to establish a romantic relationship with Andrews, he does lift her spirits, thus banishing any thought of suicide and giving her the will to live. A runaway gurney is chased by several ambulances and causes the destruction of ceiling-high canned goods displays in a Market Basket grocery store. Littlefield is cured of his problem, reunited with his girlfriend Julie, and looking forward to resuming his interrupted medical school career.
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