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Samuel Noel "Sam" Strachan is a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon who works in the United States. He previously worked at Holby City Hospital from 2006 to 2008 as a registrar before returning in 2017 after being appointed as the hospital's medical director.

Biography

Early life

At some point, Sam served as a medic in several Asian countries where he often encountered cases of mitral stenosis secondary to rheumatic fever. (HC: "Roots") He spent two years in the Chitwan district of Nepal with a French charity mob during the Maoist Revolution. During his time there, he worked with a protégé of Donald Ross. (HC: "Flight of the Bumblebee")

Securing registrar post at Holby City Hospital

In 2005, Sam applied for a cardiothoracic surgical registrar position at Holby City Hospital. On 3 January 2006, after being shortlisted for the post, Sam visited the hospital's Darwin Ward along with fellow applicant Joseph Byrne to attend an interview. Consultant Connie Beauchamp immediately expressed a preference for Sam, citing his "panache". However, after learning that Joseph was the son of the eminent Lord Byrne, Connie took issue with Sam's remarks about Joseph potentially benefitting from the "old boys' network". Nevertheless, following an unexpectedly short interview, Sam still believed that Joseph was guaranteed to be awarded the post, but he was humbled when Joseph said that he would have chosen him if he was on the committee. Despite Sam's pessimism, he was the committee's first choice, but Connie did not want to lose Joseph and decided to establish a second registrar post. (HC: "Mother Love")

On 17 January, Sam was tasked with tutoring medical student Matt Parker. They treated a young woman named Keeley who potentially had an atrial septal defect, but she was more concerned about being able to attend an upcoming party. Sam reprimanded Matt for deceiving Keeley into believing that she could be discharged sooner if she agreed to undergo tests, and Connie was infuriated when Keeley disappeared from her bed; she was soon found collapsed and in atrial fibrillation. Connie was unimpressed by Matt's conduct, but Sam told her about Matt's ASD diagnosis and urged her to give him another chance. (HC: "Yesterday Once More")

On 14 February, Sam treated a news photographer with aortic regurgitation named Hal who was also in Chitwan during the civil war. Feeling that Hal would struggle to adjust to being forced to take warfarin for the rest of his life, Sam approached consultant Elliot Hope about Hal being a "perfect" candidate for the Ross procedure; Elliot authorised Sam to carry out the procedure. Sam admitted to Joseph that he had only observed it being done. After noticing Sam making several unorthodox decisions while performing the Ross procedure, Connie reviewed Sam's previous RITA forms and found that he had never led one before; she scolded him for being deliberately misleading, and she informed him that him leading the procedure would not be recorded in his logbook. In the evening, feeling that Joseph needed more experience with administrative tasks and structure, Elliot decided to assign Sam as Connie's registrar, much to her disapproval. (HC: "Flight of the Bumblebee")

As punishment for his deceit, Sam was relieved of his surgical duties and left to take patient histories. One week after the Ross procedure, Connie allowed Sam to observe a Konno procedure on a patient with subaortic stenosis. However, when Sam's patient Jane was diagnosed with coronary heart disease and needed a coronary artery bypass graft, he was willing to forgo the Konno procedure to help, so Connie allowed him to use an emergency theatre slot. However, at the last minute, Jane's husband Billy was given the slot after suffering a traumatic arm amputation. After failing to secure another slot, Sam encouraged Jane to feign additional symptoms to get her into theatre. The facade was successful, and Sam managed to insert the graft, but Jane began to bleed uncontrollably, forcing Sam to page Connie. When he admitted that he coached Jane into making her symptoms look worse, Connie was furious and ordered him to leave. Following surgery, Jane's condition rapidly deteriorated, and she suffered a stroke. (HC: "Out on a Limb")

On 7 March, after learning that scrub nurse Adele Smith worked with Joseph at The Middleton, Sam decided to play cupid and attempt to set up a date between them, but Joseph was more concerned about his work. In an attempt to get Joseph speaking to Adele, Sam set the staffroom clock back ten minutes, but this only resulted in Joseph being late for an operation. After Matt Parker was stabbed, Sam was called to Keller to assist, forcing him to forgo a drink with Adele; he encouraged Joseph to go instead, and Joseph finally obliged. (HC: "Into Your Own Hands")

Emma Dufrensne and custody of Grace

In February 2016, Sam was in the UK attending a conference when his girlfriend Emma started suffering from severe stomach pains. Grace called Connie and she got an ambulance to go to the hotel that they were staying at. Whilst being treated, Sam arrived but wanted Emma to be treated privately instead but Connie told him that in her condition she couldn't go anywhere. Realising that the operation would have to be done Sam volunteered but couldn't do it, leaving Connie and Jac Naylor to perform it. (CAS: "Hearts and Flowers")

The following week, Emma was still recovering but the company Sam worked for had booked a connect to his and Grace's New York flight due to the fact that he had work and she had school. Although Connie disagreed with his choice due to the fact they'd be leaving Emma behind, Sam explained that Emma knew that Grace always comes first. However, later in the day Connie said that she didn't want Grace leaving again but when Grace overheard Connie telling Jacob that she didn't want Grace living with her, Grace had a panic attack. Sam used this against Connie and told her that Grace would be better off going back to the US with Sam. When they were boarding their private jet in the evening, Jacob and Connie drove after them and arrived just in time for Connie to tell Grace she wasn't going to let her go again, much to Sam's disappointment. (CAS: "Just Do It")

Aftermath of car crash and appointment as medical director

In September, Sam visited the UK upon receiving the news of Connie and Grace's car crash. He and Connie were left waiting anxiously whilst Grace was having an operation in theatre after it was discovered that she had a tear on her aorta. To their relief, Grace pulled through but Connie admitted to Sam that she blamed herself for what happened to Grace. (CAS: "Strike Three")

S31E22 56

Sam telling Connie how she'd have to change. (CAS: "You Are Your Only Limit")

In February 2017, Jacob contacted Sam to request that he attended Elle's hearing. He urged Connie not to bring Grace to the hearing, but she ignored him and brought her along anyway. In the bathroom, Grace smashed a mirror and had a seizure. As a result of Elle's quick thinking and actions, Grace was saved and admitted to the ED. Nevertheless, Sam was furious with Connie for taking her in the first place, and informed her that things would change when Grace got better. (CAS: "You Are Your Only Limit") The following week, Sam signed the contract which made him the new Medical Director of the hospital and Connie's new boss. He was also worried when Grace woke up and was unable to communicate with him and Connie. (CAS: "Binge Britain") Later in the month, Steph Sims was admitted to the department, the woman responsible for Connie and Grace's car crash. Sam soon took charge of her treatment, and let Cal shadow him on an experimental procedure. Sam also made the decision that it was time to take Grace home. (CAS: "Slipping Under")

In March, Cal had a complaint lodged against him by the daughter of a patient who died in his care. However, when the woman exhibited signs of metal illness Sam soon assured Cal that it was nothing to worry about. (CAS: "It Starts With the Shoes") The following month, Alicia woke up in Sam's bed, and was mortified of the situation. When they arrived for work, Sam announced that budget cuts would be taking place, and that all consultants would have to re-interview for their jobs. During the shift, Alicia hit a patient with a fire extinguisher when he became violent towards one of her patients. Sam was irritated at the thought of having to explain it to the board, but assured her that they didn't sleep together as he slept on the sofa. (CAS: "Sleeping With the Enemy")

Sleeping With the Enemy

Sam briefing the team on the budget cuts. (CAS: "Sleeping With the Enemy")

Later in April, Sam was furious with Connie when she attempted to slip Grace's epilepsy medication into her cake. Grace finally spoke again, only to tell Connie how much she hated her. She and Sam agreed that it would be best if he took Grace to live with him for a while. (CAS: "Child of Mine") The following week, Sam announced further budget cuts within the department, and informed Cal that he'd no longer be able to do his surgical rotation. After Dylan was sent home, Cal told the other doctors that they should stand in solidarity with the consultants and organise a work-to-rule protest. Sam took them aside and warned them that they'd better not mess things up if they want things to change. At the end of the day after the death of a police officer in the department, Cal confronted Sam in reception and announced that he would be contacting the union to organise a strike. (CAS: "When the Whistle Blows")

The first day of Cal's strike arrived the following week, and Sam was heavily reliant on Lily to help out in the ED, as the only junior doctor not taking part in Cal's strike. However, when no-one volunteered to help out, Sam made up for the staff shortages by working a shift himself. Sam found himself in a worse situation when Lily left her shift, despite the fact she disagreed with Cal's reasoning. (CAS: "Reap the Whirlwind - Part One") Later that day, Lily was struck by a car and ended up in the ED; all the doctors on strike soon went inside to help her. However, Denise Ellisson, the husband of Roy Ellisson who'd died earlier that day, accused his death on the strike. That evening, Cal was stabbed to death in the hospital car park by Roy's son Scott who fled the scene without being caught. (CAS: "Reap the Whirlwind - Part Two")

The following week as the investigation into Cal's death was taking place, Sam seemed more interested in sorting out the other issues within the department. Dylan took offence to this over at the pub and dunked Sam's phone in his pint of beer in anger. (CAS: "Break Point") Later in May, Sam spoke to Dylan and Elle, informing them that the consultant interviews would be taking place within the next few weeks. He also encouraged Lily to take her FCEM exams and apply for the post if successful. (CAS: "End of the Road")

Practice as a trust doctor and return to the US

In June, Sam held the consultant exams. He managed to interview all but Elle; this was due to the fact he had fled the hospital to ensure the safety of a patient who had been discharged. At the end of the day, he realised that he cared about patients too much, and resigned from his position as Medical Director. (CAS: "It Had to Be You") The following week, Sam turned up in the ED as the new locum registrar, re-recruited by Hanssen. He disobeyed Connie's instructions by leaving the ED to attend the scene of an accident. She was close to informing Hanssen but decided to give him another chance. (CAS: "War of the Roses")

Connie and Sam kiss

Sam kissing Connie in the storage room in July. (CAS: "Man Up")

Later in July, Sam asked Connie for some time off to attend Grace's physiotherapy appointment. However, Connie denied his request and insisted that she'd take Grace herself, in an attempt to get closer to her. During the shift, Sam further angered Connie by ordering restricted drugs without her approval and lying to the pharmacy. At the end of the shift, the two ended up locked in a storage cupboard and kissing amidst an argument. (CAS: "Man Up") Later that month, Connie brought a recovered Grace into the ED, but she eventually decided that she'd be better off living with Sam. (CAS: "Somewhere Between Silences - Part Two")

Behind the scenes

Tom Chambers appeared on Casualty as Sam Strachan in the 2016 series 30 episode "Hearts and Flowers" which aired on 13 February 2016. He also appeared in the episode the week after. Unlike many other Holby City guest crossover characters, Sam made his appearance in Casualty after his time in Holby City; most others make guest appearances on Casualty whilst still a regular. Chambers reprised his role as Sam in the third episode of the 31st series in September 2016. He reprised his role in episode 22, returning in a recurring capacity as the hospital's new Medical Director.

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