There are many conflicts with which Ferguson must deal. He confronts an older doctor, loses a patient, fights with Laura, and has an affair with a student-nurse. The most important conflict, however, is the conflict that takes place within him as he decides which is more important to him: a satisfying personal life or a challenging professional life. As Ferguson—and everyone around him, from Laura to Hochberg—sees it, he is unable to fulfill both his professional and personal needs. Ferguson is pulled in two directions as Laura threatens to break their engagement with him if he continues his studies with Hochberg, and Hochberg continuously reminds him of the noble work for which the doctor sacrifices his personal life. Ferguson's resolution of these conflicts comes three months after the dilemma first presents itself and after many dramatic events take place.