Dr. Natalie Manning (née Conte) is an emergency medicine fellow specializing in pediatrics at Chicago Medical Center.
Natalie was born in Seattle. She played the violin and aspired to be a violinist, with becoming a doctor as her fallback plan.
She met Jeff Manning, a soldier on active duty, in Chicago, and married him sometime before the start of the series. The couple were close with Jeff's best friend, Jeff Clarke, as well as his wife. However, shortly before Manning deployed again and was killed in action, Clarke told him that he was in love with Natalie. Manning was furious and ended his friendship with Clarke. Natalie did not find out about this incident until she was dating Clarke, and is deeply upset by it, ending her relationship with Clarke after he tells her.
Natalie is first introduced along with her coworkers at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new emergency department (presumably having been redone after the explosion in Chicago Med's backdoor pilot, the Chicago Fire episode "I Am The Apocalypse"). She is a heavily pregnant single mother, revealed later in the episode to be the widow of a soldier who was killed in action. Her friends and coworkers are very supportive, especially April and Maggie, who are shown at the end of the episode helping her put together a crib for the baby.
Natalie and Will battle over which of their patients should receive the hospital's last oxygen tank; Will claims that his patient, a father of three, is more deserving and has a better chance of survival than Natalie's patient, a very weak and sick infant. It ends in Will accusing Natalie of being blinded by her "motherly instincts" and leaving with the tank. Natalie was understandably furious and refused to speak to Will for over a week, ignoring his repeated attempts to apologize. Although she eventually began talking to him again, she did not accept his apology or forgive him until the end of the following episode.
Natalie helps examine Will's patient, a violinist with hearing loss and vertigo. Natalie reveals that she had aspirations of being a violinist and bonds with the patient; later, when Will tells the patient that she needs surgery, she refuses to consent until she speaks to Natalie. Natalie comforts her, explaining that even if she loses her hearing, she will always be able to play through muscle memory, and the two of them play a violin piece together before she is anesthetized. The patient loses her hearing, as expected, but is able to cope with it because of Natalie's advice. At the end of the episode, Natalie finally forgives Will for what he said, and Will tells her that since he lives close to her, she should call him when she goes into labor so he can drive her to the hospital.
After watching them interact, April comments to Natalie that she sees something between her and Will, but Natalie vehemently denies this, maintaining that they are just friends. The conversation is interrupted by news of a shooting at a movie theater; Natalie suspects that her patient, a teenage girl with an extremely controlling mother, is suffering from an eating disorder and enlists the help of Dr. Charles. He gives the girl a hamburger, and when she eats it, determines that her condition was physical and not mental. They treat and release her, but Natalie is shaken about the mistake she made, as she was so sure of her diagnosis.
Natalie goes on a tour of a birthing facility with Maggie, who is acting as her birthing buddy; later, Natalie speaks to the pregnant girlfriend of a patient who died after getting hit by a car, as she is in a similar situation. Meanwhile, one of Natalie's patients, an older woman on chemotherapy presenting with high fevers and poor kidney function, is placed on dialysis; however, she is too weak, and Natalie intubates her while she attempts to figure out what's going on. After Will and Dr. Charles tell her about two similar cases they've seen that day, Natalie runs some tests, and discovers that her patient had no tumors and was suffering from an overdose of chemotherapy.
While working on a young boy's case with Sarah, Natalie's water breaks and she goes into labor (leaving a terrified Sarah to inform the parents of the boy's terminal diagnosis). When Maggie, Natalie's birthing buddy, has to leave her side to return to work, Will keeps her company; however, while getting some ice chips, he runs into Natalie's mother-in-law Helen, who orders Will to leave Natalie alone, as she can tell he's interested in her and Natalie's husband died only seven months before. Will leaves, although Natalie asks for him while she continues to struggle through labor.
As Natalie's labor progresses, it becomes apparent that there are complications with the birth and the doctor assisting Natalie advises she get a c-section, as the baby is not turned properly. Natalie is vehemently opposed to this and decides to let Maggie, who is a midwife, turn the baby. She is successful and Natalie is able to give birth without surgery, but the baby is initially not breathing and has to be resuscitated. However, the baby is successfully revived and determined to be a perfectly healthy boy, who Natalie names Owen. Her friends and coworkers, including Will, come to visit her and her newborn son, sharing a toast to Owen.
Natalie remains a patient in the hospital, still recovering from giving birth to her son. Her parents come to visit from Seattle, and Natalie mentions that she does sometimes consider going back home to Seattle to be near her parents, but would want to finish her fellowship first; this upsets Helen, since as her ex-husband remarried and her only son died, Natalie and Owen are all the family she has. When Will comes to visit Natalie for the first time, bringing with him a basket sent for her by Radiology, Helen privately tells him that she has changed her mind about him dating Natalie, since she knows that if they are together Natalie won't leave Chicago. Selfishly, she gives Will her blessing to date her daughter-in-law because she wants to be a part of her grandson's life.
At the end of the episode, Natalie is finally discharged, going home with her son.
Natalie's maternity leave ends, and she returns to work, much to the joy of both her and her coworkers, although she misses Owen. Her first patient, a 13-year-old girl diagnosed with mitochondrial disease by her father, has some inconsistencies in her symptoms that suggest she's been misdiagnosed. Natalie becomes more suspicious when she learns that the girl began feeling sick after the death of her mother from cancer, as well as the fact that the girl has not had the compulsory muscle biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. She and Will enlist the help of Dr. Charles, who watches the two from a distance and speaks to the girl without her father present. Although Natalie strongly disagrees with how they are handling the case, Dr. Charles concludes that the girl is being overmedicated by her father and CPS is called, separating the two.
Will assists Natalie with Jennifer Baker, a cancer patient who collapsed in a coffeeshop. While looking through her charts, Natalie comments that she's "been through hell"; they discover that Jennifer has a DNR order, which Will sees as selfish and unfeeling due to the fact that she has a husband and daughter. Will tries to convince Jennifer, who simply wants to go home and die in peace, to enter a clinical trial, but Jennifer is vehemently opposed to this. Natalie doesn't back Will up in front of the patient, angering Will, who believes that their duty is to heal no matter the patient's wishes. Jennifer later codes, but Will violates her DNR order and resuscitates her anyway. Natalie is furious and takes over the case, refusing to give him any details about Jennifer's progress.
Natalie, still very angry with Will about violating Jennifer Baker's DNR, confronts him about his treatment choices on one of his patients, claiming that he's going overboard with the tests he's running and he is putting the patient through hell for nothing. Will tells her that he's not dismissing her, but as it's his case and she has no authority, it's not her call; however, when the tests come back negative, Natalie intercepts the results and conceals them from Will, instead ordering a different treatment plan for the patient. The patient later codes and dies, despite Will's desperate attempts to resuscitate him. As Natalie calls time of death, Will pores over the patient's chart, looking to see what he could have done wrong, and finds Natalie's treatment change. He confronts her about it, accusing her of being the reason the patient died. She attempts to justify her actions and it escalates into a massive fight, after which Natalie asks Sharon to change her shift so she doesn't have to work alongside Will. Sharon refuses, citing the fact that Will is under scrutiny due to the lawsuit over Jennifer Baker's DNR, but gives her advice about the situation. After Will investigates the patient's cause of death and realizes it wasn't Natalie's fault, he tracks her down in the break room and apologizes. Natalie asks him why he always takes things out on her and uses her as his "punching bag", to which Will replies don't you know, before kissing her.
Natalie works on a case with Will, who she has not seen or spoken to since they kissed the night before. They treat a young girl with meningitis-like symptoms, but after seeing her test results, Natalie quickly realizes that the girl is suffering from Haemophilus Influenzae B; she and Will later discover that the girl was infected because her parents refused to vaccinate her or any of their other children, putting both their children and everyone around them in grave danger. Will asks Natalie if she's planning to just "let them [the parents] off the hook" for their decision; Natalie simply says that they're terrified and now is not the time to punish them for their mistakes.
Accompanied by Will, Natalie visits the girl's school to give her classmates and teachers prophylactic treatment for the disease. While at the school, a teacher collapses with Will in a different room, forcing Natalie to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the woman, which doesn't work, forcing her to treat the woman with improvised methods using the school supplies in the room. Because Natalie had mouth-to-mouth contact with an infected person - performing a procedure that didn't even end up working - she cannot come into any contact with Owen until her tests come back negative, as he is still a very young baby and susceptible to disease. When they return to the hospital, Will lashes out at the girl's parents, since it is because of them that Natalie cannot be near her own son, not to mention the suffering they caused for their daughter and everyone around them.
After the girl has been treated, Will and Natalie finally talk about their kiss. Will confesses that he feels like a little boy pulling the girl's pigtails on the playground because he doesn't know how else to get her attention; Natalie, although touched by this, tells him that she's going through a lot and isn't ready for a relationship, and they go back to being friends.
Natalie treats an infant who was brought into the ED by her mother, a single woman who smokes. While the baby is getting a CT scan, the mother leaves for several minutes, apologizing when she comes back and telling Natalie that she just needed a smoke. Natalie is instantly judgemental of this and admonishes the woman for not considering the health of her baby, citing the dangers of secondhand smoke.
The results of the CT scan combined with the baby's symptoms point very clearly towards the baby having suffered abusive head trauma, a form of child abuse colloquially known as "shaken baby syndrome". Natalie informs Sharon, who warns her that once CPS has been contacted, the case is mostly out of their hands. Because the symptoms are so characteristic of abuse, Natalie goes ahead with contacting CPS, who remove the baby from the custody of her mother, who insists that she didn't hurt her child.
However, Natalie then receives an email with the baby's medical records, and, after reading through them, realizes that she made a terrible mistake and the baby's illness was caused by a previously undiagnosed injury in utero, through no fault of the mother. She immediately tells Sharon and rushes to inform the baby's mother, who is justifiably outraged, correctly accusing Natalie of judging her the moment she entered the ED. She refuses to allow Natalie or anyone else at the hospital treat her baby and demands to leave, but before the conversation can continue, the baby has a seizure and nearly dies. Natalie manages to save her, and the woman is reunited with her baby. As they watch the woman play with her daughter in the nursery, Natalie admits to Sharon that she did judge the woman, because as a single mother raising a baby alone, she sees herself in her. She confesses that she was so quick to jump to conclusions because she can imagine it (hurting her child), when it's the middle of the night and "Owen is crying and I have no one to hand him to". Sharon assures her that the difference is that Natalie would never actually do it, and Natalie adds that "neither did she [the woman]".
Natalie faces pressure from Helen to get Owen baptized. Helen claims that it's what Jeff, who was Catholic, would have wanted; when Natalie mentions this to Will, he immediately tells her that he can help her out with the baptism. Natalie tells him the same thing she told Helen, that she'll think about it, but Will begins to arrange the ceremony anyway.
Natalie and Connor treat Eric, a young boy who has swallowed two magnets. They present Eric's father, Tate, with two options: they can either surgically remove the magnets now, or wait to see whether they cause damage to Eric's digestive system. Both options have significant drawbacks, and Tate is overwhelmed by the decision he faces. Connor pushes for the surgery, but Natalie tells Tate that he can take some time to decide before pulling Connor aside, angrily telling him he has no idea what it [making huge decisions about your child by yourself] is like. Soon after, Eric begins coughing up blood and he is rushed into emergency surgery, where Natalie and Connor are able to fully repair the damage. Afterwards, Natalie apologizes for snapping at Connor and explains that she's on edge because of the decision she faces with the baptism, asking his opinion. Connor tells her that he always envied kids who went to church, because they were part of a community.
Affected by what Connor said, Natalie decides to go ahead with Owen's baptism and tells Will that she'd like his help, if the offer still stands. He is happy, but tells her that he only wants what's best for her, adding that while he still is interested in her, he needs to move on. The episode ends with Owen's baptism, attended by the entire Chicago Med staff.
While treating Bo, a young boy with a broken wrist, Natalie notices discrepancies in the story about how Bo hurt himself, as he claimed he fell on gravel but has no skin abrasions whatsoever. She notices that his mother also has a bandaged hand, but the mother dismisses it; however, when Natalie takes an x-ray of Bo's arm, she notices several unhealed fractures and suspects child abuse. She and Sharon bring in Dr. Charles, who shares Natalie's concerns and tells Sharon to call CPS. Eventually, Dr. Charles figures out that it was Bo's brother Griffin who was abusing his family members. This shocks Natalie, and she is deeply disturbed by it, as well as the fact that Griffin's parents decline to remove him from their household, even though he is hurting his brother.
Nataile works closely alongside Dr. Will Halstead with most of the patients and as a result, they are very close. Will has had feelings for her since season 1 and he told her in Clarity, and they shared their first kiss but she wasn't ready to be in a relationship, so they left it as just friends.
After Generation Gap, they began to get close with one another again, and this made Will's girlfriend, Nina, jealous. In Deliver Us, a small disagreement between the three led to Will apologizing to Natalie for Nina's behavior towards her. Natalie said that if she was Nina she would be jealous too. Will didn't understand and said that they were just co-workers and good friends. Natalie asked is that it, just good friends and Will said they're just good friends and this made her upset. He tried talking to her but she said he was right about "just friends" indicating that she felt differently about him.
In the Season 3 premiere, Speak Your Truth, it was revealed that Natalie had just returned from a three-month sabbatical, as she needed to think things over. Later on, Will told her that his feelings for her hadn't gone away, and she revealed that she took the time off to think about him and then she kissed him.
At the end of Trust Your Gut, Natalie and Will fell asleep on the couch of the staff room, after a long shift. Before Natalie drifted off, she said Will's body made a nice pillow.
At the end of Crisis Of Confidence, Will asks Jay for their mother's engagement ring, he plans on proposing to Natalie. But by the end of The Tipping Point, she learns that the women he kissed was a doctor she knew and Will runs after her and proposes anyway. Her answer is unknown.
At the start of Be My Better Half, Will and Natalie are engaged. It took a week for her to answer. And they are already fighting other wedding plans because Natalie has already been married and wants it to be small. But in the end they agree to do the planning together.
Maggie is one of Natalie closest friends. they share everything including talking bout will and it was Maggie who has been helping her with Owen.
Jeff and Natalie began dating in Season 2, but things started falling apart after Jeff stood up for her in front of Dr. Stohl. She felt humiliated by it and sometime later, he admitted that he and Jeff Manning had a fight after he said he had feelings for her. She was upset because he didn't tell her this before, and she felt worse that she was with him as her husband had died, so they broke up. She told him they weren't right together but they remained friends
(Will) What're you gonna tell him?
(Natalie) The truth. That the one thing he needs most in the world is right in front of him and he can't have it, and he doesn't have a choice. 2x08
(Will) Hey, I am not arrogant.
(Natalie) No no, not at all. You just happen to know more than everyone else.
- She reveals in "Fallback" that she plays violin and wanted to be a violinist; becoming a doctor was her fallback plan.
- In Season 2 episode 4, Natalie was jealous that Will brought Nina with him when she was playing the violin, even though her boyfriend Jeff Clark was there.
- She currently has a TBI ( Traumatic Brain Injury).
- She and Will Halstead have had 2 kisses when not in a relationship.
|Season 1 Appearances|
|Season 2 Appearances|
| "Soul Care"
| "Win Loss"
| "Natural History"
| "Brother's Keeper"
| "Extreme Measures"
| "Alternative Medicine"
| "Inherent Bias"
| "Free Will"
| "Uncharted Territory"
| "Heart Matters"
| "Graveyard Shift"
| "Mirror Mirror"
| "Theseus' Ship"
| "Cold Front"
| "Lose Yourself"
| "Prisoner's Dilemma"
| "Monday Mourning"
| "Lesson Learned"
| "Ctrl Alt"
| "Generation Gap"
| "Deliver Us"
| "White Butterflies"
| "Love Hurts"