Working eighty-hour weeks in the fast-paced medical world makes it hard to lead a real life, but Meredith Grey sure is trying.
Meredith’s (Ellen Pompeo), along with interns Cristina Yang, Izzie Stevens, George O’Malley and Alex Karev’s, medical world revolved around textbooks and professors yesterday, but today they are experiencing medicine first-hand as surgical interns at Seattle Grace Hospital, a teaching hospital with one of the toughest residency programs in the nation. Here, they must learn to balance their personal lives with their highly competitive professional lives, all while dealing with the daily stress of life and death situations.
Each of the interns has a unique personality, which, at times, clash as they struggle to work and live along side one another. Meredith is following the same career path as her mother, Ellis Grey’s, a highly successful and noted surgeon, all while dealing with her mother’s advanced Alzheimer’s disease and coping with her less than perfect childhood. Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl) was born and raised in a small town, and was able to overcome her impoverished surroundings by putting herself through medical school by way of a successful modeling career. Despite being able to model barely-there clothes, Izzie remains very self-conscious in everything she does. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), the most competitive of the interns, strives to be the best at everything she does. She graduated at the top of her class from an Ivy League University, and reminds those around her of it constantly. George O’Malley (T. R. Knight) is the typical “boy next door” type who, despite the best of intentions, always manages to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. In spite of his strong attraction to one of the interns, George is treated like “one of the girls”, much to his chagrin. And Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) hides his blue collar roots with a large ego and arrogant personality that the other interns love to hate.
Leading the interns are three highly skilled and renowned surgeons, unwavering in their pursuit to form the interns into the best surgeons that they can possibly be. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson), appropriately nicknamed “the Nazi”, is the senior resident overseeing the five interns and is relentless when it comes to their training. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), nicknamed “McDreamy” by the female interns, is a prominent brain surgeon who has had an attraction to Meredith from day one, but his pursuit of Meredith became more complex with the arrival of his wife, Dr. Addison Shepherd (Kate Walsh). Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington) has an arrogance similar to Alex’s, but his surgical skill remains second to none. And supervising each of them is Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens, Jr.), Seattle Grace’s chief of surgery. Seattle Grace has also experienced the addition of two extraordinary doctors to their staff, Dr. Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) and Dr. Mark Sloan (Eric Dane), each wasting no time in getting tangled up in the complex relationships of the staff.
Now entering their first year as residents, Meredith Grey, Cristina Yang, Izzie Stevens and Alex Karev must apply everything they’ve learned during their internship and mentor their own interns, including Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh), Meredith’s half-sister, and George, who failed his exams.
Through their struggles, both in and out surgery, Grey’s Anatomy shows the struggles that doctors face as they try to find balance in the whirlwind lives that they lead. But the struggles make them stronger, and the ups and downs teach each one of them that medicine isn’t always black and white, right or wrong. Sometimes life comes in shades of gray.