Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Grey's Anatomy Fans Select The Characters Who Could Actually Be Surgeons

Let's get this out of the way: nobody on "Grey's Anatomy" is a real-life surgeon, nor should they be. Throughout its nearly twenty seasons, the medical drama has been populated by beautifully, perfectly coiffed actors who play pretend at being surgeons, shouting things like "scalpel!" and "suction!" as they root around in a fake body cavity and fake save a fake life. In fact, some of them have revealed that they weren't even good at being pretend surgeons — like Giacomo Gianniotti who played Dr. Andrew Deluca on the series.

That said, some enterprising fans on Reddit decided they'd try and figure out which of these very fictional doctors might make a great surgeon in real life, presumably based on their personality alone (since the "surgeries" we see them perform, successful or not, are heavily choreographed). Over on a Reddit thread that asks, "What character would have a successful career as a surgeon in the real world?" fans made some educated guesses as to which of their favorites could make this career work if they were real.

It bears repeating that no present or former "Grey's Anatomy" actors are real doctors, and if Katherine Heigl approaches you with a scalpel, you should make a run for it.

Erica Hahn has what it takes to be a surgeon

Several different Redditors picked one of the show's briefest and most disliked characters — Erica Hahn, played by Brooke Smith. A haughty and arrogant cardiac surgeon who butts heads with her resident, Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), Hahn can be difficult, but pretty much everybody agreed she was right about one thing: she wanted to report Izzie Stevens (Heigl) for cutting an LVAD wire and essentially stealing a heart so it could go to her then-fiancé Denny Duquette (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).

As u/yosr-kh put it, "[Erica Hahn]. I hate her as a character and teacher but she was the most professional (I might be wrong please correct me if she did the opposite)." They were quickly followed by u/Twodotsknowhy, who said, "Yes. Wanting to report Izzie and the hospital for the Denny situation was the right call. She f**king stole an organ and basically only got a time out as a punishment." In a later comment, they clarified that they don't totally love Hahn, but stand by their opinion: "As a person, I didn't like her. But as a doctor and a professional, she was pretty tops."

The consensus on Hahn was pretty clear; nobody liked the character, but she'd probably make a good surgeon. As u/Proud3GenAthst wrote, "It's funny that she's one of the most hated characters, when in reality, she's probably the most realistic one." u/BringerOfDoom1945 agreed: "i actually liked her because of this .She is the only surgeon i would want to operate on [me] in real life everyone else is [too] unprofessional and only thinking about themselves."

George O'Malley followed the rules — and could have been a great surgeon

The show began with five original interns: Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), Alex Karev (Justin Chambers), Izzie Stevens, Cristina Yang, and of course, George O'Malley (T.R. Knight). Initially dubbed "007" — meaning he had a "license to kill" — he came into his own as a surgeon in a real way and had an excellent beside manner. Some Redditors, including u/Earth-Enjoyer, thought he'd probably outlast the rest of his intern class.

"I think George is the only MAGIC character who would actually be successful," they wrote. "To my knowledge he was the only one of the 5 to have never broken the law and tried to follow the rules. Izzie and Cristina would've been fired in their intern year for that explicitly unwanted autopsy, and Meredith would've ultimately been fired for the many crimes she committed later on. Alex would've been hated by pretty much all of his co-workers and would probably never make a good name for himself."

This is a nice thought if not for the fact that, at the end of Season 5, George gets hit by a bus and dies due to his massive injuries. The poster isn't wrong, though; George, unlike his peers, never committed any outright ethics violations.

Some fans would love to be treated by Jackson Avery

In a sea of beautiful people on "Grey's Anatomy," Jackson Avery, played by Jesse Williams, does happen to stand out. Other characters even frequently comment on his looks, and that's not his only advantage; he's a surgical nepo baby due to the fact that his grandfather is Harper Avery, the namesake of a major in-universe surgical award. All of that notwithstanding, he's an excellent surgeon, a team player, and basically a pretty solid guy — and Redditors think he would be in real life as well.

As u/Pawspawsmeow wrote, "Jackson. He's take charge, intelligent, has a great but not overly weird bedside manner. I've had major surgeries before (not plastics lol) and I've had surgeons like him. They're refreshing and calming." u/grandtheftautumn0 agreed, even saying that while Jackson and Meredith are somewhat similar, he doesn't carry her same baggage: "Among the residents, Jackson is the only one who'd really make it. He's basically meredith without all the plot armour."

A handful of fake Grey's Anatomy surgeons got repeat mentions

There were a lot of answers throughout the Reddit thread, but a few fake surgeons got repeat mentions. Beyond anyone else previously mentioned, those included Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd), Teddy Altman (Kim Raver), Amelia Shepherd (Caterine Scorsone), Tom Koracick (Greg Germann), and April Kepner (Sarah Drew). Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.), Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson), and Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington) also got a few mentions, but didn't necessarily get called out as great potential surgeons.

u/tweetybirdlover touched on all of these in turn, writing, "I think Owen, Jackson, Teddy, Amelia, Tom and April could make it in the real world. Assuming their surgical skills are real and not just clever acting and that their medical knowledge is real. I mean I know it's not but if we don't go off the idea it is then I'd say none of them. I think Bailey could maybe do good as a doctor at like a clinic or in a lab but not as a surgeon. Richard could be a good teacher. And Alex and Jo could do good in like a pediatric clinic. I think the rest would crash and burn hardcore. Though I'm probably forgetting someone or multiple someones."

Please, from everyone here at Looper: do not let anyone mentioned in this article perform surgery on you.