For thirteen seasons, Ellen Pompeo has portrayed the role of Dr. Meredith Grey on ABC’s medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy. Created by Shonda Rhimes, the show initially followed five surgical interns, including Meredith, the show’s main character and protagonist, on their journey through a prestigious surgical internship at one of the country’s top teaching hospitals in Seattle. Meredith is the protagonist and serves as the narrator for the show and is the focal point of most episodes as well. When we are first introduced, she is a surgical intern at Seattle Grace Hospital. Throughout the show, we see Meredith struggle with everyday life in a competitive surgical residency program, balancing her relationship with friends, her eventual husband and fellow surgeon Dr. Derek Shepherd (portrayed by Patrick Dempsey), and eventually, motherhood as well.
Meredith Grey is the daughter of world-renowned surgeon Ellis Grey, who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College. On the night before beginning her surgical internship at Seattle Grace Hospital, Meredith meets and has a one-night stand with Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), a stranger she meets at a bar. After kicking him out of her house the next day, she discovers that he is the newly hired attending and head of neurosurgery at Seattle Grace. Grey is assigned to work under resident Miranda Bailey (portrayed by Chandra Wilson), along with her fellow interns Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), Isobel “Izzie” Stevens (Katherine Heigl), George O’Malley (T.R. Knight), and Alex Karev (Justin Chambers).
Initially, Meredith resists Derek’s advances, but they eventually begin a relationship. She is surprised with the arrival of Addison Montgomery Shepherd (Kate Walsh), who is Dr. Shepherd’s wife, having been unaware that he is married. Derek struggles to choose between Addison and Meredith, but eventually chooses to go back to his wife and try to stay together. Meredith is devastated. She in turns tries to find her father, Thatcher Grey, who she has not seen since he left her with Ellis at the age of 5. Their brief encounter fails to give her any closure, and she learns that he remarried and had two daughters – this being the reason he never came back or fought to see her. Meredith then has a series of one-night stands, including one with fellow George O’Malley, who is in love with her. When she cries in the middle of their encounter, their friendship temporarily ends, but eventually he forgives her. Meredith and Izzie adopt a dog from the shelter and it is through the dog that Grey meets veterinarian Finn Dandridge (Chris O’Donnell), who she embarks on a relationship with until reuniting with Shepherd at a prom the hospital stages for the Chief of Surgery’s niece, who suffers from ovarian cancer.