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Headscratchers: Grey's Anatomy
  • How is Callie able to essentially run the ortho department when she's introduced? She's not even in her final year of residency, but performs most orthopedic procedures unsupervised, and generally behaves like an attending.
  • So, has Seattle Grace simply stopped performing cardiothoracic surgeries? After Dr Burke left, Dr Dixon didn't take the position of Head of Cardiothoracics, and now Christina is putting in penile implants while whining that there is no cardio God to learn from. Surely heart surgery is a major part of any hospital's workload, but we're given no hint of who is performing them, or why Christina isn't assisting them.
    • Didn't Hahn replace Burke?
      • She did for a while, but left Seattle Grace in season 5. In the beginning of season 6, there is no Head of Cardio as far as I know.
      • There's a new one now, I forget her name.
      • That would be Dr. Teddy Altman. Teddy leaves at the end of season 8 and is replaced by someone else, though Cristina's doing a lot of the work.
  • Seriously, how many tragedies can happen to one person in a space of six years? Pretty much everybody has it hard, but Meredith and Izzie are the worst offenders here. It's definitely not realistic and it's not moving nor dramatic anymore. Now it's just like "Gee, I wonder what kind of terrible event will happen to Meredith today"? Even her friggin' dog has died!
    • Even worse when you realize it's only actually been around 2 years. (Seasons 1-3 were all their intern year, and if you look closely you'll notice that seasons change based on this, and that holidays aren't repeated in this time.) The number of major catastrophes that have happened at that hospital - cut LVAD wires, bombs, ferry boat crashes, crashed ambulances, flooded pipes, interns cutting each other open, and finally a crazed gunman on the loose - I probably would have run far far faaar away by now.
    • Not speaking as to the improbability of major catastrophes happening to one hospital, personal tragedies can stack up. To recap my year: dead dog, father diagnosed with cancer, miscarriage, father died, other dog got cancer, another miscarriage, best friend died. So, y'know, shit happens.
    • And I lost my dad, grandmother, dog (the day after my dad died, seriously) and a couple of fish in the space of ONE MONTH. So it definitely can happen.
  • The fact that every single episode needs to have a one-in-a-million case, cutting-edge procedure or major catastrophe (or preferably any combination of the three). ER, Scrubs and even House do a wonderful job of having interesting, moving episodes without having super-duper-special things happening every week. It's as if the writers know that their characters aren't interesting enough and their writing isn't good enough to produce compelling episodes without something really outrageous happening.
    • In addition, it bugs me that none of the attendings can be simply decent, good or even great at their job. They have to be the best in their particular field at all times. Seattle Grace has the best pediatric surgeon, neuro surgeon, cardio-thoracic surgeon, plastic surgeon, trauma surgeon and orthopedic surgeon in the entire universe. With all that awesomeness and all those "this procedure has only been done once before in the world and I am one of few surgeons on the globe qualified to do it" operations, how is it that the characters are also worried because Seattle Grace's ranking has dropped?
  • I can understand Gary Clark's motivation at seeking revenge (well, actually... no, I can't. He was needlessly excessive and broad in his violence, supposedly directed at one man he held personally responsible); what I can't understand at all is his wife's original doctors never properly explaining what a Do Not Resuscitate order covers. He seemed to be under the assumption that his wife only wanted to be taken off life support if she was on it due to complications from her illness. That's not how DNRs work. At any time for the rest of her life (or until she signed something revoking her standing DNR), any medical professional treating her would have to respect the order she signed. The fact that her husband didn't understand his wife's own wishes is more his own fault than any doctor's.
  • Why didn't the police kill Gary Clark when he tried to kill Little Grey? Why again, why, if they had a clear shot, did they put a round in his shoulder instead of his head?
  • Can someone please explain the merger to me? Ok, so: Chief Weber is being fired/demoted because Seattle Grace's ranking has dropped. So he therefore arranges a merger with Grace and Mercy West. It's unclear what this is supposed to achieve. They don't seem to need the money; we are told that revenues are up except for elective procedures, the clinic is turning a profit, and in any event I'm not sure how the merger would save money. Further more, money wasn't an issue so much as prestige; would adding (say) the #20 program to the #12 program up the rating, rather than drive it towards the average of the two? This is further compounded by the Chief demanding that Derek not remove the perfect tumor from the MRI guy, even though he urged Bailey to remove another inoperable tumor because doing so would help the ratings. The entire arc doesn't make a lick of sense to me.
  • Also, doesn't Chief of Surgery just mean "in charge of the surgeons"? The way they talk, it makes it sound like he's the Chief of Medicine. It's a surgeon's show, I know, but there are other departments in the hospital.
  • How do these people keep their jobs? If my coworkers or I acted anything like these guys, we would be fired. Don't get me wrong - I love the show. It's just that everyone acts like they're ten years old instead of adults. Most normal businesses wouldn't put up with that crap for ten minutes.
    • Meredith should have lost her license for tampering with the drug trial. Instead she got fired and acted like she had been wronged. Somehow Webber managed to take the fall for the whole thing, saying Mere was covering for him even though Alex testified that he saw Meredith switching the drugs, and Webber isn't fired. Talk about ultimate job security.
    • He shouldn't have gotten fired since it was obvious he didn't do it and everyone knew Meredith did it, though no one had any actual proof.
  • Where did Owen's PTSD go? I know there was a big thing about him getting over it, but you don't GET over PTSD, you just learn to live with it. There should still be some signs, and I can't see ANY in Season Eight.
  • Really, Teddy? You hate Owen because he, and I paraphrase, "put the needs of your hospital before the needs of my husband"? He's Chief of Surgery, it's his job to make these decisions, he gets paid to put the needs of his hospital first. And you yourself admitted that Henry was a dead man walking and that nothing more could've been done. So you're going to turn on your best friend, and tell him that he's a bad person and deserves to die... because... he's good at his job??
  • So, in the premiere of Season 9, Mark dies. Everyone's gathered around who can be, watching his final moments... except for his former lover and the other half of (one of) his One True Pairing, Addison Montgomery. There are fairly obvious behind-the-scenes reasons why the character couldn't be written in, but her absence isn't discussed or even Handwaved. What gives?
    • No one actually knew he was going to die, except for Mark himself. They all just assumed he was getting better, and not just "the surge", so they didn't really expect it and he didn't tell anyone. Also, Mark and Addison weren't very close anymore and it's entirely possible that she was at his funeral.
    • That is actually explained on her own show, where she is in the middle of an adoption and dealing with the death of another friend. She finds out about Mark's death at her other friend's funeral.
  • For a show set in Seattle, there is remarkably little rain. There's a lot of talk about it, but little demonstration. There are also remarkably few people carrying umbrellas or wearing ponchos. No one ever has wet hair or wet shoes. I know it's a really minor nitpick, but it really is the little things that make a show.
    • Seattle is really more overcast and misty than constantly rainy — it is in fact only #15 in the U.S. for total rainfall per year. It's only egregious if it's always sunny.
  • In a similar vein to (my) confusion over the merger: the lawsuit. First of all: the insurance company's reason for not paying for the victims of the plane crash's damages (you can't have more than two attendings on a plane at once)? Is the stupidest thing in the world. Secondly: Seattle Grace can't pay, they *appeal the ruling*, and odds are the amount drops down an order of magnitude. Third and finally (although this may resolve itself): the survivors didn't want the money; they wanted to know more about why the plane crashed. If that's true, they can just give back two thirds of the money, have $5 million a piece, and presumably keep the hospital from having to close the ER, something none of them want.
    • On the third: That's exactly what they do. Ten points for This Troper for being Genre Savvy! =) On the second, we find out later that Owen has Survivors Guilt concerning his decision to switch to that charter company in the first place, so this might be a (really stupid) way of being The Atoner about it. On the first: Someone was holding the Idiot Ball. What can ya do?
  • Still reading the main article and I've reached seasons 4 & 5 - Lexie's intern year. Can't remember how you worded it, but I vaguely remember that someone was not paying attention to time. I just can't remember the ep numbers. In the season premiere (5?) it is mentioned that it is October (global warming, black ice) yet in the S4? episode Haunt You Every Day, it is Halloween, which is the end of October. So, in addition to stretching 2 seasons, Lexie's intern year lasted two Octobers. Oops.
    • It's not exactly clear when Lexie's intern year ends. By the beginning of Season 6, she's in her second year of residency, meaning she'd already been a resident for a year prior. Since the show runs on a mild version of Webcomic Time, it's entirely possible Seasons 4 and 5 didn't represent a calendar year.
  • The length of time allowed for George's intern exam is an hour longer or shorter than the time allowed the rest of the interns. Don't remember which, but one was 2 hours and one was 3.
  • This may not be unique to this medical show, but why do the characters always use the term "GSW" when they have a patient who has been shot? It makes complete sense when they're writing up the case notes, but it actually takes longer to say "gee-ess-doubleyou" than "gunshot wound".
  • How does Seattle Grace get away with not having surgeons in several fields for huge chunks of time?
    • There was a huge chunk of time during which there was no cardiothoracic surgeon (early-Season 5 until mid-Season 6), excepting Dr. Dixon for a few specific cases.
    • There hasn't been an OBGYN/neonatal surgeon since Addison left in Season 3, excepting Lucy Fields in Season 7, and she leaves at the end of that season.
    • There wasn't a plastic surgeon before Mark.
    • There wasn't a trauma surgeon before Owen.
    • There was a pediatric surgeon before Arizona, but it strains credibility that he isn't seen even one time before his departure.
    • There wasn't an orthopedic attending before Callie got promoted, although she did essentially run the department while she was a resident.
      • They don't get away with not having those surgeons. No hospital just has one surgeon in each field; in the cases of Addison, Burke, and Sloan, they were the heads of their departments, but that doesn't mean there wasn't someone there in the interim. For instance, before they had Dr. Shepherd, they had "shadow Shepherd" who was the interim head of neuro. Callie mentions there is a head of ortho who doesn't do anything. The pediatric surgeon that was there before Arizona was in fact seen, he died at the beginning of the episode where Arizona first appears. Just because we aren't introduced to other doctors doesn't mean they don't exist. A better question would be why they never had chief surgeons in these departments.
  • How was the plane crash not massive news? Jo mentions it to Owen in the season nine premiere as something that she "heard" had happened. A plane went missing. Its occupants were stranded in the woods for weeks. They are doctors from that same hospital that had that huge shooting only two years before. This is news media gold, and yet we are to believe that there was no round-the-clock coverage, or any coverage at all for that matter?

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