‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Why Chandra Wilson Struggled Saying ‘Ambulance’ in Season 1

Grey’s Anatomy is challenging for actors because of the medical words. Chandra Wilson told a funny story about how she even had to relearn how to say ambulance in season 1.

Chandra Wilson is back for ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 19

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Season 18 ended with Dr. Miranda Bailey (Wilson) desperately needing a break. This is after Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital had its teaching program shut down. She decided to quit, and Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) was forced to take her role.

The trailer for the season shows Meredith congratulating a new class of residents. Dr. Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary), Winston Ndugu (Anthony Hill), and more doctors are about to watch a surgery. Bailey walks in wearing casual clothes.

“Are you back?!” Maggie asks. “Heard about the new class,” Bailey responds. It’s unclear if she’ll take her position back and what it’ll mean for Meredith.

Chandra Wilson would have to cut after saying ‘ambulance’ on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

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After all these years, Wilson still struggles with pronouncing medical jargon. She appeared on the Jennifer Hudson Show and admitted which words have tripped her up.

“I still don’t know what I’m saying half the time,” Wilson said. “It’s phonetic. I have to play word games with myself.” The actor said she’s from Houston, Texas and her accent got in the way with even basic terms like “ambulance.” She kept saying “am-boo-lance.”

Wilson said one time, she said “ambulance,” and they cut. They had her do the line over, and they cut again. The script supervisor then asked her to read “ambulance.” 

“It took a while for me to understand that it was ambulance,” she admitted. The actor also still has to think about the pronunciation before saying it. “Anastomosis” is another word that was hard to remember. But Wilson said the medical director told her to think of “nasty Moses” to pronounce it correctly. 

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ recycles a season 1 story

Chandra Wilson as Dr. Miranda Pompeo and Ellen Pompeo as Dr. Meredith Grey on 'Grey's Anatomy' stand outside the hospital waiting for an ambulance
Chandra Wilson as Dr. Miranda Pompeo and Ellen Pompeo as Dr. Meredith Grey on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Richard Cartwright/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

The medical show started with Meredith waking up after sleeping with Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey). They met at a bar, and it was possible it could’ve been a one-night stand. But then Meredith showed up for her first day as an intern and realized Derek was a surgeon there.

The season 19 trailer showed Atticus “Link” Lincoln (Chris Carmack) saying he slept with an intern, not knowing she was an intern. “I’m in no position to judge you on this,” Meredith tells him. “I do recommend you stay away from elevators.”

The trailer then cuts to Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington) looking annoyed. So it looks like the show is returning to its roots. Hopefully, Wilson doesn’t struggle to say ambulance again.

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