‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 19 Is Putting the Biggest Spotlight on Its New Residents Since Meredith’s Class

We finally have a sneak peek of what Season 19 will hold for Grey’s Anatomy. But the preview doesn’t focus as much on returning cast members as it does its newest class of residents. In many ways, Grey Sloan Memorial is rebuilding, with Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) at the center to pick up the pieces. 

It’s been a while since the show put such an emphasis on its incoming cohort of residents. In fact, some might argue that the “rebirth” in Season 19 is the biggest emphasis on new doctors since Meredith herself was a first-year doctor herself. 

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 18 decimated Grey Sloan’s residency program

greys anatomy season 19
Scott Speedman and Ellen Pompeo in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Liliane Lathan via Getty Images

The residency program at Grey Sloan first came under fire in the middle of Season 18. Surgical resident Levi Schmitt (Jake Borelli) kills a patient on the operating table after not waiting for assistance from an attending physician to supervise the complicated parts of the procedure. Schmitt’s mother complains, and the program is put on probation. 

Despite trying to rehabilitate the residency program, Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) and Chief Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) aren’t able to save the program. And it is shut down in the Season 18 finale. Bailey quits, leaving Meredith in charge. The fates of existing residents including Schmitt and Taryn Helm (Jaicy Elliot) are still up in the air. 

Grey’s executives have been fairly mum on what to expect from returning cast members. But a sneak preview highlighting the newest class of surgical residents puts a big spotlight on five newcomers to the drama series. 

Season 19 introduces five new residents 

Aside from Schmitt and Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington), there has been little emphasis put on incoming residents in recent seasons. They primarily act as bumbling supporting characters to move plotlines along for the more prominent doctors. The first look at Grey’s Anatomy Season 19 puts all eyes on these fresh-faced interns, however. 

“Congratulations. You did it. You’re here. You will save lives with this equipment…and, you will end them,” Meredith announces to the residents in the opening scene of the sneak peek.

Though diehard Grey’s fans might not be as familiar with some of the incoming residents, the cast claims a well-rounded background of TV and movie credits. Simone Griffith (Alexis Floyd of Inventing Anna) brings an “emotional” element to her work, Floyd said in the promo. Jules Millen (Adelaide Kane; Reign) is bossy and impulsive, but “very kind-hearted.” 

Mika Yasuda (Midori Francis; The Sex Lives of College Girls) is the “jokester” of the group, though her humor can be her downfall as often as it is an advantage. Lucas Adams (Niko Terho; The Thing About Harry) is trying to prove he belongs at the preeminent hospital. Meanwhile “Blue” Benson Kwan (Harry Shum Jr.; Glee and Crazy Rich Asians) is setting his sights on being the best in his class. 

In a conversation with Meredith, Nick Marsh (yes, Scott Speedman is back) alludes to the work Meredith and the rest of the staff will have to get the new residents up to snuff. “Diamonds in the rough, is that what you’re saying?” he asks her.

“I am,” Mer replies. “And I see something in all of them.” 

The new season promises ‘a second chance’ for its new and returning cast members

Whatever the backstories for each new cast member are — and, knowing Shondaland’s productions, they’re bound to be twisty and riddled with a love triangle or two — we know they’re starting from scratch this year. The prestige Grey Sloan once had was wiped out. The hospital could very well face an onslaught of continuing dire circumstances. Bailey’s future is still up in the air. Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) and Teddy Altman (Kim Raver) are on the run for doling out unsanctioned drugs to veteran soldiers. And Meredith herself still wants to leave

However, the newest cast members plan to “carry the torch,” Floyd said. “This season the hospital is going through a bit of a rebirth,” she explained in the preview. “A second chance: That’s a big theme this season for both the interns as well as many of the characters you know and love already.”

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