An attending physician/attending surgeon is a doctor who has completed residency and practices medicine in a clinic or hospital, in the specialty learned during residency. An attending can supervise fellows, residents and medical students. Attendings may also have an academic title at an affiliated university such as "professor". Attendings have the final responsibility–legally and otherwise–for patient care, even when many decisions are made by other doctors. Attendings may also still be in training, such as a fellow in a sub-specialty, but remains able to work as an attending in the specialty that they completed their residency.
An attending can also be the head of a department. A head is also known as a department chief. As the department head/chief, they are the senior-most physician or surgeon of a specialized service within a hospital. They generally supervise other attendings working within their service and are responsible for all medical and surgical staff within their department.
- Dr. Teddy Altman (Head of Trauma Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery Attending)
- Dr. Amelia Shepherd (Head of Neurosurgery)
- Dr. Maggie Pierce (Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery)
- Dr. Jennifer Stanley (Head of Pathology)
- Dr. Tim Redmond (Head of Dermatology)
- Dr. Meredith Grey (Head of General Surgery)
- Dr. Alex Karev (Head of Pediatric Surgery and Interim Chief of Surgery)
- Dr. Jackson Avery (Head of Plastic Surgery and ENT Attending)
- Dr. Don Heller (Head of Anesthesiology)
- Dr. Rob Stanton (Head of Radiology)
- Dr. Kate Lachman (Head of OB/GYN)
- Dr. Atticus Lincoln (Head of Orthopedic Surgery)
- Dr. Preston Burke (former Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery)
- Dr. Addison Montgomery (former Head of Neonatal Surgery, former Head of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Maternal-Fetal Attending, and Medical Genetics Attending)
- Dr. Erica Hahn (former Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery)
- Dr. Mark Sloan (former Head of Plastic Surgery and former ENT Attending)
- Dr. Jim Nelson (former interim Head of Neurosurgery)
- Dr. Teddy Altman (former Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery)
- Dr. Robert Stark (former Head of Pediatric Surgery)
- Dr. Jeff Russell (former Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery)
- Dr. Derek Shepherd (former Head of Neurosurgery)
- Dr. Nicole Herman (former Head of Fetal Surgery)
- Dr. Chang (former Head of Orthopedic Surgery)
- Dr. Jordan Kenly (former Head of Pediatric Surgery)
- Dr. Callie Torres (former Head of Orthopedic Surgery)
- Dr. April Kepner (former interim Head of General Surgery)
- Dr. T. Thomas (former Head of Obstetrics and Gynecology)
- Dr. Arizona Robbins (former Head of Fetal Surgery and former Pediatric Surgery Attending)
- Dr. Owen Hunt (former Head of Trauma Surgery)
The following list only contains the attendings who work at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital and/or have worked at Seattle Grace Hospital and/or Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital. Department heads are also attending surgeons, but since they have already been mentioned above, they are not included in this list.
- Dr. Richard Webber (General Surgery Attending)
- Dr. Miranda Bailey (Chief of Surgery (on sabbatical), General Surgery Attending)
- Dr. Owen Hunt (Trauma Surgery Attending)
- Dr. Hudson (Anesthesiology Attending)
- Dr. Norman Russo (OB/GYN Attending)
- Dr. Raj Sen (Psychiatry Attending)
- Dr. Catherine Fox (Urology Attending)
- Dr. Hundley (OB/GYN Attending)
- Dr. Lynne Cohen (Surgical Oncology Attending)
- Dr. Carina DeLuca (OB/GYN Attending)
- Dr. Elizabeth Chen (OB/GYN Attending)
- Dr. Rebecca Swender (Surgical Oncology Attending)
- Dr. Lucy Fields (former OB/GYN Attending and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellow)
- Dr. Margaret Campbell (retired General Surgery Attending)
- Dr. Cristina Yang (former Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellow)
- Dr. Ben Warren (former Anesthesiology Attending)
- Dr. Eliza Minnick (Sports Medicine Orthopedic Surgery Attending)
- Dr. Nathan Riggs (Cardiothoracic Surgery Attending)
- Dr. April Kepner (Trauma Surgery Attending)*
Notes and TriviaEdit
- Confirmed by her Twitter account, April Kepner is also the only sub-specialty attending, without the requirement of completing a trauma surgery fellowship.*
- Confirmed by @GreysMedical twitter account (10/02/2014): "Owen Hunt brought April Kepner back from the farm to mentor her in trauma so no formal fellowship."
- Confirmed by @GreysMedical twitter account (10/02/2014): "Jackson Avery is certified in both fields (Plastic and ENT), just like Mark!"
- The position of attending at a hospital is applied for, and not automatically granted after completion of residency or fellowship.
- It's common for attendings at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital to have sex with interns and residents. Attendings who have done this are: Owen Hunt, Arizona Robbins, Callie Torres, Preston Burke, Addison Montgomery, Alex Karev, Mark Sloan, Derek Shepherd, Nicole Herman, Miranda Bailey, Jackson Avery, Lucy Fields, Cristina Yang, and Maggie Pierce. However, it should be noted that several of these people were in actual relationships with the people they slept with.
- Richard had intended Dr. Virginia Dixon to replace Erica Hahn as Seattle Grace's new head of cardio, but she turned down the offer.
- During the first two years of his surgical residency at UCLA, Dr. Ben Warren retained attending privileges when he consulted on surgical cases; however, he returned to the staff when he resigned from UCLA.
- Every department head has had a F.A.C.S., F.A.C.O.G., and/or F.A.A.D. designation. Callie Torres and Atticus Lincoln are the only exceptions.
- Jackson was promoted off-screen to the head of plastic surgery sometime after Walking Tall as he does not mention himself as a department head when Amelia, Maggie, Callie, Arizona, and Owen were pointed out as heads of their respective departments. He did, however, refer himself as the head of plastics in It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding).
- Alex was promoted off-screen to the head of pediatric surgery sometime after Walking Tall as he does not mention himself as a department head when Amelia, Maggie, Callie, Arizona, and Owen were pointed out as heads of their respective departments. Additionally, Alex was confirmed as the department head of pediatric surgery in the show's dialogue only after he was suspended and pending conviction. During Jukebox Hero, Minnick told Robbins and Murphy, "Apparently we need to hire a new peds surgery chief, since ours went up the river."