Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki
Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki

Breathe, Dr. Yang. Don't be crass. You're skulking. Women of your generation are graceless. It's an affront to nature. Mediocre surgeons will see you and feel themselves wilting in your shadow. Do not shrink to console them. Do not look for friends here. You won't find them. None of these people have the capacity to understand you. They never will. If you're lucky, one day when you're old and shriveled like me, you will find a young doctor with little regard for anything but their craft. And you'll train them like I trained you. Until then, read a good book. You have greatness in you, Yang. Don't disappoint.
Craig Thomas to Cristina

Dr. Craig Thomas was an attending cardiothoracic surgeon who worked at the Mayo Clinic with and mentored Cristina Yang after officiating her boards.



After telling Cristina that he knew she had been in a plane crash, he revealed he was the sole survivor of a plane crash in Vietnam and talked to her about the guilt that they both felt. ("Love the One You're With")

2012 Boards[]

When Cristina took her boards at the end of her residency, Dr. Thomas was one of her boards examiners. She quickly became frustrated with his old-fashioned approach to medicine. ("Let the Bad Times Roll")

Reunion with Cristina[]

When Cristina left Seattle to work at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, she was displeased to see that Dr. Thomas worked there. She was very reluctant to sit and listen to his stories. He invited her to watch him operate and while observing, she criticized his technique the whole time.

When he invited himself to operate on one of her patients, she stood up to him and insisted that she would be operating. ("Going, Going, Gone")

Relationship with Cristina[]

When Cristina questioned him performing a ventricular reduction instead of placing an L-VAD, a much safer option, he insisted that he could do it and that he wanted to go for a repair instead of a bandage. In surgery, he greatly impressed her by closing without using felt pledgets. It was his signature. He was the only one in the country who was able to do it because he had dedicated his life to perfecting it. He encouraged Cristina to figure out her own signature move. ("Love the One You're With")

When he had a surgical plan that would take 17 hours, she proposed an alternate solution that would take half the time and would only use one incision. He initially rejected that plan, saying that they weren't a pizza delivery service. However, after she put a little pressure on him, he agreed to change his plan, much to the surprise of Darren Parker.

In the surgery, Dr. Thomas had a problem with the catheter and asked Cristina to take over. However, she instead coached him through it and he was able to pass the wire. When she offered to take over and do the next part for him, he refused and finished the surgery himself.

That night, they went out for drinks together. He showed her his watch and said it was given to him by the hospital at a surprise retirement party four years prior. It's a cheap piece of junk, but he wears it to screw with them. She made fun of him for ordering an Old Fashioned, but then laughed and ordered one for herself. ("I Saw Her Standing There")

When Cristina's car was buried in snow, she called Dr. Thomas to come get her and he brought her a danish and brought her a case. Dr. Thomas and Cristina operated on the largest aneurysm Dr. Thomas had ever seen, despite Dr. Parker's protests. After that surgery, a second surgery was planned on the same patient to repair a heart defect, but Dr. Parker put him on probation. Despite being on probation, Dr. Thomas proceeded with the second surgery. While operating, Dr. Thomas suffered a heart attack. Despite Dr. Parker's best efforts, he died in the OR. ("Beautiful Doom")



He had no family and no children.


Cristina Yang[]

He was a mentor for Cristina Yang until his death. She was initially reluctant to learn from him, sure that he had nothing to teach her. However, after seeing him directly suture myocardium, she was impressed by his skill and began a more agreeable relationship with him. She frequently joked about his age, both to him and to patients. He told her that she loves him more than anyone had in a very long time. In surgery, he advised her not to hold her breath because when you stop breathing, you stop thinking. He told her that she'd be the surgeon of her generation and he wanted it to be known that he helped train her. His death was the catalyst for her return to Seattle.

Darren Parker[]

He had a contentious relationship with the Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Dr. Darren Parker.


He was an attending cardiothoracic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic for an undetermined amount of time until his death.

He was also a board examiner in 2012.

Notes and Trivia[]

  • He used to smoke.
  • He knows how to Google.
  • He had no desire to survive Armageddon.[1]
  • He had a watch from a surprise retirement party four years ago. He wore it to mess with those who gave it to him.[2]



Episode Stills[]