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Don't let what he wants eclipse what you need. He's very dreamy, but he's not the sun, you are.
Cristina Yang to Meredith Grey

Cristina Yang is a researcher, Chief Medical Officer, and Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Klausman Institute for Medical Research, having been trained at Seattle Grace Hospital, Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital, and Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. She was engaged to Preston Burke and had a tumultuous relationship and marriage with Owen Hunt. She is also Meredith Grey's person.


Early Life[]

Cristina is of Korean descent raised in Judaism (her mother converted upon re-marriage) and a native of Beverly Hills, California. Though Jewish, she has stated that she is not religious.

At her high school prom, her mom made her go with her best friend's son, whom Cristina said was a dork. She was okay with providing the kid a date, but once they got to the party, he tried to get sexual with her and touch her in front of the entire school by the punch bowl. He then threw up all over her dress because he was nervous to touch her.[4]

Her mother married Cristina's stepfather, Dr. Saul Rubenstein, an oral surgeon, when Cristina was three. Cristina's biological father died when she was nine years old in a car accident; Cristina watched her father bleed out before help arrived, attempting to close his chest with her hands, to try to stop the bleeding. Cristina felt his last heartbeat in her hands. She claims this is the reason she became a doctor, and could very likely be the motive behind her interest in Cardiothoracic Surgery.


Cristina is a graduate of Smith College. She earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and she earned her M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine, where she graduated first of her class.

Ectopic Pregnancy[]

Cristina ended up pregnant after a sexual encounter with Preston Burke. She scheduled an abortion soon after she found out she was pregnant. She put off telling Burke about the pregnancy, and made the decision not to tell him after he broke things off with her. During a thoracotomy with Dr. Burke she began sweating and having severe pain and eventually collapsed in the OR, seriously scaring Burke. Bailey and Izzie helped her and Addison finally operated on her. One of her fallopian tubes had burst and she was bleeding out. Earlier, Cristina didn't seem so attached to the pregnancy and tried to convince everyone that she was fine but at the end of the day she finally broke down and she cried hysterically. When Burke came to visit her, he got into the bed beside her and held her.

Hospital Shooting and PTSD[]

During the hospital shooting, Cristina and Meredith initially didn't take the lockdown alert seriously. They assumed lockdown meant not leaving the building and so lackadaisically wandered around. Derek found them and ordered them into a supply closet to hide. Cristina was peeking out of the window and saw the shooter, recognizing the man who asked for directions to Chief Derek Shepherd's office. Cristina immediately realized that Derek's life was in danger, but once she divulged that Derek was one of the intended targets Meredith couldn't stand staying in place. Cristina tried to bodily stop her, but Meredith shoved her aside and ran out into the hallway. They witnessed Derek and the shooter's stand-off. Cristina held back Meredith from intervening and possibly getting shot herself. After Derek was shot in the chest and the shooter walked away the two sprang into action. With the help of April Kepner, they got him down to the ER. There they found Jackson Avery who had a few scrub nurses and an anesthesiologist. Cristina begged Meredith not to watch saying that it would distract her; implying that Meredith's pain would be the thing that would push her over the edge. Cristina said that gunshot wounds are always a little unpredictable. Cristina realized that the bullet was next to the aortic valve thus complicating the procedure all the more. Unfortunately the unthinkable happened and the shooter entered the OR with Cristina operating on Derek. He held Cristina and everyone at gunpoint demanding they stop and let Derek die. He warned that if Cristina continued operating, he would kill her. Owen tried to attack and apprehend the shooter but he himself was shot. Owen crumpled onto the ground and the gun was turned back onto doctors around the table. To defuse the situation Jackson pulled out the wires connecting Derek to the heart rate monitor making it look like Derek flatlined. Appeased, the shooter left the room and Cristina starting working again. She successfully saved Derek's life, but the incident traumatized her so completely that for months afterward Cristina practically refused to operate. Meredith and April operated on Owen Hunt's gunshot wound in a different OR. After Cristina finished with Derek, she went to visit Owen and agreed to marry him.

After the shooting, Cristina and Meredith were the some of last to be cleared for surgery by the trauma counselor. Neither of them were truly dealing with their fallout; instead Cristina threw herself into planning her wedding. She hoped that she would be different, more steady afterwards but it did not help her PTSD. Owen convinced Richard to go over the trauma counselor's head and clear Cristina for surgery. Owen and Teddy thought that some cutting would jumpstart her recovery, bring the old Cristina back to the surface, but instead she had a PTSD episode in the OR. Jackson Avery accidentally dropped a tray of tools and the loud noise triggered Cristina. Meredith rushed in to comfort her; Meredith laid on the floor with Cristina until she was ready to get up.

Cristina went downhill from there. Derek first fought for her not to leave the program, insisting that because he owed her his life, he would help her through this. She worked with him in neuro for a while. When Derek's sister Amelia was visiting she even called Cristina a "dud" because of her reluctance to do even hold a retractor. Owen and Teddy made repeated efforts to engage, but Cristina was apathetic. The attendings tried to give her easy cases, understanding of her PSTD. Also during this time, Cristina and Meredith's friendship was tense. Cristina becomes frustrated that Meredith was seemingly recovered while she was still messed up. Cristina insisting that Meredith's wails to save her husband were part of the reason why she was still suffering.

Eventually, Cristina quit the program entirely. First, she and Torres organized a housewarming party. Derek warned her that Owen, Teddy, and Meredith were planning an intervention and the two of them spent the party on the roof drinking and talking about home renovation. Derek consistently was supportive of Cristina moving at her own pace. Meredith was convinced that Cristina wouldn't be fine until she returned to work. Derek, however, said that as long as Cristina was all right it didn't matter if she rejoined the program. Even when Cristina briefly become a bartender at Joe's and spent the night drinking and dancing like a party girl. Derek spent the night watching out for her until Owen came to take a very inebriated Cristina home.

Cristina went on a fishing trip with Derek to the surprise and shock of Meredith and Teddy. Owen however just wanted someone to spend time with Cristina during the day. Cristina did a lot of research the night before and quickly become frustrated with the lack of progress. Derek commented that she just needed to be quiet and patient, that fishing was about being relaxing. Cristina said that she couldn't just turn off her brain therein indicating she was becoming frustrated with the lack of intellectual stimulus in her new unemployed existence. Eventually, when she did catch a fish, a 28 pounder, Cristina got her picture taken with it but suddenly she started crying. It seemed that finally, Cristina was ready to begin healing.

Having an Abortion[]

Cristina found out she was pregnant, but did not want a child. When she told Owen she was going to have an abortion, he got very upset because even though he knew Cristina never wanted children, he wanted children. During their argument over the matter, she yelled again that she was saying no to a baby, leading him to kick her out of the firehouse. Cristina packed her stuff and moved in with Meredith.

Since Derek left Meredith over her tampering with his trial, Cristina helped Meredith take care of Zola, of whom Meredith had been granted temporary custody. Cristina meanwhile tried to reach out to Owen, but he ignored her calls and walked away from her in the hospital every time she tried to tell him that she didn't get the abortion yet, as she didn't go through with it the first time. However, she was determined to have the abortion, with or without him, during her second appointment that night. While Teddy came around and told Cristina she would start teaching her again, Cristina found out that Meredith had been fired by the hospital board, leading Cristina to start hating Alex and urging Meredith to find a way to fight the board's decision. Cristina had a busy and boring day at work, as Teddy's new plan was to teach Cristina all about the basics, which Cristina skipped during her first years of residency because she was so talented. When Meredith informed Cristina that her new plan was to be a stay-at-home mother for Zola, Meredith questioned if Cristina if she wanted to be a mom too, which may have been the reason she didn't go through with the abortion the first time. Cristina assured her she did not want to be a mother; she wanted to be a surgeon and she really needed someone to get that, hoping Owen would be that person to support her decision, but she guessed he never would show up for the abortion.[5]

Noticing how the relationships between the fifth-year residents had deteriorated, Callie and Bailey organized a Gunther, some sort of test to see which one of the residents would step up as the leader while treating a patient. As suspected by most of the attendings, Cristina took the lead in the OR right until she accidentally administered epi to Alex, arresting his heart. Cristina immediately stopped operating and revived him with a crash cart. Although the epi revealed an underlying arrhythmia, Cristina admitted to Teddy that she moved too fast and made a mistake. Cristina was then paged to the hospital basement by Meredith, who had disappeared with Zola hours ago, because they were probably going to take her away. She promised a panicking Meredith she would fix it.

She did not get an abortion at the first appointment because Owen was threatening a divorce and she did not want to upset him so she waited to talk to him and then got another appointment to have an abortion. Owen came with her to the appointment and held her hand.

Owen was upset with Cristina and so went out for a drink with a patient's friend. They both got drunk and on their way home she asked him to kiss her. He told her that he was married. She told him to kiss her anyway, which he did. One thing led to another and they had sex.

Deciding on Fellowship Programs[]

During her final year of residency, Cristina was approached by many hospitals to join their programs. Many offered incentives, such as research labs and funding, as well as fruit baskets and Broadway tickets. While most other residents were flying around the country participating in interviews, Cristina was content to be wooed and let the heads of department come to her. Following the plane crash, she elected to leave Seattle to work at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

Plane Crash[]

Together with Meredith, Derek, Lexie, Arizona, and Mark, Cristina boarded a plane that was supposed to take them to a hospital in Boise where they would assist on a surgery to separate conjoined twins. However, the back of the plane broke off during the flight, resulting in the plane crashing in the woods.[6]

After the crash, Cristina's shoulder was dislocated and she somehow lost one of her shoes. She helped a confused Meredith get back up and told her that the plane crashed. Meredith also couldn't find Derek lying around anywhere, and Cristina remembered that he was sucked out the side when the plane hit the trees and that the back of the plane came off. Meanwhile, Arizona kept on screaming in pain until Cristina yelled at her to shut up. When they heard a banging sound, she, Meredith, and Mark followed it and found Lexie trapped under the part of the plane that broke off.


Mark popping Cristina's shoulder back in.

While Meredith went off looking for Derek, Cristina and Mark stayed with Lexie. Mark popped Cristina's shoulder back in and put her arm in an improvised sling, after which they tried to lift the part of the plane to release Lexie, though they were unsuccessful. Cristina asked Lexie about her condition, and she replied that her legs and pelvis were crushed and that she was not sure her left arm was still there. Both she and Cristina realized that Lexie wasn't going to make it, though Mark convinced a teary-eyed Cristina to go back the front part of the plane to get fluids and oxygen tanks.

Back at the front part of the plane she stabilized Jerry's spine. Jerry, the pilot, told them that the rescue team should be there in four hours. While looking for supplies for the stabilization, Cristina found a flare gun, and when Jerry asked her about his potentially paralyzed legs, she got a pen and stuck it into his leg. He didn't react, and she apologized, indicating that they were indeed paralyzed. Cristina then got bottles of water, and Meredith came back saying she hadn't found Derek yet. She wanted to continue looking for him, though Cristina said she should come with her to Lexie first.


Cristina and Meredith find out Lexie has passed away.

However, when they arrived at the back part of the plane, they found a devastated Mark next to Lexie, who had only succumbed to her injuries seconds ago. Cristina sat down and started staring in front of her while mourning the loss. She and Meredith eventually decided to go look for Derek, until he appeared with a bleeding hand.

Cristina went back to the front part of the plane to look for supplies to treat Derek's hand the best way possible. Cristina returned to the back part of the plane, where she handed the supplies she found over to Meredith, who closed the tear in Derek's hand with a safety pin. Meanwhile, Cristina wanted to start a fire using matches she found, and urged Mark to help her, but she noticed he was really weak. As he didn't react, she tore open his shirt, revealing he had a massive cardiac tamponade. Cristina then instructed Meredith on how to do a pericardiocentesis, which Meredith pulled off successfully.


The plane crash victims.

After that, they dragged Mark back to the front part of the plane, to Arizona. They informed her on what happened and Cristina gave Meredith the 5 remaining matches to build a fire when suddenly a helicopter passed. They tried to fire the flare gun, but it didn't work. They slept through the night, waiting for help to arrive.[7]

Cristina was the only one who was awake when the rescue helicopter finally came to rescue the plane crash victims. She stepped into the light and waved to get the pilot's attention. She was taken to the Boise Hospital with the others, where Cristina kept on fighting the doctors. They sedated her and tied her to her bed. When Owen arrived, the Chief of Boise told him she thought that Cristina was in a state of reactive psychosis.

Cristina was sedated again before being flown back to Seattle. She remained in her state of reactive psychosis, refusing to speak. While she just laid in bed, her sight was blurry and every sound was muted in her ears. The doctors at Seattle tried to help her, but she didn't react to anything they tried. She reacted for the first time when a couple of interns were talking about her outside her room. She grabbed a vase and threw it at the window, after which the interns ran off. When another doctor interfered with Cristina's case and yelled at Owen and Bailey that she belongs in psych, Meredith once again urged Cristina to talk, but it didn't have any effect.

However, at some point, Owen decided to take her home with him. In the tub, Owen assured her they could figure it out, but Cristina replied that she could never get out. She finally started talking about what happened during the four days they were in the woods. She stayed awake every minute of those days and tried to take care of the other doctors, clearing the bugs out of Arizona's leg and keeping Mark alive. While everyone was asleep, she took care of everyone under the very dark sky. Out of necessity, she had to drink her pee and even the fuel from the plane. She also tried to keep the wild animals off Lexie's body, but wasn't successful doing so.[8]

Relocating to Minnesota[]

Soon after, Cristina got out of her state and made plans to relocate to Minnesota, where she took a job at the Mayo Clinic. Before taking off, Cristina had a discussion with Meredith, who was worried that Cristina was just running away. Cristina admitted she was just fleeing from Seattle, where horrible things kept happening to her. Meredith wanted to stick together, but Cristina only advised Meredith to leave too. An angry Meredith then yelled that Cristina's person was Cristina herself and that she should just leave. Cristina then got in her car and drove off to Minnesota. After their fight, she and Meredith didn't have contact for a couple of months until Meredith left her a voice mail to tell her that Seattle also meant positive things to her, for example, it's the place where she met Cristina. Cristina then called her back to tell her that Meredith was still her person, and that she always would be.[9]


Cristina in Minnesota

However, at the Mayo Clinic, Cristina had some difficulties fitting in. She was tasked to "babysit" Dr. Thomas, a very old surgeon with boring stories. She constantly FaceTimed with Meredith when not operating, and made plans to fly to Seattle when Mark would be taken off life support. She had tried to fly to Seattle previously, but chickened out every time. She promised Meredith that this time, it would be different. Later that day, she revealed she wasn't really in a hurry to get to Seattle, as Mark would still be in a coma whenever she arrived at Seattle. She missed her flight when she operated with Dr. Thomas observing her, though she thought about Mark when it was 5 o'clock in Seattle. After the surgery, Cristina asked Dr. Parker to steer Dr. Thomas into someone else's direction, even though she insisted she was a team player. However, Dr. Parker ordered her to take a couple of days off to soften her sharp Seattle edges. That night, she FaceTimed with Meredith again and they agreed they needed to get over their fear of flying, as neither of them was able to fly to the other one.[10]

Before the plane crash was going to be investigated, the plane company offered the group of doctors a one-time settlement. The doctors had to decide unanimously, but taking the settlement would mean there wouldn't be an investigation. During one of their regular, short phone conversations, Owen informed her about the settlement and she promised to call him in three days when she would make her decision. She returned to work the next day after her days off, where she faked a story about having visited the Mall of America. He figured out she just googled it, but she assured him she was ready to be a team player. He ordered her to work with Thomas, only believing team playing when he sees it. Later that day, she complained to Parker about Thomas's conservative approach. He promised her she'd join him in the OR very soon to learn cutting edge surgery, but she had to take her turn in babysitting the old guy. This urged her to try to do her best to fit in, even smiling on command. During a FaceTime with Meredith, Cristina told her she and Owen only talked about the settlement and that she would just agree with what the others would decide about the settlement since she was a team player now. In surgery with Thomas, he confessed having googled her but continued to teach her when she told she preferred to talk about medicine. She was impressed with his techniques, despite them being conservative. Cristina called Owen an hour before the settlement meeting, telling him she was fine with whatever the group decided. She also said they couldn't keep calling each other because she was beginning a new life in Minnesota.

At the end of the day, an emotional Cristina sat down on a bench outside the hospital, where Thomas joined her. He revealed he once had been in a plane crash too, and he never talked about it. They started talking about how everything, like cigarettes, seems to kill you these days, which started off their friendship.[11]

Soon after, she started a sexual relationship with Dr. Parker, resulting in quickies in his office. Through her, Parker was informed on the old surgical procedures that Thomas doing. During a phone call with Meredith, Cristina revealed that having sex was her way of trying to fit in, making friends. She confessed she didn't even like Parker, but it's not necessary to like a sex friend. However, she became regular friends with the ancient guy, telling Meredith he was her bestie, the Minnesota version of Meredith. She reassured Meredith that Parker was fine and that it was just a way to get an orgasm. Cristina and Craig Thomas worked together, with her constantly making jokes about his age. While practicing for her surgery with Thomas, Parker asked her if she even suggested a less invasive approach. She did, a procedure that would only take half the time, but he asked her if they were a hospital or a pizza delivery service, and if they needed to have it done in 30 minutes or less. Parker and Cristina agreed he was stubborn, but Cristina pointed out there were also advantages to Thomas' procedure. "Enjoy him while you can," Parker said as Cristina returned to Craig. She asked if this meant she was off probation soon, but he didn't answer.

In the evening, Cristina went to Darren Parker's house to ask him what his deal was with Dr. Thomas. He was disappointed because she came to him to talk about Thomas rather than having sex. He asked her to come, which she only did because it was cold outside. She asked if he was firing Thomas. Parker said they couldn't fire Thomas, only force him to retire. He said that telling her this broke a whole lot of board regulations, but she interrupted him and asked him to name one mistake Thomas had made. He hadn't, but when he did, his age would make it an instant malpractice suit that the hospital would lose. He added that Thomas was years behind in his medical education, which she said herself. He questioned if Craig refused to try the minimally invasive technique because he was stubborn or because he didn't know how to. Cristina realized that is why Parker had had her working with Thomas, because she represents everything that is new, smart, and advanced in their field, which is his exact opposite. When the time would come to make a case, it would be helpful if she were to help them do it. Cristina angrily said that he should've told her and left his house, with him saying he thought she'd never have a problem with it.

The next day at work, Cristina once again asked Thomas why they weren't doing the minimally invasive technique. He replied it was because they had a surgical plan, but she said she thought he rejected her pitches because they scared him. He thought she had learned something from him. She had, that mortality was breathing down his neck and that he was running from the future like a scared old chicken. He said he was perfectly able of threading a catheter, so she dared him to prove her wrong. While she was scrubbing in for the surgery, Parker came in and asked her what she said to him to make him change his plan, thinking he could legally get in trouble if she told Thomas about what the board was up to. Cristina said it was Thomas' idea and that she was surprised too when he suddenly changed his mind. Parker thought about it and said they might even luck out because he had never seen Thomas do a procedure like this and he wouldn't allow it if Cristina wouldn't be in there to take over when Thomas craps out. He said that Thomas crapping out would be all the board needs for his dismissal. Parker left and Thomas beckoned her from the OR.

In surgery, Thomas was having trouble with the catheter but Cristina gave him tips to pull it off successfully. When it worked, Thomas got enthusiastic about the modern procedure and refused her help when she offered to finish it. In the evening, Parker joined Cristina on her way out, knowing Thomas pulled off the procedure successfully, and she told him he could look a little less disappointed. She said Thomas was a historical treasure and that that was in no way funny. He offered her to go and have sex, but she rejected him because she was meeting a friend for drinks. He said it was nice that she was making friends and wanted to continue, but she wished him a good night and walked off. At a bar, she and Craig were having a drink. Craig knew they were trying to push him out, showing her the watch they gave him at a surprise retirement party four years ago. He thought the watch was a piece of junk, but he wore it just to screw with him. He said they were all so polite and didn't dare to say anything directly. It'd been a while since he had anyone who cared enough to give him grief. Cristina ordered another drink and urged Thomas to order something that contains actual alcohol, so he ordered an old fashioned. She laughed and decided to order one too, instead of another tequila.[12]

As Cristina woke up on a morning, she felt miserable. Parker slept over and tried to be nice, but she brushed him off. Leaving for work, she friendly greeted her neighbor, telling Meredith on the phone that she was neighborly now. As she came outside, she found her car buried under a mountain of snow. Luckily, Dr. Thomas soon came to pick her up and he gave her a danish, accompanied with the scans of a huge aneurysm they were going to operate on together. Parker offered her to join on his cool surgery in the afternoon, but she simply stated not being available. Parker soon interfered with Thomas' case and told Cristina that even though Craig was a great old guy, there was nothing to gain by working with him. Cristina thought otherwise and walked away. Parker came to check up multiple times during the surgery, wanting to interfere when the aneurysm blew, but Thomas told him to back off. After surgery, Parker put Thomas on probation as he refused to step down gracefully and he asked Cristina to talk to Thomas. Cristina confessed to Thomas that she felt guilty over what happened, but he assured her that Parker had been after him a long time. He told her not to worry about his employment and drove her home to get a good night's sleep before the second surgery on their patient.

Inspired by her doomsday prepper patient, Cristina assembled her own bug-out bag, filled with tequila. As Cristina was worried that Parker wouldn't sign off on the second surgery, Thomas told her that the sex with Parker made her conventional and skittish and that he tried not to think about Parker. Cristina couldn't let it go and went to talk to Parker, asking him to let it slide and not to fire Thomas. He said that Thomas was holding her back, which she'd see once he was gone. Cristina then tried to convince Thomas to let her do the surgery with someone else, as it could be the end of him, but Thomas said he may be ready for that. Cristina shouted she couldn't work at the hospital without him, but he pointed out she wasn't going anywhere due to her fear of flying. He revealed he wanted to go down fighting for something he believes in.

Return to Seattle[]

In surgery, Cristina joked that she was his dream come true, which he affirmed. He continued to teach her and complimented her, saying she would be the surgeon of her generation. He told her people would try to diminish her, but they would fail. Suddenly, while operating, Craig froze, looked up at her and fell down. Nurses still tried to resuscitate him as Cristina continued operating, but it was too late. She continued operating with his advice in her mind. She successfully finished the surgery. As she kept thinking about his advice and compliments, she saw his body being rolled off on a gurney and she ignored Parker, who tried to reach out. While remembering that Thomas told her that none of the people at this hospital had the capacity to understand her, she got dressed and left the hospital. She took a flight to Seattle and showed up at Meredith's house, where they hugged after all the time they hadn't met. Cristina had drunk all the tequila from her bug-out bag to board the plane. Seeing each other helped them to accept both Thomas' and Lexie's death.[13]

Cristina moved back into the dream house with Meredith, who understood she needed support after her friend's death. Cristina soon met up with Owen, who showed her what he could offer her salary-wise. She thanked him, but he told her she should thank Jeff Russell, the new head of cardio who really pushed to get her. He told her there was a meeting about the plane crash lawsuit. She had to be there now, because he wasn't acting as her proxy anymore. He gave her an orientation packet and formally welcomed her to the hospital. Cristina marked her return with some mean comments towards April and her way to treat the interns. She soon met up with Jeff, who simply told her to go and have fun, see patients. He trusted her to run his service while he was dealing with his own research and surgeries. He allowed her to sign her own surgeries and only asked her to call him if she had a really cool case. She reminded him she was only a fellow, but he believed that she was as good as an attending. In the plane crash meeting, Cristina was informed they were going to talk about physical, mental or emotional difficulties that they experienced after the crash. They were informed that these harms would mean a sizable award for them, much bigger than the offered settlement. After hearing they might go after Jerry, the pilot, for the money, Cristina said she couldn't help them and left. She started naming the interns with dwarf names, making them hate her.

One of the lawyers followed her and convinced her a statement of her could benefit all of them, so she told him her shoulder hurts sometimes and that she may have had some PTSD. This made her realize she did have some things to talk about and agreed to 15 minutes, but she was called by a nurse for a patient emergency. She allowed her interns to scrub in with her, making them realize she was awesome instead of hate worthy. The surgery went great, with Cristina teaching the interns that it was sometimes better to do things the old fashioned way. After surgery, Owen yelled at her for having operated on Russell's patient without consulting him first, believing Russell would fire her for that. There was a little meeting with Russell and the two of them, and while waiting for Russell, Cristina told Owen he shouldn't have hired her back if he didn't want her there. Russell arrived and simply stated Cristina made a good call. Seeing what Cristina did, Russell told Owen he now knew why Owen pushed him so hard to get Cristina on staff. Cristina was surprised to hear this and Owen quickly left, feeling awkward. At the last meeting of the day, Cristina begged her lawyers to leave the pilot, who is paralyzed now, alone. After Owen was asked to step out, their lawyers told them the best strategy would be to look for a fault from this hospital itself, the people who put them on the plane: Owen. After coming home from work, Cristina realized that the firehouse didn't feel like a home anymore and packed her stuff, moving in with Alex, who bought Meredith's old house. Even though he didn't want roommates at first, she managed to convince him.[14]

During a morning meeting, Owen assured all attendings that the fact that a group of doctors filing a lawsuit against the hospital wouldn't affect their work. After everyone left, Cristina asked what he wanted to do about the firehouse, as she wasn't staying there anymore. He simply told her to do what she liked, as it was her house. During a conversation with Meredith, Cristina said she didn't want to feel like Owen's old wife, chained in the attic, but she didn't know what she wanted to be to him. Cristina met Owen to have him sign off on her surgery and she asked him why she was here, as he pushed so hard to have her back but still didn't seem to want her here. He stated she was good business, but she asked if that was the only reason. He said she moved away, asked him to stop calling, and now she's back, so he had no idea what she wanted. Neither did she, but he pointed out they don't work because they'll always end up hurting each other because they want different things. That's what they've always known and nothing changed about it. During surgery with Bailey, Cristina advised Bailey to just put on her wedding dress and get married, just like she did with Owen. After surgery, Bailey noticed how Cristina cared about the interns, even having fought Bailey to teach one, and how she cared enough about Bailey's wedding to give her good personal advice. She pointed out Cristina changed, even though Cristina didn't think so. This made her think about Owen saying nothing changed between them. She thought maybe she was the thing that changed, and she asked Meredith if she did. Meredith said she did, because she wanted Owen back. Owen came to the firehouse to talk, and just as she wanted to say she wanted to try again, he told her wanted a divorce.[15]

Divorcing Owen[]

On the day of Bailey's wedding, Owen informed Cristina that the lawyer put together the divorce papers, which he'd send tomorrow. Cristina pointed out it was fast, but Owen told her he asked the lawyer to be fast and asked if that was a problem for her. She said no, but seemed to feel otherwise. They agreed to be amical so they could still work together. However, during a conversation with Meredith, Cristina found out that Owen only asked for a divorce because it would benefit the doctors in the lawsuit. After a surgery together, Cristina asked him if it was true. It was, because he really wanted them to get the money and he didn't ask her first because he thought she'd reject it just because it was his idea. She asked him why he made the unilateral decision about their marriage, but he simply asked her why she didn't dare to ask for a divorce when moving across the country. She yelled that he let the plane crash make the decision for him, only to have him revealing that he feels insanely guilty because he is the one who chose the airline due to budget cuts he had to make. She assured him he wasn't at fault, but he couldn't let go of his guilt. After getting dressed for Bailey's wedding, Cristina went to Owen and asked him if the lawsuit was the only reason he asked for a divorce. He didn't know what to say, so she confessed she was going to ask him to try again when he asked for the divorce, resulting in a passionate kiss.[16]

The kiss resulted in them having sex again. After making out, Cristina said that maybe, they were going to be fine. He didn't want to talk about at that moment and started kissing her, but stopped when he got paged. After having worked together all day in the ER, they sat down in a lounge with the divorce papers. She proposed they take a minute to think about what this meant, but he was done thinking about it and confessed they never should've gotten married, as they only put themselves in a box where they kept beating each other again the walls and ripping each other apart over the last two years. He said that they would get out of that box once they signed the papers, after which she took a pen and signed the papers, after which he did the same. They held hands as they both cried and kissed each other to show that they still love each other, even though their marriage ended.[17]

They went from being married to being friends with benefits, with Cristina commenting to Meredith that having sex with someone who used to be your husband is way better than when you're still married. After they got a call from their lawyers, they went to the courtroom to find out they won the case and were awarded with 15 million dollars each. When they returned to the hospital, Cristina revealed to Derek that she figured out Meredith was pregnant, even though Meredith hadn't told her yet. She and Owen went to an on-call room where they talked about the plane crash lawsuit. She asked him to come to Callie's survivor dinner that night, but he refused as Derek was still blaming him. Cristina wanted to comment on this, but he told her he just wanted to enjoy the moment of them being together and they started to undress. After the sex, Cristina went to talk to Derek and begged him to forgive Owen so they could all move past the plane crash, but Derek said it wasn't that easy. In the evening at the restaurant, Callie made her colleagues realize that they should be celebrating because they were all still alive. To make the dinner more fun, Cristina kept on sexting Owen until the others caught her. During the toast, Meredith revealed that she was pregnant and Cristina acted as surprised as the others. Derek called Owen and forgave him and asked him to come over, but Owen refused. Cristina took over the phone and asked him to come and celebrate with them, but Owen still rejected the offer, even after she told him there were bathroom doors that lock. Without the survivors knowing, Owen was informed that the hospital would have to pay the survivors, as the insurance company found a loophole and thereby wouldn't pay. This would mean that the hospital would go bankrupt and would have to close its doors.[18]

Buying and Owning the Hospital[]

When Alana Cahill, a physician's advisor, was hired by the hospital to find a way to save some money and prevent the hospital from going bankrupt, the doctors were informed that the ER would be closed down.[19]

Soon after, cameras were installed in the CCU. There was a remote physician behind the eye to help reduce mistakes, improve patient care and maximize physician hours. Cristina felt extremely uncomfortable with the cameras, thinking they'd soon be installed everywhere (on-call rooms included), and soon started to butt heads with the remote physician. That evening, the ER was closed and Cristina comforted Owen, who was sad as there was no more trauma department in the hospital. She joined him as he went to the bar to go have a drink.[20]

Everytime Owen visited the house, they had loud and hot sex, being made fun of by Alex and Jo. After it became public that the hospital could only be saved through a buyer, Alana started looking for a face to represent the hospital, Cristina was asked to, but she refused as her face only goes on the Nobel brochure. Meanwhile, Alana found a company called Pegasus that was interested in buying. Cristina helped the other doctors take care of hit-and-run victim, despite the fact that the hospital no longer was a trauma center, jeopardizing the sale to Pegasus. At the end of the day, Owen told Cristina the staff was killing him, though they both realized it was the right thing to do. They started to make out in the on-call room again while Callie informed the other survivors that a Pegasus hospital is all but positive and suggested they buy the hospital themselves.[21]

While the others were having a meeting about Callie's suggestion at Meredith's house, Cristina and Owen were having sex, ignoring Meredith's texts. Owen gets a text from Cahill and confides in Cristina that if there's even a small group of staff that quits, Pegasus backs out. She promised him that wouldn't happen and continued making out with him. The next day at work, Meredith informed her that they were thinking about buying the hospital. Cristina laughed it and didn't understand why Meredith thought she'd be on board. Cristina said they have no idea how to run a hospital and she also told Meredith that they couldn't quit, as this would make the whole hospital go down. Even the interns started talking about looking elsewhere, but Cristina urged them to stay loyal to the hospital. Stephanie made her realize though that the interns now don't have the same things as Cristina had when she was an intern. This made Cristina agree to listen to Stan, Derek's financial adviser. He told them they needed more money than they all had combined and that they needed the hospital's financial statements if they were to continue with the plan and if they wanted a precise number of how much more money they needed. Cristina said Owen could get them, but Stan told her that Owen was legally obligated to tell Pegasus everything that could jeopardize the sale, so she should keep him completely in the dark about their plans.

Cristina overheard Owen promising the nurses that Pegasus was their best option. She later asked him if he really believed this, and he replied he didn't. She asked him why he was fighting so hard then. Because it's the only option, he said. As Owen got a call from Alana to inform him that Pegasus moved up the sale and that they would buy the hospital that night, Cristina realized they needed to do something, fast. As all other survivors finally agreed to buy the hospital, Cristina informed them about Pegasus' plans and told them there was only one thing they could do. They went to the conference room where Pegasus was about to buy the hospital and they all quit their jobs, making Pegasus back out. Cristina felt like she stabbed Owen in the back, but Meredith assured her Owen would understand once they could tell him, which Cristina doubted. The group of doctors went to Meredith's house, where Stan explained that they needed to form an LLC so they could legally get all their funds in one place.[22]

They found out that they would need 175 million dollars on top of their own money, so they started looking for an investor. They assembled a packet to convince possible investers, but Cristina didn't believe a packet would convince someone to invest so much money. She was worried this wouldn't work, because Owen stopped calling and he would never speak to her again if this whole project failed. Meredith assured her Owen would be the happiest of all once they bought the hospital and the sneaking around could stop. Alex informed them the hospital was following apart after they quit, as a lot of staff members followed their example. Cristina wanted to ease Alex's fear, but Meredith reminded her they couldn't tell anyone. They found a possible investor in Julian Crest, who would love their main idea of research being very important in the hospital. After a successful meeting with his junior executives, their case was passed up to his business development guys, who wanted to see more of the financial side rather than their medical dreams only. Stan gave them a folder with that kind of information, which made one of the suits run it by Mr. Crest, who agreed to give the doctors 15 minutes in the afternoon before leaving for Dubai.

Through Heather Brooks, they found out that Alana managed to make a new deal with Pegasus. The company wanted to buy the hospital to liquidate its assets and lay off its staff and the hospital board would agree, as there was no other deal. As Crest was their last chance to save the staff, they were encouraged to learn everything about the financial side by heart. Crest thought they were looking for an out-right buyer, not that they actually wanted to run the place. He did his homework on them and found out that there was no manager in the bunch, no administrative leadership experience. He respected their passion and shared it, but he wasn't feeling it. He advised them to get someone with real administrative experience on their team and then they could talk again. While Meredith went to get Richard on their team, Cristina confessed everything to Owen as telling him wouldn't make any more difference now. She explained they only walked out to stall the sale to Pegasus and that they have an investor, only needing him and Webber to get the guy on board before the Pegasus deal would close. She said she didn't tell him because he could be sued or end up in jail due to the disclosure agreements he signed. She promised she was only trying to protect him, after which he went to the board to tell them about the doctors' plan so they wouldn't agree to the Pegasus deal.

The group, plus Richard, returned to Julian Crest and introduced him to the leadership he asked for. Derek and Richard flew to the airport together with Julian in his helicopter so they could talk about it again. The others drove there, only to find out from Richard and Derek that Julian said no again. After this, Cristina met Owen at Joe's. He enthusiastically told her the board decided to wait for them to present their offer, but she had to tell him Julian wasn't going to invest. This meant it was over for the hospital. They returned to Alex's house, where Alex started blaming them for what happened. Cristina finally told him they were trying to buy the hospital and that they screwed up. He got them some good booze and requested they finally started talking to him. The next morning, all doctors were called to a hotel where Catherine Avery, informed about the problems by Richard, told them that the Harper Avery Foundation would very much like to invest with them. There was only one condition: they would like a representative of their choosing to sit on the board of directors. They all happily agreed to the offer, but weren't so enthusiastic to find out Jackson was the elected representative.[23]

Neither of the doctors were happy that Jackson has a bigger say than one of them in running the hospital, but because he represents the Harper Avery Foundation, which put in the majority of the money, Jackson has the decisive vote and the right to veto theirs. Jackson was late during their first meeting and he revealed that the Foundation was still thinking about the reopening of the trauma department and that they were thinking to replace Owen as Chief of Surgery, because they were starting fresh and it'd be good for the moral. No one agreed to this and Cristina told him that this thing with Owen wouldn't happen, no matter who was giving him his marching orders. Meredith pointed out they were grateful for the Foundation's investment, but they didn't ask them to start dictating policy. Jackson replied no one asked them to sue the hospital into bankruptcy either. They reminded him they did so for the plane crash that killed Lexie and left the room.

Cristina went to tell Owen that Avery was talking about replacing him, but she assured him they wouldn't let that happen. She just didn't want him to hear a rumor. He was determined to fix this himself. Cristina found out that Owen quit. He told her he did so because someone was still blaming him for everything, which made him believe he couldn't be effective. The other board members weren't glad she told Owen, but she stated they've been going behind his back for long enough. During the day, Cristina contributed to creating an administrative mess to show Jackson he wasn't capable of leading a hospital. Cristina met up with Derek, whose comments about who to blame made Owen walk out, and told him he should stop blaming Owen. She didn't understand what it was about, as Derek seemingly forgave him months ago. Jackson stepped up as a leader when he managed to solve the OR crisis and find an available OR for Cristina.

In the evening, the doctors signed the documents and they officially became the board of directors. Before they could leave the room, Jackson wanted to share some things that were top priority. They agreed to listen and he told her he wanted to reinstate Owen Hunt as Chief of Surgery, to which Owen agreed. This brought him to his second point: they were reopening the ER so they would be a level 1 trauma center again. From now on, the Foundation would be following their lead, not the other way around. Lastly, he proposed they rename the hospital, as they were building a new hospital that stands for leading and innovation and he wanted them to remember they were a hospital run by doctors, which should mean something. He suggested a name to remember the very reason they came together and been able to do this. He turned around a paper and revealed the name "Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital", a name that exemplifies the spirit of the hospital but also the depth of their dedication. With every member of the board voting in favor, the hospital was officially renamed.[24]

Soon after, a brand new ER was opened with cutting edge equipment. Owen was very pleased with this, thanking Cristina with a passionate kiss. The board also had a 17 hour meeting to decide on a logo for the hospital. Cristina was excited about the fact that them buying the hospital earned them an article in the magazine Surgery Today. While browsing through a magazine, she saw an article about Marcus Cho, a "moron" who was a year behind her at Stanford. Frustrated that other doctors were doing research while she kept on postponing research to fulfill her administrative duties, she went to look for Dr. Russell to find earth-shattering badass cardio research she could get in on. Russell overheard her saying this and was glad to hear her say that, thinking he had just the right procedure for her. He introduced her to his valve trial, allowing her to complete the procedure on her own on his patient of the day. She enthusiastically told him everything she knew about the procedure and confessed she had wanted to get in on the trial ever since she heard about it. After the procedure, she was completely impressed. He told her the results of phase 2 had been astounding and she asked when phase 3 would begin. That depended on her, he said. She thought he would allow her to do phase 3, but he told her it was his trial and that he didn't need another surgeon. What he needed from her was 12 million dollars to keep it going. She thought he was bringing her onto the trial, but understood he was only pitching her. He said it was nice to finally have someone on the board who got what he was doing.

Cristina ventilated her frustration to Meredith. She said that this was exactly what she was afraid of: the administrative duties were taking over her career, and now Russell saw her as someone on the board instead of as a surgeon. To give Miranda the money she needed for her genome project and to punish Russell for the way he treated her, Cristina cut Russell's budget by a few million. He shouted he asked for more and that this would mean he had to lose a resident and a research assistant. Probably two of each, she pointed out and fakely apologized. This only left him with her, determined to take over the work of those four people and do her very best at it. She would treat his patients, take his surgeries and assist in research, including projects she'd find on her own. "Pile it on," she said and he started objecting he couldn't do that, but she told him the board believed he could. In the evening, she took a whole bunch of research material home with her to get through that night.[25]

Breaking Up with Owen[]

After hot morning sex, Owen was paged to the hospital for the victims of a big accident on the highway. Cristina started treating Paul Dawson, the father of Ethan, the boy Owen took care of. Cristina had to operate on Paul and Owen soon came to check if she could give him a time frame for Ethan. As Ethan was fine but his mother had to have surgery as well, Owen spent time with Ethan to comfort him. In the evening, Owen and Cristina hung out together in an on-call room. She informed she had no idea when Paul could be transferred out of the CCU, which Owen hoped would be soon as Ethan started freaking out. He soon fell asleep and she got paged. She went to Paul's room, where Paul was arresting. She managed to revive him and induced therapeutic hypothermia, which would help to avoid another attack. Owen started caring for this family and questioned her move, asking her about Russell's approval. She reminded him he was her patient, but he went to talk to Russell about it. He agreed with Cristina's plan, though Owen suspected he may only do so because he was afraid of her, like she suspected herself. Cristina asked what was going on and he explained that Paul had a little boy of whom both parents were hospitalized. She assured him she only made the decision in the best interest of her patient and, just like him, wanted Ethan to see his dad again. He hugged her and apologized for his behavior. She proposed they get out together. He agreed, but first went to to spend time with Ethan without her knowing.[26]

The next day, Paul was still unconscious and while Cristina was checking up on him, Owen came to talk to her. He told her Ethan spent the night on the peds ward to keep social services away and that Ethan's grandmother was coming today. Cristina brought up they were supposed to meet up last night and told him she wore the T-shirt that she's not allowed to wear when they're arguing because it makes him forget what his point was. He was sorry he missed it and as she said she could put it on again, Owen asked her why Paul was still out. She said he would wake up once she'd reverse the hypothermia. She reminded she said he might, or might 8 hours later or he might 8 days later. They don't have a problem until it's any more than that. Owen wanted her to talk to Russell about this, even though she assured there was no reason to. Later that day, Cristina overheard how Arizona informed Owen that Ethan's grandmother got stuck back east and that she advised him to call social services. Later that day, Meredith asked Cristina if she would take care of her kids when Meredith would start suffering from Alzheimer's, but Cristina once again made it clear that she didn't want to have kids and that she preferred to visit the kids regularly rather than raising them. She wanted to be the coolest aunt in the world, but she couldn't be a mom. Meredith later came to convince her to give her a lethal injection once she started showing the symptoms of Alzheimer's, as Derek didn't seem to want to do it.

Later that day, Cristina gave Paul Dawson a bolus of D50, as it might help him to wake up. Owen asked her why she didn't talk to him first. Because she talked to Russell about it like, he asked. He brought up that she knew he was concerned about the case, but she questioned if there had to be three highly-trained surgeons supervising one man's recovery. He said they work as a team at the hospital, and while she brought up she had been too busy teaching the Syrian doctors to overthink perfectly straightforward post-op care, he told her that the next morning, she would round on Paul with him and Russell. Meredith came over to Paul's room and Cristina told her Paul was going to wake up in a few days, so they could all relax about it. She told her that she Owen maybe didn't like being Chief because lately he was all about Russell not supervising her and she thought that may be because he missed teaching and that the administrative crap made him lose touch with medicine. In the evening however, she and Meredith watched Owen talk with Ethan in his room. She said this must be why he'd been acting so crazy lately. Meredith pointed out that kids make you crazy and Cristina agreed. Meredith said it looked kinda cute though, which Cristina did not like hearing.[27]

During a board meeting, Jackson told the other board members that the CDC, which was brought in to examine a post-operative infection that spread among 3 of Bailey's patients, asked them not to discuss the investigation with Bailey, so they had to avoid her that day. All thought it was ridiculous and they were opposed his idea to put out a statement. Meredith also asked her to be in her corner when she was giving birth, but Cristina declined because people poop on the table during childbirth. Throughout the day, Cristina teased Alex about his feelings for Jo, suggesting he punch Jason to take back his girl. Owen and Cristina ended up in an elevator together and agreed to celebrate in an on-call room after surgery. She asked him about Ethan's grandmother, who had arrived earlier that day. He told her she was sweet but useless, but that was not a problem as Rachel, Ethan's mother, was doing better. Cristina said she did neurological exams on Paul and she had a good feeling that he'd wake up soon. Owen kissed her and thanked her for the good feeling she had. He also advised her to agree to Meredith's request, as seeing a baby being born is like watching God in person. Cristina then told Meredith she would be there and hearing that Meredith would suffer more than her, as she'd know Cristina saw her poop on the table, made her feel a little bit better. She walked into Owen and she told him she was sorry about Paul's wife. He barely reacted and she asked if he was angry with her, but he was just angry at the situation. Cristina suggested they go home to relax a little, but he wanted to stay in case Paul's condition would change or Ethan would need something. He just didn't feel like he could leave and asked her what she would do. She replied she would go home because she was his doctor, not his family. He still decided to stay and she told him she understood. At the end of the day, Cristina had a meeting where Bailey was found to have spread an infection due to microtears in the gloves, which were implemented by Pegasus' protocol. The blame was all on the gloves and Bailey could return to the OR once she was infection-free, which was the best outcome, Cristina told her. That night, Alex came to talk to her and he confessed indeed loving Jo. On her turn, she confessed that she thought she was losing Owen, not today, but soon.[28]

On the eighth day of Paul's coma, he still hadn't woken up. Cristina didn't like that the family overheard her saying the number of eight days, as they now got their hopes up while it could also be a few days after the eighth day. She started thinking about other treatments she could have followed, but she concluded the therapeutic hypothermia was the only right one. Following his confession, Cristina helped Alex to avoid Jo. Meredith informed her Bailey had locked herself in her genome lab because she was mad at all of them for the CDC thing, which prompted Cristina to go talk to her. From outside the lab, Cristina explained the situation and without Bailey answering, Cristina came up with the idea to go global. She called several international hospitals to ask about their trials regarding waking up coma patients, but without success. The entire board later tried to apologize to Bailey, but she continued to ignore them all. When Ethan was brought in with an overdose of sleeping pills, Cristina suddenly realized that zolpidem is a gaba agonist and that they could reverse the effects. She and Owen went to Paul's room to give him zolpidem, which triggers the gaba pathway. In normal brains this causes drowsiness, but when there has ban a chemical balance disturbance, the drug can reverse the effect. They waited next to his bed for an hour, but it didn't work. Owen got angry and frustrated because a social worker was going to take Ethan away as his grandmother, who suffered from cataracts, couldn't take care of him anymore. Cristina showed up at Ethan's room and assured him that they were trying anything to wake up his father, telling him not to give up on his father. Cristina watched how Owen started comforting the crying boy and left in pain. At the end of the day, Cristina and Owen snuggled in an on-call room and she brought up he changed. She knew he still wanted a kid. He convincingly said he wanted her and kissed her passionately to shut her up, though once the kiss ended, both of their faces clearly showed that they both knew she was right.[29]

When Cristina replied to Nancy Dawson's questions about withdrawing care for her comatose son Paul, Owen got mad at her for having told Nancy that it was unlikely that Paul would ever wake up. This pushed Cristina to try even harder to wake up Paul, resulting in finding a small blood clot on a CT scan of Paul's head. Derek informed her that taking out the clot could wake him up, but might also kill him. He asked if the family wanted to take the risk, so Cristina went to ask Nancy, who agreed to the surgery. Derek performed most of the surgery, during which the basilar wall dissected. Derek was forced to leave Heather to finish the surgery when he had to check on Meredith. Cristina was worried about Heather finishing the surgery, but she did good. After the surgery, Derek honestly said that he thought the surgery had done more harm than good. Cristina sighed and started beating herself up over the fact that she hadn't seen the clot earlier, but Derek assured her she did what she could. However, soon after, Paul did wake up and Cristina enthusiastically went to get Owen. Instead of being happy, Owen was visibly disappointed when he saw Ethan and Paul together and ordered an immediate transfer to Seattle Pres. Cristina later talked to Meredith about Owen's disappointment and how close Owen was getting to the kid. She then heard from Meredith that Owen had been thinking about taking Ethan and that he seemed ready to do so. Cristina asked what she could do about it, but Meredith said there wasn't anything she could do.[30]

Cristina and Owen both were on the elevator to the rooftop with Ethan and his father, who were ready to be transferred to Seattle Pres. Cristina watched Owen take care of Ethan and once they boarded the helicopter, she asked him he could pretend this wasn't an issue. She told him again he wanted kids, but he assured her he just wanted this one kid. She said him lying to himself did not make her feel better about him lying to her, but he promised he was not lying about loving her and wanting to spend the rest of his life with her. She questioned if he would never look at her in the future and only see the things she couldn't give him. He simply asked her if she ever thought about the fact that he might now his own mind better than she did. Cristina then got paged by Meredith. Cristina went to her room and commented it was typically her to go into labor during a super storm. While Meredith was informed she needed to have a C-section, the lights died. In the complete darkness, Shane came to get Cristina as Webber needed her in his OR. Cristina only agreed if Shane took her place by Meredith's side and came to update her regularly. In the OR, Cristina found out through an ultrasound that there was a hole in the patient's heart and she had to open him up to find out where it was exactly. She initially refused, but Richard managed to convince her. Even in the dark, she managed to find to the hole in the heart with Webber's guidance by simply listening to it.

After surgery, she thanked Richard for having made her a better doctor tonight. She left the scrub room to go check up on Meredith, only to find that Meredith was not in recovery. She went to Connie, who was already working on another patient, but she had no idea where Meredith was as she didn't know about the splenic bleed Bailey was fixing at the exact same moment. She met up with Derek and they ran to the OR, where they waited outside until Bailey finished the surgery. Derek was worrying, but Cristina listed all the things Meredith survived and concluded she would survive the surgery. Meredith indeed survived the surgery, much to their happiness.

She went to tell Owen, who wanted to go visit the Shepherd family together. She asked if he knew how much she loved him, which he did. She started talking about the joy she felt in the dark OR and that she feels like that all the time in the OR, pure joy, content. She asked if he felt like that with just her. He avoided the question, but she knew he felt that way with Ethan. He claimed she was reading way too much into it, but she told him to stop for a second and listen to his heart. He started talking about how she was the only thing he needed in his life, but she once again asked if he believed she would be enough. He couldn't reply and she apologized and said she wished it were different. He started to object, but she said it already happened. She walked out of the on-call room and even though he shouted that he said no, he didn't come after her as she left. Cristina went to Meredith's room, but upon seeing them enjoying their newborn son, she decided not to interrupt them and walked away.[31]

After a board meeting, in which Cristina's question about Dr. Boswell led to Callie outing Arizona as a cheater, Cristina laid down next to Meredith in her hospital bed. She felt like she was going to die because of the break-up and told Meredith that she ended things with Owen. Meredith thought they'd start things again as always, but Cristina assured her this time was different than the other times they broke up. She and Owen worked together again when he had to mediate between Cristina and Bailey, who differed on opinions over Richard's case. She lost from Bailey when Meredith, who turned out to be Richard's medical proxy, relied on the labs and let Bailey operate. Before Owen was going into surgery with Bailey, Cristina gave him instructions and put them in Owen's phone, even though he told her it wasn't necessary. He kindly told her she was a challenging person, which she already knew. Cristina went back to Meredith's room, where Meredith asked her to say she made the right decision. Cristina let go of her professional opinion and told Meredith she did.[32]

Meredith wanted her to assure her again, which Cristina did. They then waited for news on Richard and Heather. When the latter died, Cristina and Owen went to tell Stephanie. The interns got the night off to mourn Heather's death, so Cristina took over one of Stephanie's patients. While discussing the patient with Owen, he blurted out he wished he had known their last time together that it was their last time together, as he would've done things a little differently. He described their last time together, and after they agreed it wasn't their best work, they rushed off to an on-call room to have sex. When Cristina went back to Meredith's room, Meredith noticed something in Cristina's hair, which an ashamed Cristina quickly covered up. Later, while informing Owen on her patient again, he said he was glad they had given each other a better last memory. Cristina said that if they had really thought it through, the last time he mentioned hadn't been their last time. She whispered into his ear what had been, and they rushed to an on-call room again. While cuddling in bed, Cristina told Owen they couldn't stay friends as they would just continue to have sex all the time. "Just because I am the one who said it was time, doesn't mean this is easy for me. This is not easy for me," she said as she started crying. After a long day of work, Cristina told Owen she was going at Meredith's house to help Callie (who moved in there) and Derek take care of the kids. Owen offered to help, but she just wished him a good night and left.[33]

Soon after, Cristina already started to miss sex. At work, Owen told her and Arizona that they, as two of the few remaining board members at work, needed to make a decision about the outpatient surgery wing, which was destroyed by the storm. During his speech, he accidentally offended Arizona, who left, leaving Cristina and Owen all alone. Cristina noticed he was stressed and wanted to comfort him, but remembered their break-up and quickly left, before something would happen between them again. Later that day, Cristina talked to Meredith about the situation with Owen, saying that nothing would change if they just kept having sex. While looking at her patient's scans with Owen, there was some romantic tension and he told her he would normally kiss her. Callie interrupted the moment by coming in to ask questions about couples therapy, but offended them both by saying couple's therapy obviously hadn't done them any good. At the end of the day, Cristina and Owen ended up in the elevator together. She told him they would eventually be drawn together again, and then proposed they both date other people. She admitted it would feel forced, but it might help them to get over each other and she made him promise to at least try it.[34]

At the fundraising party that was organized to get money to repair the hospital after the super storm, Jackson informed them that 10% of the money would go to the department of the surgeon who'd raise the most money. Both Owen and Meredith came to complain to her, and she told them it was simple. They just had to be charming, using the same skills they'd use if they wanted to pick someone up at a bar. She knew Meredith knew how to do that, and she'd get Owen to practice if they were serious about meeting new people. She then spotted a guy which she nicknamed Richy Rich, whom she kept on complimenting and flirting with. While she was getting the guy another drink at the bar, she interrupted Owen and Emma's conversation and chased Emma away, telling Owen he wouldn't get money out of her. She advised him to go after an old lady wearing Chanel and returned to Richy Rich with a drink. Some time later, she went to get another drink for the guy. At the bar, she met Alex and told him that every drink she served the guy would mean another zero on the check he'd give her. She had so much that night, reminding her of her intern year, in which they played dirty and stole surgeries. They didn't get to do that anymore now. While treating the victim of an accident at the party, Cristina wondered if Richy Rich was watching, as they looked awesome taking care of the patient and that would mean even more money. She was paged to the hospital to operate on a tamponading junkie.

In surgery, she called Shane a shark, as he did a pericardial window on his own in the ER. She assured him it was a good thing, as all good surgeons were sharks: you see what you want, do whatever it takes to get it, like her. She told him to never apologize, as sharks don't do that. She allowed him make the decision on how they'd continue the surgery, and he chose the risky move, which she pulled off successfully. After surgery, she met up with Richy Rich and flired with him some more to get him to give her check. Once he did, he proposed they got out of the hospital, but refused it was all about the money for her, unlike what he thought. She flirted with him all night to get him to write this big check, only for nothing in return. He asked her if she didn't even feel a little bit bad about that, which she didn't. He proposed she could sleep with him for free, but she just smiled and walked away with the check.

She met Owen on his way out of the hospital and told him she understood he didn't want to date other people, as people were gross. She said they looked great though and asked him to go to Joe's for a drink, just as Emma walked in. She came to talk to Owen, who was charmed by her. Noticing Owen's interest in Emma, Cristina said she was just heading out and left the two of them to talk. Once outside, she was seemingly disappointed that Owen managed to find someone new so fast and turned her down for his new love interest.[35]

Fight with Meredith[]

Meredith and Cristina briefly fought over the fact that their lives had led them to two different places. Meredith ultimately believed that Cristina did not think Meredith could be as great a surgeon as she could because Meredith focuses on being a parent as well as a surgeon. Eventually, their fight ended.

Conduit Trial[]

Cristina began a trial where she used Meredith's 3D printer to create conduit hearts to help children. Her research led to her nomination for the Harper Avery Award, which bought her more recognition for her trial.

Harper Avery Award[]

Though she was told she was the front runner by Catherine Avery, she still lost the award. Later, it was revealed that she had all the votes to win. It was the connection the hospital had with the foundation that cost her the award. It is impossible for anyone working at the hospital to win a Harper Avery Award.

Leaving Seattle[]

The loss of the Harper Avery Award kept on haunting Cristina at the hospital. The other doctors wanted her to use her recent success in the medical community to appeal new surgeons and investors for the hospital. When telling Sabine McNeil that her children needed to go home in order to properly heal, she herself realized that she needed to get away from the hospital for some time to get over the loss. She told Meredith she needed a day where it was all about her trial and not about the Awards or its financial consequences for the hospital. She then followed Meredith and Owen's advice to give a lecture about her trial at another hospital, and accepted an offer to travel to Zurich. They thought she needed time to figure out what she was going to do next. After spending four days in her hotel, she fell in love with the city. During the lecture, it turned out that it had been Preston Burke who made her come to Zurich. Initially resentful given their history, she ultimately accepted his offer to scrub in with him as she had also followed his work over the years. He showed her some of his hospital's cutting edge techniques, such as holographic hearts in the OR and 49 3-D printers.


Cristina realizes what she wants to do next.

Seeing all these techniques, she suddenly realized that printing a functioning, beating human heart is what she wanted to do next. He said she could do that at his hospital, as he had an endless amount of fundings and had the material to do what she desired. After overthinking the job offer, she refused later that night, as she suspected some ploy to get her back in his life. However, he revealed he was married and had kids now. Even though he acknowledged her life had changed too and that he didn't know her anymore, he admitted she had become a magnificent surgeon and everything he dreamed she'd be, which moved her. He told her she should be in a place like this hospital and asked her to consider his offer again. That night on the phone, she told Meredith about the offer and that everything she ever wanted was in Zurich, except him being there.

However, the next morning, before leaving, she paid him another visit and once again declined his offer. He wanted to know why, as it didn't make any sense. She told him she never wanted to work for him, she wanted to be him. Him walking away from her at the altar was the best thing that ever happened to her, as it made her stand on her own two feet. She asked why he offered her a job that he knew she couldn't resist, thinking he'd want her to chase "the carrot" until he'd snatch it away. He revealed he didn't want her to work for him, as that would destroy his marriage and his life. Eventually, he'd be chasing her. He repeated he did not want her to work for him, so she reminded him he just offered her a job. He then revealed he wanted her to take over from him, as he would be leaving to move with his family. She couldn't believe it at first, but it was the truth: he was seriously offering her a hospital. This place was hers if she wanted it. She then accepted the offer. She returned to Seattle, where Meredith immediately realized that Cristina accepted Burke's offer and that her person would be leaving the city.[36]

Back in Seattle, Owen was supportive of her decision, but Meredith suspected he was up to something. Cristina volunteered to interview replacements for Jeff Russell, her boss. None of the applicants seemed fitting, but Owen told her they couldn't all be like her. When Meredith heard about the interviews at lunch, she thought that was Owen's plan: making her meet applicants she wouldn't like so she wouldn't leave and offering her the job at the end. During the last interview, Cristina was asked about the Harper Avery Award, which was the applicant's goal. She told him he'd never win it, as the only goal of the Award's winners is to make patients better using innovative techniques. In the evening, Owen joined her to make a decision. He proposed to ask the Foundation for a large infusion of cash into the cardio department so they could attract higher category talent. Cristina hushed him and asked him not to offer her the job. He confessed he wanted to for a week, but he didn't because he knows she has to go. They both realized nothing good could come out of him asking her to stay, so he wouldn't ask her to. However, he did ask her not to leave him until she had to leave, after which they ended up kissing again.[37]

After putting off her departure multiple times awaiting a heart for Lincoln McNeil, the day finally came to leave. After drinking with Meredith, she spent one final night with Owen. She promised him they'd have a goodbye at the hospital and then left for the mall to go buy a European phone charger. However, there was an explosion at the mall before she arrived, worrying Owen. She turned out fine at the hospital, where Meredith told her about her move to D.C. and Arizona informed her that a heart had become available for Link. She scrubbed in with Alex and reminded him of how good he is, suggesting he was putting all that talent in a drawer by taking the job at the private practice. Unbeknownst to him, she had laid him an envelope on his bed, leaving him her shares of the hospital. She requested that Maggie Pierce, her new boss, prep Link for her.


Meredith says goodbye to Cristina.

While scrubbing in, Meredith joined her and Cristina explained that she needed to perform the transplant in order to feel finished. Meredith pointed out she didn't need to feel finished since she was just taking the next step in her career, and she promised she'd help Cristina leave. As the donor heart was delayed, Cristina had to leave before the surgery. She hugged Derek on her way out. As she allowed Shane to come with her per his request, she hugged and thanked Bailey and Webber. She then rushed off to wave at Owen from the gallery as he was operating. Meredith then got her in the cab just as the heart for Link arrived and told Cristina she loved her, after which the cab drove off.

However, Cristina made a brief return as she had thought of the perfect way to say goodbye to Meredith. She dragged her to an on-call room and said they needed to dance it out one last time. Before dancing it out, they made arrangements to keep in touch and Cristina asked Meredith not to let Owen get all dark and twisty and to mock Alex once in a while. She also asked her person not to be a hero since Cristina needs her alive. Meredith makes her brave. They then danced it out. Right before leaving, Cristina finally said what had been bugging her. She told Meredith that while Derek was very dreamy, Meredith was the sun, a surgeon with an extraordinary mind, so she shouldn't let what Derek wanted eclipse what she needed. She then left for the airport and flew to Zurich.

She settled down in Burke's former office and decorated it with pictures of Meredith, Derek, and Owen. Shane came to get her for their first staff meeting.[38]


Cristina came back to Seattle to stand with Meredith at Derek's funeral and hold her hand. Alex later reached out to her when Meredith disappeared, but Cristina hadn't seen or heard from Meredith since.[39]

The night Meredith won the Harper Avery Award, Cristina called her while she was about to celebrate with Alex, just in time for the champagne. Alex and Meredith opened the bottle and Cristina asked Meredith if she felt different, to which Meredith answered she did.[40]

When Sam Bello was forced to leave the country because she was a dreamer, Cristina agreed to take Bello in as a surgical intern at Klausman Institute for Medical Research and have her work under her.[41]

Soon after Meredith's "Hospital From Hell" article was published, Cristina texted Meredith encouraging her to move to Switzerland before Miranda killed her.

Cristina sent a letter of support for Meredith for her medical license hearing, where she stated that Meredith was the only one she would want to operate on her if she was dying, that she was the sun and was unstoppable and that she would fix the broken system.[42] As a congratulatory gift, Cristina sent Cormac Hayes to Seattle.[43]

Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade in the United States, Cristina sent supplies to Addison and Bailey to show her support and said to keep fighting.[44]


Cristina is incredibly focused and driven (even more so than the others) and is always excited about the chance to scrub in on a surgery. Extremely competitive, she is not above stealing and hijacking patients if it means getting in on an exciting surgery. Cristina has excellent surgical skills, and is the intern with the most medical knowledge. However, she has difficulties conveying her feelings and dislikes being touched by anyone, including her mother. She also has a poor bedside manner and finds it hard to empathize with most patients.

Cristina values logic and practical thinking above emotional reasoning, but has undergone several emotional situations since becoming an intern. She has been described as cold, cut-throat and hardcore, which she defines as her "edge" and has helped her during her internship but has caused emotional problems in relationships such as with Burke and George who describes her as a "robot". Because of the traumatic experience of watching her father die, Cristina is unable to handle the emotional loss from the thought of losing her loved ones. While she initially grappled with the concept of expressing her feelings, Cristina has gradually become more comfortable with sharing her inner thoughts. Nevertheless, she is still considered the least emotional of all the interns.


Old Cristina.

Despite her strong personality, when Meredith was unconscious after falling into the water during the ferry crisis, Cristina fled after she realized she could not deal with the fact that her "person" was dying. Burke encouraged her to confront her feelings, and she burst into the trauma room and insisted that the doctors try to revive Meredith again. Meredith soon woke up, and an overwhelmed Cristina happily told Meredith that she was getting married to Burke, and Meredith was the one person she wanted to tell.

Izzie tells Cristina about her cancer, and asks her not to tell anyone else. Cristina pulls every favor she possibly can and sets her up with the best surgical oncologist in Washington state, but Izzie blows it off, annoying Cristina. When confronted, Izzie is apathetic about the cancer, which makes Cristina wonder why she told her. While helping Izzie, Cristina becomes increasingly distracted on the day of her solo surgery and eventually told an OR of Izzie's illness, including Bailey and Alex.



While at Stanford Medical School, she began a romantic relationship with the renowned cardiothoracic surgeon and her professor, Colin Marlow. This relationship lasted for 3 years throughout her medical degree and the relationship ended as she finished medical school.


Cristina after her miscarriage.

Preston Burke[]

Preston Burke gave Cristina a cup of coffee, causing her to be taken aback by the gesture. Later, touched by the fact that Burke admitted to having made a huge error in a surgery, Cristina followed Burke into the on-call room and locked the door. They proceeded to have sex. The next day, Burke tried to get Cristina to define their relationship, but a commitment-phobic Cristina brushed him off. She later found out later that she was pregnant and immediately scheduled an abortion.

Unable to deal with her emotions about the pregnancy and abortion, she distanced herself from a bewildered, frustrated Burke, telling only Meredith about her pregnancy, as she was her person she had put down in case of a medical emergency. Meanwhile, her covert relationship with Burke came out into the open after George saw them kissing and told Meredith and Izzie. After the Chief told Burke that he could only be interim Chief of Surgery if he was prepared to sacrifice his personal life, he decided to break up with Cristina. Although she pretended to not care, Cristina was hurt by his decision and decided against telling Burke about her pregnancy. However while in surgery with Burke, she collapsed from an ectopic pregnancy and her left fallopian tube burst.[45] Burke was shocked to find out about the pregnancy, but Cristina reminded him that he broke up with her. Despite that, he was the only one whom she allowed to comfort her when she could not stop crying from her grief.

The couple reconciled and officially became a couple.[46] When Cristina and Burke went on their first official date out of the hospital, they realized that they have almost nothing in common. Burke also noted that Cristina is “very hard to get to know” and she agreed. Although their relationship was dysfunctional, it was still going strong as they were clearly in love with each other.

Another obstacle in her relationship with Burke was their different beliefs. Burke is moderately religious and believes in spiritual traditions, while Cristina is a strong atheist who believes only in science and openly scoffs at any superstition and spiritual ideas. When she first found out about Burke's spirituality, Cristina was shocked, believing that a surgeon with his level of ambition and medical skill wouldn't have anything but a purely scientific mind. She began looking down on Burke for beliefs she considered irrational, while Burke was hurt and angry she wouldn't accept his spirituality. This clash in belief caused tension between Cristina and Burke, but it was subsequently resolved.

Cristina’s commitment issues resurfaced when Burke gave her a key to his apartment and asked her to move in with him. She felt that they did not know each other well enough yet, but Burke convinced her to open up to him. Cristina introduced Burke to her extremely messy apartment and lifestyle, but Burke accepted her for what she was. She eventually agreed to move in with Burke, but secretly kept her old apartment. The truth eventually came out and Burke was mad that Cristina had lied to him. Burke later confronts her, and talks to her about how competitive and stubborn she is, while he still loves her. Cristina replied saying that she gave up her apartment twenty minutes ago.

When George had a disastrous sexual encounter with Meredith and moved out of her place, Burke invited him to stay at his apartment. Cristina was jealous that George was able to relate better to Burke than she could, and she devised a way to make Burke kick out George himself. Insisting on her right to be comfortable in her own home, she went about naked in the apartment, and Burke was forced to evict George from their apartment.

Later, Burke became mad at Cristina when she unwittingly fell asleep during sex.[47] During this conflict, Burke prevented Cristina from scrubbing in on several surgeries. This outraged Cristina, who hated the fact that her love life could have such a large impact on her work life. However, this argument ended abruptly when Burke was shot in the arm. When sent to the surgery room to help Burke during his intense, painful surgery, she panicked and fled, her turbulent emotions preventing her from acting. This event would impact her deeply, for she knew it wasn't like her at all to be controlled by her emotions in such a way. Later, she eventually returned to his side and held his hand.

Burke’s recovery was not smooth-sailing and he discovered that he had developed a hand tremor. Burke later confided to Cristina about his hand tremor, and she told him that no-one has to know. They devised a covert partnership to hide Burke's tremors from the other doctors. In her best supportive way, she managed Burke’s surgery schedule and scrubbed in on all his surgeries, so that she could take over whenever his hand became too tired to proceed with surgery. However, her exclusivity to rare surgeries incited jealousy and suspicion from the other interns. George subsequently witnessed one of Burke’s hand tremors, and confronted Cristina about it. She frantically denied it, but suffered a crisis of confidence and eventually confessed everything to the Chief.

Cristina’s actions jeopardized Burke’s chances of becoming Chief of Surgery, and Burke saw this as a huge betrayal. Both parties refused to talk to each other after the fallout, jeopardizing their relationship. Cristina eventually broke the silence, and Burke asked her to marry him. Cristina was stunned and only accepted his proposal after eight days of hesitation. However, she refused to wear the ring he gave her, saying she doesn’t do rings.

Cristina's life was further complicated when her former professor and lover, Colin Marlow, arrived at Seattle Grace. In a bid to win her back, he repeatedly came onto her and tried to sabotage her relationship with Burke. On top of that, he joined the race for Chief of Surgery, so as to compete with Burke and impress her. Cristina resorted to acting extremely affectionate with Burke, after direct attempts at getting Marlow to leave Seattle Grace failed. However, Marlow was not convinced by this and used the opportunity of a rare surgery to lure Cristina to his side. Marlow humiliated Burke in the operating room by belittling Burke's knowledge of cardiothoracic surgery, and relegated Burke to just observing the surgery. After the surgery, Cristina comforted him. Unbeknownst to her, Marlow witnessed the entire thing, telling her she had compromised herself for Burke, and was no longer the competitive and driven person he fell in love with. She responded by saying that she's learned that "sometimes you have to think about other people."

Following Burke's departure at the altar, she is devastated and remains so for a long time. Matters are not helped with the new cardiothoracic surgeon, Erica Hahn, hating her. Mama Burke apologizes to Cristina for Burke as well, for losing him and her teacher, as she recognizes that Cristina loved being surgeon more than Burke and that is likely to be why they bonded so well.

Owen Hunt[]

Not long after moving past Burke, Cristina was blown away by army surgeon Major Owen Hunt, who arrived at Seattle Grace on the back of an ambulance and instantly managed to impress Cristina, having performed an emergency tracheotomy with a pen in the field. Noticing the bleeding gash in Major Hunt's leg, Chief Webber ordered Cristina to take care of him. He then managed to impress her even further by stapling up his own leg without any kind of anesthesia. Later the same night, Cristina was impaled through the abdomen by a falling icicle outside the hospital, and Major Hunt found her and carried her inside. As he treated her, the two bonded, and she was visibly disappointed when he turned down Chief Webber's job offer and told that he was due to return to Iraq soon. Hunt left, but not before giving Cristina a passionate kiss.


Cristina and Owen kiss.

Two months later, Cristina was surprised to see Major Hunt sitting at Joe's, and the next day, she found out that he had been hired as the new Head of Trauma at Seattle Grace. Cristina panicked, not wanting to get involved with another attending. She tried to avoid him, which turned out to be unnecessary, as he had seemingly forgotten her name, calling her "Cristine". Cristina later confronted him about this, and he told her that in Iraq, his entire platoon had been killed in an attack, which was why he had decided to move on from everything that belonged in the past, including Cristina.

After this, Cristina and Owen tried to act casually around and towards each other, but sparks were in the air. Cristina even opened up to Owen about the death of her father, an event that drove her to do surgery and be the best. After a patient special to Owen died, Cristina tried to offer him her condolences, but he got upset, first threatening Cristina, then kissing her. Cristina was startled, and the two started to avoid each other again, until one day Cristina found him sitting on the doorstep outside her building. She sat down next to him and he told her that she was beautiful. Not long after, Cristina lost the solo-surgery, so Owen took her to The Vents, which cheered her up and the two kissed.

The relationship begins to blossom, with glances across rooms and stolen touches, like a Victorian romance novel, inspired by Ellis Grey's Journals, but they soon hit another roadblock when Owen's ex-fiancé turns up at the hospital and it is revealed that Owen broke up with her in a two-line email. Owen admits to Cristina he is not proud of that, but he is a different person than he was, and he is terrified of what people would think when they see him now, especially his mother, as he is not the person they sent to war.

Owen was quick to declare his feeling for Cristina after his return from the army, after the experienced had changed him. He confessed he wanted to wanted to be around in 40 years to "rip the scalpel out of" Cristina's hands after she becomes to old to practice, though they only had two failed attempted dates at that point.


Cristina accepts they move forward, until Owen's psychological damage from war begins to manifest itself as PTSD, first throwing Cristina into a shelf, requiring her to get stitches, and then strangling her in his sleep. Callie and Meredith take the defensive and prevent Owen from seeing her, but Cristina claims she is fine. The two have a moment and consummate their relationship, only for Cristina to break up with Owen because she is terrified of falling asleep next to him.[48] Cristina was missing a cardio attending to teach her, so as a gift to her, Owen brought a new cardiothoracic surgeon to Seattle Grace, Teddy Altman, a friend of his from the army. Teddy later confessed her love to Owen, which complicated Cristina and Owen's relationship a bit.

The love triangle between Owen, Cristina, and Teddy wasn't settled until the hospital was invaded by the murderous gunman Gary Clark. Owen and Teddy made it out of the hospital with a patient, but after realizing that Cristina was still inside, Owen made his decision and ran back to the hospital to find her. He then found Cristina in an OR where she was operating on Derek, who had been shot earlier, with Jackson, Meredith, and April - and with Gary Clark holding his gun against her head, ordering her to stop operating. Owen then tried to distract the gunman from Cristina, even yelling to him as he was about to shoot her: "That is the woman that I love. You shoot her, you touch her, and I will kill you!" The situation became even more dangerous when Meredith stood up, ordering the gunman to kill her instead of Derek. As the barrel of the gun moved to Meredith, Owen jumped towards Clark, forcing the shooter to shoot him instead of Meredith. After the gunman had gone, Cristina, not knowing the extent of his injuries, urged Meredith to save Owen. Luckily, it turned out the bullet had only pierced his shoulder, and in the wake of the disaster, Owen and Cristina got back together.

After the shooting, Cristina suffered from PTSD and Owen took care of her, eventually proposing to her. Not long after, they got married in front of all their friends in a ceremony held at Meredith's and moved in together, purchasing an old firehouse that they decorated. Cristina later found out that she was pregnant with their child. Owen was thrilled, but Cristina, not wanting to become a mother, told him that she was going to have an abortion. Owen tried unsuccessfully to talk her out of it, and ultimately kicked her out of their home for failing to give him a voice in the matter. However, Cristina found herself unable to go through with the abortion without Owen's support, which alarmed Meredith, who, after telling him what sort of miserable future would await both Cristina and the child if she kept it, convinced Owen to let Cristina have the abortion. Owen held Cristina's hand during the procedure, but the moment seemed bittersweet and involuntary.

It soon became clear that Owen was not okay with it. He and Cristina grew apart, he became more and more distant and silent, until the situation finally exploded during Zola's birthday party. Owen and Cristina got into a huge argument which ended with Owen accusing Cristina of killing their baby. After this, the situation only grew worse, and during a session with a marriage counselor, it became clear that they both failed to understand each other's point of view on the baby issue.

Owen's discomfort and anxiety eventually led him to get drunk and have a one-night stand with a patient's friend. He confessed his infidelity to Cristina, who had earlier suspected him of having an affair with nurse Emily Kovach, which completely devastated her. Owen moved out of the firehouse and Cristina started to plan to move to Minnesota and accept the fellowship offer at Mayo Clinic. However, before leaving, she slept with Owen one last time, forgiving his infidelity.

After Cristina and the others had been rescued from the forest in the wake of the plane crash, Owen promised to take care of Cristina, who was in a psychosis. He took her to the firehouse and managed to get her to speak. After she had fully recovered, she left for Minnesota to pursue her fellowship, while Owen stayed back in Seattle to continue his role as Chief of Surgery. After Cristina's mentor, Dr. Thomas died, she returned to Seattle and tried to make efforts to reconcile with Owen. Due to a lawsuit against the plane company, Owen asked Cristina for a divorce, which would help the surgeons with their trial. Cristina then told Owen she wanted to try again and he agreed, but they still went through with the divorce for the sake of the lawsuit. Their newfound happiness was short-lived, however, as the arrival of 10-year-old Ethan Dawson, with whom Owen bonded, made it very clear that Owen still wanted children. Cristina then realized that she would never be able to give Owen what he desires, so she left him. They later got back together for a short time after Owen broke up with Emma after cheating on her with Cristina. He reassured Cristina that he did not want kids, just her, but Cristina knew that he still wanted them. Cristina broke up with Owen again as she wanted him to have kids and she could not give them to him, leaving them both devastated. When he found out that Cristina was moving to Switzerland to run a hospital there, he asked her to be with him until she had to leave.

Darren Parker[]

While in Minnesota, Cristina had sex multiple times with Dr. Parker. She never truly liked him, but she missed sex. Cristina and Meredith referred to him as her sex friend, although Cristina stopped having sex with him when she found out he had been using her to get Dr. Thomas fired. After Dr. Thomas died while operating with Cristina, Parker tried to reach out to her, but she ignored him and flew back to Seattle, resigning from the hospital.

Shane Ross[]

While working closely together with Cristina, Shane overheard her saying that she needed to be at her best at work. She initially refused when he offered to sleep with her. However, when he defended her against Meredith, with whom Cristina had a serious fight at the time, she kissed him to thank him. They continued to have sex in the on-call rooms from time to time, but this ended as soon as Shane went crazy in the OR.


Meredith Grey[]

Meredith and Cristina met in the locker room on their first day of internship after discovering they had the same resident. Their first case together was a very complex case, and they worked together to find a solution and bonded during the process, but their relationship was strained after Meredith got credit for the work they did together. Over the course of their internship and residency, they deemed themselves each other's persons.

They had their first big fight after Richard Webber blamed Cristina for knowing about the interns' secret meetings and Meredith did not defend her. Meredith even insulted Cristina by saying that to some people things came naturally, but Cristina was one of the people that had to practice. They constantly ignored each other, until Meredith broke down over the execution of a murderer, and then they made up. They started to repair their friendship over reading diaries written by Meredith's mother, when Meredith compared Cristina to Meredith's mom, Ellis Grey.

Cristina was often there for Meredith during her worst times and vice versa. Meredith was the only person who knew about Cristina's pregnancy, and Cristina about Meredith's. Meredith was also one of Cristina's pillars of support when she suffered from PTSD as a result of the shooting. They leaned on each other constantly and stuck with each other no matter what.

Meredith was Cristina's maid of honor during both of her weddings. When Cristina had a panic attack after Burke left her at the altar, Meredith helped her get out of her dress and hugged her, telling her it was okay.

When Cristina was still in Seattle two weeks after accepting the position as director of cardiothoracic surgery in Switzerland, Meredith told her that she had been stalling and needed to leave. She said that she needed to finish something and that she and Meredith were not finished. Meredith got her a cab and watched Cristina leave but Cristina quickly came back to the hospital. She said they needed to dance it out one more time, which they did.[38]

She sent Cormac Hayes to Meredith as a "gift". Later, Cormac revealed to Meredith that Cristina had spoken of a "twisted sister", guessing that it was Meredith. Meredith shrugged and smiled.

Callie Torres[]

Cristina and Callie were roommates. They got along very well and supported one another when they were going through hardships with Owen and Arizona.

Alex Karev[]

Cristina and Alex lived together for a period of time. Cristina called Alex "evil spawn". Alex went to Cristina for help with Jo after she was hit. Cristina left her spot and shares on the Hospital Board to Alex Karev.

Izzie Stevens[]

Cristina and Izzie's relationship got off to a rough start after Cristina made a comment that Izzie must be the model.

Cristina was the first person whom Izzie told about her cancer.

George O'Malley[]

George and Cristina were both residents with one another. While not as close with one another as Cristina and Meredith or George and Izzie the two considered each other close friends. The two often had their ups and downs as George was upset with Cristina following the news that she had helped Burke through all his surgeries and was willing for him to operate on her father. Eventually this cooled down and he was able to forgive her. Following George's death Cristina along with the other residents were hellbent on trying to believe that John Doe was someone else. Cristina's grief manifested in form that she tried to distract herself by sleeping with Owen. At the end though after the realization that George was dead it can be seen that she was deeply saddened at the loss of her dear friend.



Cristina and Burke in surgery.

Cristina is a graduate of Smith College. She earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and she earned her M.D. from Stanford University, where she graduated first of her class and with a 4.0 GPA. She has an exceptional knowledge of surgery and medicine, with an expressed interest in cardiothoracic surgery.

Cristina's biological father died when she was nine years old in a car accident; Cristina watched her father bleed out before help arrived, attempting to close his chest with her hands, to try and stop the bleeding. She claims that this is the reason she became a doctor and is very likely to be the motive behind her interest in cardiothoracic surgery.

Cristina Yang became a surgical intern at Seattle Grace after graduating from medical school. On the first day of the internship, she hit it off with Meredith Grey. Cristina soon fell out with her because she felt that Meredith was given surgeries because of Derek's favoritism and her famous mother, Dr. Ellis Grey. However, Cristina apologized to Meredith and the pair soon became fast friends. Her frequent sarcastic remarks and lack of tact made it hard for people to like her, but her fellow interns gradually took to her ways and became friends with her as well.

As per Burke's instruction, she went to check on his patient Denny Duquette. She was shocked to find out that Izzie had cut his LVAD wire in order to secure him a new heart. Against her instincts, she stayed and together with Meredith and George, helped Izzie in her endeavor. Soon enough, Bailey stumbled upon their plan and banned them from surgeries until someone admitted to cutting the LVAD wire. To her own surprise, Cristina insisted on sticking together and helped prevent the truth from coming to light. When the Chief decided to interrogate each intern individually, Cristina begged to Chief to tell her how to regain her business-like focus, saying that she's become an emotional wreck, the complete opposite of who she'd once been. She asked the Chief to tell her how to avoid being emotionally-affected so that she could continue being a great surgeon, but he refused, saying that he did not want to be responsible for her becoming less human.


Cristina in peds.

Cristina hit a rough patch in her career when Dr. Hahn replaced Burke as Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Dr. Hahn made her work through her way in the cardio program, often being very harsh at Cristina, stating that despite clearly having talent, she believed that constantly praising her abilities was of little benefit to her development as a surgeon. The Chief noticed the situation after Cristina pulled off a procedure to prevent the cement boy from dying. Then, Hahn left and Cristina got her groove back in heart surgery. Later, it was revealed that Cristina was the solo surgery winner but she was revoked off the prize because of the intern problem and awarded the surgery of an amputation to Alex. She finally got the solo surgery, which was a hernia repair, but she didn't focus a lot on it, seeing as she was busy trying to set Izzie up with an oncologist.

After news of the Mercy West and Seattle Grace merger, Cristina decided to go into peds to protect herself as everyone else was safe. Meredith had Derek, Alex was Bailey's new favorite, Izzie had cancer, but she had nobody. She found it hard to work in peds, unwilling to play games, and when she was asked to get a chocolate pudding, she ate the last one. However, in a surgery, she witnessed Mark and Arizona reattach an arm and she found herself impressed.

Cristina remained determined to specialize in cardio and was an ecstatic resident in Teddy Altman's service. After the shooting, however, during which Cristina was held at gunpoint as she operated on and saved Derek, Cristina was traumatized and found herself unable to focus on her work and perform surgery for months. Cristina quit and briefly worked as a bartender, but eventually returned, finally able to be in an OR again.

Following the completion of her residency and board certification in general surgery, Cristina took a cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at The Mayo Clinic. She was dismayed to find that Dr. Thomas, one of her board examiners, whom she viewed to be incompetent and out of touch with modern medicine, was also a surgeon there. After failing to integrate into the environment there, Cristina is assigned to work with Dr. Thomas until future notice. She soon found that he's actually quite a remarkable surgeon, with many things to teach her. She started to enjoy working with him. When she found out that Dr. Parker planned to force him into retirement, she defended Dr. Thomas. She did a surgery with Dr. Thomas while he was on probation. The surgery was ultimately successful, but Dr. Thomas unfortunately died while operating. Saddened by his death, Cristina drank all the tequila from her "Bug Out Bag" and flew back to Seattle, where she moved into Alex's House, then owned by Alex. She returned to work at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital and immediately worked to instill fear into the interns.

Working under the new Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Dr. Jeff Russell, Cristina has been granted more autonomy as a fellow than her previous experience at Mayo. She was instructed to basically run the cardiothoracic department, take point on cases, and to only defer the interesting cases to him. Later, she forces Russell to rely on her for his research.

She is currently the Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery/Chief Medical Officer at Klausman Institute for Medical Research in Zurich, Switzerland, a job which she took over from her ex-fiancé Preston Burke when he decided to move to Italy with his family.

Notes and Trivia[]

  • She was the first to call Dr. Shepherd "McDreamy."[49]
  • When Cristina had her surgery for ectopic pregnancy, the OR Board said she was 28 and her blood type was AB+.[50]
  • She is dyslexic.[51] Yet, she managed to be a straight A student through college and ended up graduating top of her class at Smith College, Berkeley, and Stanford.[52]
  • Cristina won the first solo surgery but was not allowed to perform it. It was the first solo surgery where all the attendings chose the same resident. She then chose Alex to perform it.[53]
  • She prefers to drink coffee from the cart outside the hospital rather than the cafeteria coffee.[54]
  • Her cooking skills are a bit questionable.[55]
  • Cristina hates musicals.[56]
  • She loves wine and tequila.[57]
  • She has two earrings in her right ear at all times, but only one on the left.
  • She is the godmother to Sofia Robbin Sloan Torres, Zola Grey Shepherd, and Derek Bailey Shepherd.[source?]
  • When comparing Cristina to drinks, Mark called her a cheap wine. Shepherd called her a single malt scotch and Owen later agrees with this.[58]
  • She can speak French (in the French version, she can speak Italian).[59]
  • She lost her virginity at the age of 19 to her Chemistry TA. He was a whole head shorter than her, but he was very smart.[60]
  • When saving Derek's life during the shooting, Jackson suggested saying a prayer, but Cristina denied this, because "a prayer is completely useless right now". Instead, she used Derek's usual phrase before cutting into his chest "It's a beautiful day to save lives. Let's have some fun."
  • She doesn't want to memorize her interns' names. In season four, they got numbers (1, 2, 3, and 4) and in season nine, they are named after the 7 dwarfs.
  • When Cristina transferred to Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital from the Mayo Clinic to complete her cardiothoracic surgery fellowship program, Owen offered her an annual salary of $300,000.[61]
  • She thinks neurosurgeries are boring.[source?]
  • Cristina was the first of the original five interns to have emergency surgery.[62]
  • When Erica Hahn was blackballing her from her service, Cristina considered exploring other specialties like orthopedic surgery, however, Cristina likened it to carpentry.[63]
  • Meredith is her health care proxy.[64]
  • She stated she wanted to be Alex's health care proxy, but it's unknown if steps were taken to have this officially confirmed.[65]
  • Cristina has been seen in five colors of scrubs: light blue (resident in Seattle), navy blue (attending in Seattle), dark green (attending in Minnesota), teal (in Switzerland), and light grey (alternate universe in If/Then).
  • She used to ride a motorcycle, but stopped doing so and started calling them donorcycles.[66]
  • She hates texting.[38]
  • Cristina made a very brief appearance during Derek's funeral, however, it was a stand-in and not Sandra Oh.
  • Her great-grandmother died of Alzheimer's.[67]
  • Cristina is one of the "Grey Sloan Seven".[68]
  • Cristina is one of the "Seattle Grace Five".[69]
  • She loves OR 3.[70]
  • She snores.[71]
  • Her favorite place to have sex in the hospital was the supply closet on the third floor.[72]
  • She hates lemon cake.[73]
  • New Year's Eve is her favorite holiday.[74]
  • Likened to the bird Purple Sandpiper by a patient who loved bird watching.[75]
  • She refers to her hands as "tiny little geniuses".[76]


A more complete gallery with pictures of Cristina Yang can be found here.

Notable Episodes[]

These episodes are Cristina-centric or are otherwise very informative about her life.

Memorable Quotes[]

Cristina: You're either born simple, or you're born me.[77]

Cristina (to George): If you want crappy things to stop happening to you, then stop accepting crap and demand something more.[78]

Cristina: Oh, screw beautiful. I'm brilliant. If you want to appease me, compliment my brain.[79]

Cristina (to Lexie): Have some fire. Be unstoppable. Be a force of nature. Be better than anyone here, and don't give a damn what anyone thinks. There are no teams here, no buddies. You're on your own. Be on your own.[80]

Cristina (to Meredith): You are a gifted surgeon with an extraordinary mind. Don't let what he wants eclipse what you need. He's very dreamy. But he is not the sun - you are.[38]

Cristina (to Owen): [Burke] took something from me. He took little pieces, of me. Little pieces over time, so small I didn't even notice, you know? He wanted me to be something I wasn't, and I made myself into what he wanted. One day I was me, Cristina Yang, and then suddenly I was lying for him and jeopardizing my career and agreeing to be married and wearing a ring and being a bride. Until I was standing there in a wedding dress with no eyebrows and I wasn't Cristina Yang anymore. And even then I would have married him...I lost myself for a long time, and now that I'm finally me again, I can't...I love you more than I loved Burke...and that scares the crap out of me, because when you asked me to ignore Teddy's page, you took a piece of me. And I let you. And that will never happen again.[81]

Cristina (to Teddy): I choose surgery over a guy. I'm not gonna apologize for it, especially to you. You didn't have to save his lung. The right thing would've been to remove it. But the patient was clear: he didn't want to live without his gift. And you get that. I choose my gift. I wanna be great, and I wanna learn from you. I choose my gift.[82]

Cristina (to Owen): Have a baby?! This isn't pizza versus Thai. You don't give a little on a baby...I am saying no![83]

Cristina: If there's no food I'm going home.[84]

Cristina: I only have one shoe![85]

Cristina: Mama took my eyebrows.[86]

Cristina (to Darren): I'm laughing, just not externally.[87]

Cristina: Being aware of your crap and actually overcoming your crap are two very different things.[88]

Cristina (about Meredith): If I murdered someone, she's the person I'd call to help me drag the corpse across my living room floor. She's my person.[89]

Cristina: Also, the automatic paper towel thingy won't recognize me as human, so I'm just standing there, waving my hands like an idiot.[90]

Cristina (to Owen): Should I sleep or should I shower? I could sleep in the shower, but I'm also starving.[91]

Cristina: I didn't like teenage girls when I was a teenage girl.[92]

Cristina: Well, I don't speak girl.[93]

Cristina: I'm not a spoon, I'm a knife. And I'm going to stab you in the eyeball.[94]

Cristina (to Meredith): Don't stand there looking at me with your big, sad 'Don't kill McDreamy' eyes.[95]

Cristina: How am I going to get through the holidays without liquor?[96]

Cristina: If I stab this fork into his thigh, will I get in trouble?[97]

Cristina (to George): I can do hot in my sleep. I look hot in scrubs. I'm a hot person.[98]

Cristina (to Meredith): Shut up! Dance it out.[99]



  1. Portrayed by Sandra Oh
  2. Played by a stand-in, not Sandra Oh
  3. Played by a stand-in, not Sandra Oh
  4. Notes from the Nurses' Station
  5. Free Falling, 8x01
  6. Migration, 8x23
  7. Flight, 8x24
  8. Remember the Time, 9x02
  9. Remember the Time, 9x02
  10. Going, Going, Gone, 9x01
  11. Love the One You're With, 9x03
  12. I Saw Her Standing There, 9x04
  13. Beautiful Doom, 9x05
  14. Second Opinion, 9x06
  15. I Was Made for Lovin' You, 9x07
  16. Run, Baby, Run, 9x09
  17. Things We Said Today, 9x10
  18. The End is the Beginning is the End, 9x11
  19. Walking on a Dream, 9x12
  20. Bad Blood, 9x13
  21. The Face of Change, 9x14
  22. Hard Bargain, 9x15
  23. This is Why We Fight, 9x16
  24. Transplant Wasteland, 9x17
  25. Idle Hands, 9x18
  26. Can't Fight This Feeling, 9x19
  27. She's Killing Me, 9x20
  28. Sleeping Monster, 9x21
  29. Do You Believe in Magic, 9x22
  30. Readiness is All, 9x23
  31. Perfect Storm, 9x24
  32. Seal Our Fate, 10x01
  33. I Want You With Me, 10x02
  34. Everybody's Crying Mercy, 10x03
  35. Puttin' on the Ritz, 10x04
  36. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, 10x22
  37. Everything I Try to Do, Nothing Seems to Turn Out Right, 10x23
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 38.3 Fear (of the Unknown), 10x24
  39. She's Leaving Home, 11x22
  40. Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story, 14x07
  41. Beautiful Dreamer, 14x19
  42. My Shot, 16x08
  43. Let's All Go to the Bar, 16x09
  44. Gunpowder and Lead, 19x16
  45. Make Me Lose Control, 2x03
  46. Bring the Pain, 2x05
  47. Damage Case, 2x24
  48. Elevator Love Letter, 5x19
  49. The First Cut Is the Deepest, 1x02
  50. Make Me Lose Control, 2x03
  51. Freedom, Part 2, 4x17
  52. This is Why We Fight, 9x16
  53. All By Myself, 5x10
  54. Much too Much, 2x10
  55. Great Expectations, 3x13
  56. The Girl with No Name, 8x20
  57. Shake Your Groove Thing, 1x05
  58. Rise Up, 5x07
  59. Do You Believe in Magic, 9x22
  60. Can't Fight Biology, 7x04
  61. Second Opinion, 9x06
  62. Make Me Lose Control, 2x03 (GA)
  63. Physical Attraction... Chemical Reaction, 4x07
  64. I Want You With Me, 10x02
  65. I Want You With Me, 10x02
  66. Things We Said Today, 9x10
  67. Make Me Lose Control, 2x03
  68. Readiness is All, 9x23
  69. Sledgehammer, 12x01
  70. Take the Lead, 8x03
  71. Bring the Pain, 2x05
  72. Notes from the Nurses' Station
  73. Desire, 3x21
  74. Holidaze, 6x10
  75. Kung Fu Fighting, 4x06
  76. Give Peace a Chance, 6x07
  77. With You I'm Born Again, 7x01
  78. What Have I Done to Deserve This?, 2x19
  79. This is How We Do It, 7x17
  80. Losing My Mind, 4x15
  81. State of Love and Trust, 6x13
  82. I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked, 6x12
  83. Unaccompanied Minor, 7x22
  84. Thanks for the Memories, 2x09
  85. Flight, 8x24
  86. Didn't We Almost Have It All?, 3x25
  87. Love the One You're With, 9x03
  88. The Heart of the Matter, 4x04
  89. Drowning on Dry Land, 3x16
  90. Map of You, 10x06
  91. Can't Fight This Feeling, 9x19
  92. Losing My Religion, 2x27
  93. Piece of My Heart, 4x13
  94. Beautiful Doom, 9x05
  95. Death and All His Friends, 6x24
  96. Thanks for the Memories, 2x09
  97. If Tomorrow Never Comes, 1x06
  98. Let It Be, 2x08
  99. Crash Into Me, Part 1, 4x09