Jeff Russell was the Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. He quit his job at the hospital once he heard that none of the doctors working at Grey Sloan Memorial would ever win a Harper Avery Award.


Meeting Cristina YangEdit

When Jeff met Cristina Yang, he gave her free reign over her own cases, saying he knew she was capable and he was too busy to teach her. He told her to run his service, make him look great, and call him if she did something really cool. When she reopened one of his patients, Owen forced Russell to evaluate what had happened. He determined that she had made the right choice and thanked her. ("Second Opinion")

Possible Cuts in His DepartmentEdit

Derek and April put together a plan to make budgets cuts in every department. April tried to convince him to look into it, but he refused as he wasn't interested in making cuts in his department.

Later, Derek tried to convince him as well. At first, he wasn't willing to listen to Derek either, but when Derek mentioned Jeff's sister, whose aneurysm he clipped, and how grateful Jeff was after that, Jeff reluctantly agreed to hear it. He said he had one condition: he thought his parking spot too small and asked to have Derek's, which was right next to his, so he could park in the middle. ("Bad Blood")

Lotus Valve TrialEdit

Jeff Russell was doing cardio research and invited Cristina Yang to work with him. She was glad to finally be able to do surgery again, after having dealt with the paperwork that comes with owning a hospital. However, when he later asked her for $12 million for his research, it turned he only wanted to work with her because she could give him the money, as she sat on the board.

Cristina was angry because she felt like she was being used, and then cut his budget. He wasn't able to work with other doctors anymore and was forced to work with Cristina, who would have to do the work of four other doctors, but she gladly accepted. ("Idle Hands")

Super StormEdit

During the super storm, Jeff wasn't able to make it to the hospital. Because of his absence, Cristina was on-call senior cardio surgeon. ("Readiness is All" and "Perfect Storm")

Taking Over Cristina's CaseEdit

When Cristina had disappeared after losing the Harper Avery Award, Jeff Russell stepped in to perform a heart transplant on Cristina's patient, Francesca McNeil. However, she showed up at the last minute and operated. ("Change of Heart")


After hearing that none of the doctors of Grey Sloan Memorial would ever win a Harper Avery Award because of the Harper Avery Foundation's connections with the hospital, Jeff Russell suddenly quit his position, despite stating that it had nothing to do with that. ("We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together")


Dr. Jeff Russell is a cardiothoracic surgeon who replaced Dr. Teddy Altman as Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital. He kept this position when the hospital was renamed to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.

During his time at the hospital, he started off a lotus valve trial. He wanted to use Cristina, a board member of the hospital, to get him more money, but she punished him for using her by cutting his budget instead. 

After hearing that none of the doctors of Grey Sloan Memorial would ever win an Harper Avery Award because of the Harper Avery Foundation's connections with the hospital, Jeff Russell quit his position.

Notes and TriviaEdit

  • Jeff Russell has a sister, on whom Derek Shepherd once operated.
  • Dr. Russell is the first head of cardiothoracic surgery to play only a minor role in the series. All others (i.e. Burke, HahnAltman, and Pierce) have played relatively major roles as mentors, lovers, and antagonists for the show's leading characters.
  • Despite being department head and a skilled and experienced surgeon he is not held with the same prestige as his predecessors. Moreover Cristina, even though she was only a fellow, appeared to be the 'go to' for cardiothoracic matters during his tenure as head of cardiothoracic surgery. Indeed upon hearing of his departure Owen expressed regret but acknowledged that he was ​"no Cristina Yang".[1]



Episode StillsEdit