Rebecca Swender is an attending surgical oncologist at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital. She was Izzie's oncologist and was the lead doctor in managing her care.


Izzie's CancerEdit

When Izzie was diagnosed with cancer by the interns, Cristina pulled several strings to get her an appointment with Dr. Swender, who was said to be the best surgical oncologist in the state. However, Izzie blew off the appointment. ("I Will Follow You Into the Dark")

After Izzie accepted treatment and was admitted, Swender took over her care. She made it clear that all the other doctors working on her case answered to her. When Derek went to remove Izzie's brain mets, Swender observed and questioned his ability to remove the mets without killing her. Despite her questioning, the surgery was successful. ("Elevator Love Letter")

Izzie started chemo and was planning Meredith and Derek's wedding. Swender wanted her to save her energy because the IL2 was highly toxic and she'd eventually hit a wall, which she did later that day. ("Sweet Surrender")

When Derek wanted to remove Izzie's hippocampus to remove a brain met that couldn't be removed another way, Swender protested that, saying it could damage her memory and she should just continue with the IL2 instead. Derek agreed to do a test that might determine what her memory would look like after the surgery. Izzie didn't pass the memory test, but he wanted to do the surgery anyway. Izzie decided not to have the surgery under pressure from Meredith. However, she changed her mind after Alison Clark died, though she signed a DNR before surgery. ("Here's to Future Days")

When Izzie's cancer stopped growing, Swender wasn't interested anymore and passed Izzie's case off to E. Gendall. ("Goodbye")

Alison ClarkEdit

When another patient of hers named Alison Clark (also with stage IV cancer) developed complications, Cristina scrubbed in with Dr. Swender to try to save her. Despite that, Alison suffered brain damage and was unable to come off the ventillator. Despite being a surgeon herself, Dr. Swender justified to Cristina why chemotherapy and other non-surgical treatments are often more effective than surgery in treating cancer. For example, she stated that when Alison Clark was referred to her, she had only three months to live. However, chemotherapy kept her alive for two years. ("Here's to Future Days")

Alison ClarkEdit

When Alison Clark came into the hospital with her husband, Gary, after collapsing at the grocery store, Swender did a biopsy that showed that her cancer was back. ("Sympathy for the Parents")


Dr. Swender is a surgical oncologist at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital, previously working at Seattle Grace Hospital. She is regared as the best in her field in Washington state, which is why she was assigned to Izzie's case.

She also educates several residents in her department, and hands over cases to them when the patients are getting better.



Episode StillsEdit


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