|“||When you feel like you love someone more than they love you, it can make you a little crazy.||”|
— Teddy Altman
Teddy Altman is an old friend of Owen Hunt from the military and the former Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital until she was fired by Owen to pursue her dream and take a job at MEDCOM. She was married to Henry Burton until his death and was a mentor to Cristina Yang.
Teddy attended med school at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and completed her residency in General Surgery at the George Washington University Medical Center and a cardiothoracic surgical fellowship at the Mayo Clinic. At some point, she took a job at Columbia University Medical Center.
Teddy joined the army as a surgeon following September 11, 2001 and the death of her best friend in the South Tower of the Word Trade Center. In the army, Teddy worked closely with Owen Hunt. They soon became best friends with several colleagues thinking there was more going on between them, which Owen refuted.
In 2007, Teddy worked with Owen Hunt, Nathan Riggs, and Megan Hunt in Iraq. They were all friends with Teddy secretly in love with Owen, while he was engaged to Beth. Megan was also dismissive of the relationship, but Teddy kept her feelings a secret. Upon finding out about Nathan and Megan's engagement, Teddy immediately was suspicious because she recognized the necklace Nathan used to propose as belonging to Felicia Phillips.
The doctors were called out to treat several wounded soldiers after two of their Iraqi allies went rogue. As she and Nathan operated on a soldier, Teddy confronted him about her suspicions and he admitted he had cheated on Megan. She advised him to tell Megan as she would probably forgive him, noting that their love was strong. She then went to confront Owen when Megan told her that he had tanked her stratification ranking, leading Teddy to rant about how terrible it was to have to stand by and watch people live the life that you want, hinting at her jealousy over Owen and Beth's relationship. Later that evening, Teddy's patient told her that Megan's patient was the second shooter, while the doctors had previously been told that said woman was trying to wrestle the gun out of the supposed second shooter's hand. Teddy then rushed out of the tent to stop Megan from leaving with the woman on an evacuation helicopter, but she came too late and could only watch the helicopter fly off.
Megan's disappearance drove a wedge between Nathan and Owen, with both blaming the other for the part they had played in Megan's disappearance.
Teddy and Owen continued to serve in Iraq. As were winning a soccer game when a helicopter brought in several patients. While they were improvising as they were low on supplies, an order from the Command came in for them to move back to the base. Teddy had to ride the Medevac with a couple of patients. Owen offered to trade places since she hates helicopters, but she declined and took off. Meanwhile, Owen and the rest of her platoon were driving to the base and found themselves unable to reach the base because of a storm. They ended up in an ambush, with Owen being the sole survivor. Teddy got on the helicopter when they realized something was wrong and eventually found him in the desert, surrounded by his dead colleagues.
In total, she served three years in Baghdad and another two years in Landstuhl.
Arrival at the Hospital and Feelings for OwenEdit
Owen Hunt convinced Teddy to come work in Seattle, saying it was a great hospital with a great staff and equipment. She accepted and started work not too long after the merger. She got introduced to Jackson and Cristina, who was disappointed with a cardio goddess she'd never heard of. Owen then took Teddy to meet the Chief. Cristina later confronted her about nothing showing on Google about her, so Teddy informed Cristina about her education herself. Teddy then started cheering when it started to rain because of her long time in the desert. Later in the cath lab, she tried to teach Cristina, but she was already way ahead because she was used to the modern equipment, unlike Teddy.
Over lunch with Arizona, Callie, and Mark, Teddy discovered that Owen brought her in as a present to his girlfriend Cristina and decided she'd enjoy the ways he was going to make it up to her. She finally managed to impress Cristina when she quickly diagnosed a kid with cardiac asthma. In surgery, she allowed Cristina to first assist and finally found something to teach her. Teddy displayed confidence in Cristina as she allowed her to fix a complication and then continued to guide her through the procedure. At the end of the day, Owen apologized for not telling her about Cristina. Teddy asked when he broke up with Beth and confessed she had always thought that he would call her when things with Beth ended and that she made up this entire story between them in her head. However, since he was with Cristina, she said she could now finally let that story go.
Over the holidays, Teddy had a case with Cristina and Jackson as her residents that required them to wait for a heart for their patient. Meanwhile, Teddy declined to talk to Owen about what she had confessed earlier. The tension between them continued through Christmas, when Teddy was invited to the dinner at Meredith's. On New Year Eve's, Owen found himself staring at Teddy and couldn't keep it in any longer. He dragged her to a private room and expressed anger over her admitting her feelings. She wondered why as it clearly never mattered. He says it did and confessed he had felt the same way about her but never expressed those feelings because he never got any indication that she loved him, too. They almost shared a kiss until he stated he loved Cristina and left.
Soon, Teddy allowed Cristina to perform her first solo valve replacement. Cristina practiced and guided the patient. In the OR, Cristina had difficulties locating a bleeding while Teddy refused to help. Cristina started panicking as she didn't know which option to choose to stop the bleeding. Owen, having observed from the gallery, came down to yell at Teddy as he was suspecting she wasn't helping Cristina because of her involvement with him. Teddy remained confident that Cristina would fix the problem and she did. Teddy later told Owen that Cristina needs to be pushed and that she would've stepped in if necessary. He knew, but he also needed to hear there was nothing else going on there. She didn't know what to say to him, but then decided it would be better for them if she left Seattle. Cristina found out and chased Teddy, desperately trying to find out what her new mentor needed in order to stay. Teddy confessed she wanted Owen and in the heat of the moment, Cristina blurted out that she could have him.
The next day, Teddy showed up to work as Richard asked her to finish out her contract. She and Cristina agreed to forget what was said. They shared a case where Teddy decided not to remove their singer patient's entire lung, but instead try to save part of it with chemo therapy. Her decision led Cristina to realize that Teddy understood Cristina's choice to choose surgery over a guy, and Cristina again requested to learn from Teddy. Teddy later met up with Owen at Joe's and she got drunk. She told him that Beth once told her she'd stop teaching to raise kids, which made Teddy realize she wasn't right for Owen as he needs someone with ambition. Then there was Cristina, the complete opposite, and Teddy told him that Cristina was willing to trade him for her. Owen then went home to tell Cristina that their relationship mattered as well as her career.
The day after, Teddy tried to talk to Owen about what she had said, but he refused to. She also refused to put Cristina on her service as she wanted to give the other residents a chance. However, when her patient was in critical condition in the OR, Teddy asked to have Cristina paged as she needed a skilled second set of hands. Cristina ignored the page per Owen's request as they were making out, leading to Teddy allowing Jackson to scrub in. After the surgery, she confronted Cristina about her answering her page and that she had expected they could at least keep things professional. Owen took the blame. Surprised to have him talk to her again, Teddy told them to forget about it.
The tension between them resulted in Teddy blurting out a train of facts about her recent personal life when she and Owen were scrubbing in together. She said that he used to be her best friend whom she could tell everything to, and now he wouldn't even look at her. Owen said that happened because she confessed her feelings for him. She reminded him he did the same and then chose Cristina. Owen pointed out she chose Cristina, too, and said that he felt like he was cheating on Cristina every time he talked to her. However, he did admit he also missed his best friend. Teddy later caught up with Cristina and Owen and said she knew she talked about her feelings for Owen, but she decided to try like hell to unring the bell as she missed her best friend more than anything. She said she'd be fine as she had an amazing job with a great student to teach and a beautiful new cottage to live in. She then asked Cristina to scrub in with her.
Teddy continued to work with Cristina and they gradually became friends. However, Teddy continued to have a strained relationship with Owen while her feelings lingered. Arizona noticed her staring and decided they were going to be friends as she liked to fix things. She then invited Teddy to girls night. Owen also later invited her to grab a beer, but she declined and headed out for girls night on the baseball field.
A misunderstanding with Mark over breast implants led to Callie and Arizona suggesting to Mark and Teddy, respectively, that they should date. Arizona told Teddy that Mark was like candy, enjoy it and forget about it, while Callie had convinced Mark that Teddy was the serious thing he was looking for. This led to conflicting expectations so Teddy backed out. She sympathized with a patient's girlfriend who acted a little crazy upon thinking she loved her boyfriend more than he did her. Teddy then reconsidered and told Mark she was willing to go to dinner, but he said they would go to lunch in broad daylight so they could get to know each other, as he was now only interested in building a future with someone.
The date went well and they got to know each other better. Teddy requested Owen as the required second physician when her patient requested physician-assisted suicide, but Owen made it clear he considered it killing the patient and declined. Teddy considered it an act of mercy and sought out Mark for his opinion. Teddy found out that Owen went to Chief Shepherd about the case behind her back and confronted him about this, but he just walked off. Derek had Teddy perform all the tests again so the hospital was covered. Owen barged in right before it happened and wondered why Kim wouldn't want to stick around in case they'd find a cure soon. Kim stated that clinging onto hope only made her feel lonely and that she wasn't afraid of death, wondering why he was. Teddy later witnessed Kim's death and then went to Mark's place for comfort and sex.
They both considered the sex mind-blowing. Teddy came to realize that Kim's case triggered Owen's PTSD and despite her wanting to help, she opted against it since she was seeing Mark and since Cristina was already trying to help Owen. In surgery, Teddy discussed not having kids because of residency and the Army, but stated that she was now waiting for the right guy. Cristina then accidentally made a bullet explode inside their patient's chest, angering an already grumpy Owen even more. Teddy cautiously defended Cristina and took to fixing the damage. While scrubbing out, Teddy told Cristina that Owen had had it much worse than her and even she couldn't talk about what she's been through at any time, so she understood his not being able to talk about what was going on inside him. She said his triggers possibly could never go away, but she asked Cristina to give Owen time because it was very clear to Teddy how much he loved her. She also advised Cristina to just talk to Owen about how she felt as that would be more effective to get him to go to therapy than plainly telling him to do so. A second night of sex with Mark was interrupted when his pregnant daughter showed up in labor.
Teddy safely delivered the baby. The next day at work, she was thrown for a loop when famous cardiothoracic surgeon Thomas Evans came to the hospital for a procedure. Teddy then went to ask Derek if Tom was interviewing for her job since she had been waiting to hear from him about a permanent contract. Derek thought she was still looking elsewhere but promised to consider her for the position. While Cristina was amazed by Tom, Teddy didn't share the sentiment. Tensions between Teddy and Derek flared up when the latter explicitly stated you give people jobs because they have the right skills and not because they're family, and when Teddy made a patient's condition worse by sneezing as they were pulling a fish hook out of their patient's body. After the surgery, Derek told Teddy not to take it personally if she didn't end up getting the job as Tom just had published more and had won more awards, ignoring Teddy's bronze star for service to her country. Teddy was distraught over losing her job and Owen comforted her, which almost resulted in a kiss until they got paged about their patient being critical. Teddy thought her repair didn't hold and convinced Derek to open the patient back up despite him being unstable, only for Lexie to discover that he was unstable due to klebsiella pneumonia. Having again blundered in front of Derek, Teddy considered herself doomed and wished Cristina good luck with her new attending, whom she pointed out never even let Cristina touch the patient. Cristina realized she needed Teddy to learn from and asked Owen to put in a good word for Teddy, but he did the exact opposite and told Derek that Teddy wouldn't have trouble finding a new job due to her connections on the East Coast. Derek did offer Teddy a permanent contract, but, unbeknownst to her, only because Tom Evans had declined the job.
Teddy happily went to thank Owen as she heard from Cristina that he talked to Derek for her. However, Meredith found out the truth from Derek and observed Owen and Teddy closely all day as she was convinced Owen still had feelings for Teddy.
After a long day, Teddy went to Mark's place and stripped down to her underwear, only to find a naked Reed in Mark's bed. Mark suggested they could turn this into something fun, but Teddy declined. Owen suggested he do something to Mark to punish him, but Teddy wasn't mad as they weren't exclusive and she also didn't need Owen to defend her honor. Teddy later showed her romantic side when she opted to let two long-lost lovers catch up before their surgery. Owen admired her decision and looked at her longingly, which Cristina noticed after Meredith warned her to pay attention. In surgery, Owen finished Teddy's sentence and Richard likened it to his connection with Ellis Grey. Mark later came to apologize to Teddy. While she wasn't mad, she decided this thing between them was over. She later accidentally overheard Owen talking to Cristina about trying to get Teddy fired. He stated that Teddy was a trigger of his and that he didn't know how he felt about her as she's all wrapped up in his history and that she confused him. Teddy's pager gave away her presence and she rushed off to her patient.
Finding out the truth led to Teddy ignoring Owen outside of professional circumstances. She brushed off apologies and preferred to work in peace. They treated a gun shot victim together and took him to the OR. Cristina covered Teddy's post-ops and declined to scrub in. Since the patient was critical, neither of them had time to check their pagers, so Derek quietly informed Jackson about the shooter in the hospital and asked him to tell the attendings as soon as they were done. Teddy and Owen ignored Jackson's plea to stay in the OR per Derek's request and took the patient to the ICU. As they were transporting the patient, Teddy opened up and said she came to realize that Owen tried to get her fired because he loved both her and Cristina and didn't want to choose himself. However, since their lives were now in danger, Teddy really wanted him to choose. He refused to do so. They found a dead resident in the ICU and decided to take the patient outside as they would be sitting ducks in the ICU. Outside, Owen and Teddy discovered that Cristina was still inside. She noticed how worried Owen was and realized he had made his choice. She told him it was okay to choose and body blocked the police officer so he could go back inside to find Cristina. Teddy herself boarded an ambulance and rode to Seattle Pres to operate on Alex's gun shot wound to the chest. She managed to save him despite all the blood loss.
Hospital Shooting AftermathEdit
Teddy didn't suffer any problems following the shooting as she never faced the shooter. She kept checking on Alex and eventually advised him to have the bullet taken out after it surfaced, but he decided to keep it since chicks dug it. Teddy attended the meeting where Derek resigned and Richard was re-instated as Chief of Surgery. She and Owen worked on a case together and he inquired about the guy she was dating. She assured him she was happy he was getting married to Cristina and didn't elaborate. Meredith later walked in when Teddy and her guy, Andrew Perkins, the trauma counselor brought in for the hospital staff, were making out. Teddy quickly left and went to tell Arizona. She later attended Owen and Cristina's wedding at Meredith's house.
As Cristina was suffering from PTSD, Teddy and Owen advocated for her to be allowed back into the OR. Teddy had an ex vivo heart reconstruction planned and figured the pressure would be no problem for Cristina. Cristina was allowed on the case albeit with a serious lack of enthusiasm. When Teddy talked about Andrew with Arizona, it dawned on her that she did most of the talking while he just listened. In the OR, Teddy welcomed Cristina back and the surgery started. However, Jackson knocked over a tray, which triggered Cristina's PTSD and led to her lying down on the floor, unable to move. Teddy had to finish the risky surgery on her own and pulled it off. She then went to Andrew and voiced her concerns, but he said listening to her wasn't work to him and told her that he was enjoying this thing between them. They shared a kiss.
Despite knowing he'd leave Seattle after a month and planning to play it cool and smart, Teddy got attached to Andrew. On his last day, she avoided him all day in order not to cry. When he came to get her for their planned goodbye dinner, she confessed the way she felt about him. He hugged her and pointed out her habit to fall for unavailable men, noting she deserved better.
With Cristina no longer working on surgical cases, Teddy tried Jackson as her resident. She discovered his poor penmanship and ended up dictating charts till late at night, exhausting Teddy to the point where she refused to sleep with Mark to distract him from Arizona and Callie's relationship. When she noticed that Jackson flirted his way into her OR, she confronted him about it and said he was more than just the pretty face he made himself out to be.
When Richard had all attendings pitch him an idea for a large sum of money for their department, the fourth-year residents had to step in as attendings. Cristina and April were to decide if Teddy's patient, Roy Henley was a transplant candidate, but Cristina barely participated to the point where Teddy told her to either get back in the game or get out. Psyched out by Callie, Teddy didn't stick to her notes and botched her pitch about stem cell heart generation because of her grudge against Derek. Meanwhile, Teddy thinking of her as useless made Cristina gather herself and make a decision regarding the patient.
Teddy briefly appeared in the Seattle Medical Documentary, where she was seen ranting about the security system that trapped Jackson with her coding patient between doors. She also congratulated Arizona on winning the Carter Madison Grant.
In a final attempt to lure Cristina back to surgery, Teddy had her monitor Roy while she went to pick up lungs. While it should have been an easy day, Cristina had to deal with multiple complications. With some help from Meredith, she perfectly managed. Teddy then returned with the lungs and the surgery went perfectly. Despite of that, Cristina realized that while she could still be a surgeon, she didn't want to be one anymore, so she quit.
While presenting Roy's case, Teddy found herself under attack from various colleagues, including Derek, who thought she put too much pressure on Cristina, leading to her quitting. Missing her student, Teddy planned to corner Cristina at her housewarming party and convince her to come back. However, Derek thought it was time for them to back off. He arrived to the party early and took Cristina up to her roof, where they wouldn't find her.
With her star student gone, Teddy put her energy in finding a boyfriend. Despite her disliking it, she used online dating and went on a couple of bad dates. After she cut one of those dates short, she joined her colleagues at Joe's, only to find out that Cristina was working there. Teddy found this depressing and, adding the fact that her aspirational couple had broken up and was living on separate continents, got really drunk. Joe took away her keys so she went to the hospital to kill time, where she talked to Meredith about how she was depressed over what had happened recently.
Dating and Marriage to HenryEdit
Henry was a patient with the rare genetic condition Von Hippel-Lindau disease, who could no longer afford to pay for his medical care. He planned to propose to his girlfriend in the hospital and told Teddy of this in the elevator. After his proposal was rejected, Henry revealed that it was only for her insurance due to the fact that his own had reached its limit. Teddy then told Henry that she had great insurance to which Henry's reaction was negative. She then proceeded to explain that Henry should marry her. Later Teddy married him so that he could use her health insurance, and only came to appreciate the gravity of this decision when Henry suffered a near fatal complication of his illness. Teddy discovered that he had listed her as his emergency contact and she was forced to make a life-or-death decision regarding his care, not as his doctor but as his wife. Though the newlyweds both maintained that theirs was a simple marriage of convenience, and Teddy continued to date other men, Henry later confessed that he had feelings for Teddy. She told him she did not feel the same way. When Andrew Perkins returned and asked Teddy to move to Germany with him, she accepted, and agreed to divorce Henry. However, in the aftermath of a plane crash shortly after making that decision, Teddy changed her mind and told Henry that she was falling in love with him. The two began their married life properly, but not long into their wedded bliss, Henry died, leaving Teddy distraught.
After Henry died, Teddy was not aware until after she finished her surgery on her patient. Cristina was the one to tell her in the scrub room and she broke down crying. She sat and cried next to Henry in the OR where he died. In her grieving process, she called Cristina in during her surgeries and made her tell her the exact story of Henry's surgery. This went on for about two weeks. She later went to a support group for widows to help her cope with his death, only to laugh at one of the other widows for saying her husband had "minor congestive heart failure" because according to Teddy, there is no such thing and he was lucky to survive as long as he did. Finally, she was able to say the words "I am a widow."
Departure from the HospitalEdit
While Teddy was helping out Bailey and Callie with their patient, Owen told her that someone called him to ask if she was going to take the Chief job at MEDCOM, about which he didn't know anything. She told him that she planned to tell him about the job offer, and he was bummed that he now has to look for a new Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery, on top of all other surgeons who were leaving Seattle. She then told him that she was not taking the job, but just hadn't had time to tell MEDCOM yet. Later in surgery, he wanted to know why she said no to the offer, especially because it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. He asked her about her loyalty to her country. She then told him that she'd love to leave the hospital, as it kept reminding her of her deceased husband. "I would love to leave here, and never look back. But you are as broken and beaten as I have ever seen you," she said, silencing him. "And after everything I've put you through, the tolerance and kindess and friendship that you have shown me, I am not going to leave you, because of my loyalty. I am not going to leave here for MEDCOM or anywhere else," she told him, after which she continued operating.
Owen later approached her, saying that he now knew why she tried so hard to keep Cristina in Seattle. "If Cristina were staying, you'd be taking that job," he said. She stayed silent, and he assured her he'd be fine. She told him he wouldn't be, as he was losing the love of his life. Owen then opened up to her and said that he already missed Cristina, while she hadn't even left yet. "I wish I could tell you that that will go away, but it won't," she said, before walking away again. He later asked her to come to a conference room to talk. While she was saying she was happy to stay as it'd be like them back in Iraq again, he suddenly said that she was fired. She laughed, thinking he was joking, but she realized it was serious when he told her it was "effective and immediately".
"Now, I know you have other opportunities, so if you need to make those phone calls..." he began, but she told him that he couldn't tell her when to go and when to stay. "I don't want you here anymore!" he yelled, continuing that she had to have seen it coming for months as she had been disruptive in the OR and hostile and insubordinate towards him in front of staff and students. "We're past all of that," she still tried to talk him out of his decision. "We are, because you're fired," he told her once again. "It's a done deal, pack your stuff," he said. She then angrily left the room while scolding him. Moments later, she came back in, crying. She realized that being fired by Owen was the only way he could make her do what she really wanted to do: taking the job at MEDCOM. She hugged him tightly, urging him to fight for Cristina. "You go, and be great," he told her, while hugging her too.
Megan Hunt and Rekindled Romance with OwenEdit
When Megan was found in a basement of an abandoned house, she was transferred to a hospital in Germany. Owen told Amelia to request Teddy while on the phone with the hospital, since he was in disbelief that the patient was identified correctly as his sister. Teddy reassured Amelia and Owen that the patient was Megan Hunt and made sure Megan would be transferred to Grey Sloan. Owen refused to talk to Teddy when she had tried to call him.
After Megan had arrived in Seattle, Teddy surprised Owen by showing up to support him. Megan and Teddy caught up and discussed a guy Teddy had had a few dates with. Teddy briefly met Amelia when she stopped by Megan's room and also checked in with Arizona and April in the cafeteria. During Megan's first surgery, Teddy helped to calm a panicking and fearful Owen. After the surgery, Teddy found out about Meredith and Nathan's short-lived romance and pressed Owen, Nathan, and Meredith to come clean to Megan, as she thought Megan had the right know, especially with Meredith as her surgeon. Amelia stood up for Meredith, which resulted in Teddy scolding her for not being present to support Owen. Teddy continued to urge Nathan and Owen to tell the truth, which was overheard by Maggie, who sided with Teddy. While waiting with Owen during the surgery to close Megan's abdominal wound, Teddy brought Amelia's absence to Owen's attention. Nathan then came to get them as the surgery was almost over, but they came just in time to witness Meredith realizing there wasn't enough tissue to close.
Teddy was with Megan when she woke up after the failed surgery. Owen privately confessed to her that he was happy, since it meant Megan couldn't go back to Iraq just yet. Meredith later paged Teddy and asked her to be a part of her planned abdominal transplant surgery for Megan. Meredith assured her she could separate the personal and professional, so Teddy agreed. She was excited at the prospect of this procedure being a possibility to help many soldiers with similar injuries. While Meredith went on to search for a donor, Megan's loved ones, including Teddy, sprung into action to find a way to get Megan's son Farouk to the U.S., but to no avail. After sending Owen out to run an errand, Teddy, Megan, and Evelyn discussed his marriage to Amelia and came to conclude that it was a sham marriage. They helped him realize that Amelia was absent and that his not needing her there for him was a problem, too. Teddy then went to scrub in for the surgery, which they pulled off successfully. That night, Owen and Teddy went to relax at the park. He talked about he and Amelia had grown apart and then leaned in to kiss Teddy. She broke it off after kissing him back. She explained that he was her favorite human on the planet and she knew him well enough to know that if they were meant to be more than friends, it couldn't start with his cheating on Amelia. The shame and guilt would kill him, so she decided they needed to stay just friends for now. With Megan's health problems solved, Teddy returned to Germany.
Months later, she was surprised by Owen showing up at her place in the middle of the night. He then revealed to her that his marriage with Amelia was over, leaving nothing standing in their way. They then kissed and proceeded to have sex. After sex, they admitted they both had imagined that moment. They reminisced about the first time they met and operated together, something they both wanted to do for the rest of their lives. As they cuddled and watched the snow, she recalled the moment he made it snow in Iraq for his troops. She deemed him great at grand gestures, which led to her wondering if this was one of them. While she didn't like the country, she did like the life she build for herself in Germany. Owen suggested he move to Germany as he really wanted to be with her, for real. She asked him to spend some more days with her to figure things out and also questioned the end of his marriage. He admitted that that was what led him to her. She questioned that and he revealed that Amelia told him to go see her. Teddy soon figured out Amelia did so shortly after they had had sex again, which was just one day before he hopped on the plane to Germany.
Infuriated over this, Teddy packed his bag for him while blaming him for being terrified of being alone. She listed all his relationships and suggested he had a pathological need to be coupled up so no one would see how sad and empty he is. He bounced back that she was afraid to be happy, stating that she was fine to marry the dead guy but wasn't willing to enter a relationship with a man who truly loved her. She forbade him from talking about Henry. He continued to say that she would rather burn everything to the ground than risk being hurt. She then yelled that hurting was all he ever did, stringing her along for years with half-baked declarations and then marrying other women. He had actually convinced her that he was truly in love with her, that he wanted her, but she came to realize it never was about her. She stated she was done being his sloppy seconds or his consolation prize. Owen told her that the thing with the snow, he did it for her because he knew how much she loved Christmas. Teddy ignored it and told him they were done. She threw him out of her apartment and broke down.
Nearly three months later, she arrived at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital again and was unable to find anybody she knew. She finally ran into Bailey, who had her scrub in for an emergent surgery. In surgery, Teddy told Bailey that she came here looking for a job. Since Bailey didn't immediately respond, Teddy tried to take it back. After surgery, Teddy apologized to Bailey for putting her on the spot. Bailey told Teddy that her question was actually yet another sign in her life. She had wanted to temporarily step down from the Chief of Surgery position to fall in love with surgery and research again and spend more time with her family. She then offered the job of Interim Chief of Surgery to Teddy, who was very much interested. After their talking it over, Teddy stayed in Lila's mother's ICU room so she could see her daughter's wedding via livestream. Lila's mother noticed how moved she was and how she kept touching her stomach. She asked Teddy if she was expecting, which Teddy confirmed.
The next morning, Teddy went to surprise Owen at his house but was instead greeted at the door by Betty, who mentioned the baby. Teddy's vision of a future in Seattle was shattered and she claimed to be at the wrong house. She returned to the hospital to tell Bailey she couldn't accept the job after all because of her not wanting to return to Seattle. On her way out, she bumped into Owen, Amelia, and Leo and hastily said goodbye. While walking, she started experiencing pain in her leg and, suspecting a deep vein thrombosis, she had intern Casey get her Maggie Pierce for a consult. During the consult, Teddy found out about Maggie's relations to Meredith, Amelia, and Owen. She pressed Maggie not to tell anyone about her pregnancy and left against medical advice.
Dr. Sloan asked Teddy out, but she initially declined. Eventually, she accepted and they had dated briefly. After finding Reed Adamson in Mark's bed, Teddy ended things.
Henry was a patient who had Von Hippel-Lindau disease (making tumors grow in areas with rich blood supply) and could no longer afford treatment because his insurance capped out. Teddy met Henry in an elevator in the hospital, where Henry asked her if he would have a chance when he asked his girlfriend to marry him. Teddy told him his girlfriend would be a fool to say no. She later bumped into him again, and he informed her his girlfriend said no. He then revealed that he primarily asked her because of her insurance. Teddy then offered to marry him, as she had a great insurance as a surgeon.
After their marriage, Henry listed Teddy as his emergency contact person, because he didn't have any friends or family left. Henry developed real feelings for Teddy, but he decided not to tell her. She started dating, and they discussed her dates over the food she always brought home for him. However, when Teddy started a relationship with Andrew Perkins for the second time, Henry couldn't keep his feeling still anymore. He told her how he felt, which made her doubt about her relationship with Andrew. Right before she would leave for Germany with Perkins, she choose Henry over Andrew and kissed Henry.
Henry told Teddy that he wanted to go to medical school, but Teddy didn't want him to go. When Teddy went home that night, she tried to make up with Henry, but found him coughing up blood. Henry had a tumor on his lung and needed surgery. When Cristina and Richard opened him up, they found that there was no chance of saving Henry and he started to code. Webber stepped in to do CPR, but after 20 minutes, it was a lost cause so he stopped and Henry died. Webber told Owen not to tell Teddy as she was in surgery, and then they would lose another patient, so Owen told Teddy that Henry survived. Finally, after the surgery, Cristina told her that her husband was dead. Teddy demanded to see him and then broke down in tears.
Andrew and Teddy began a relationship after the shooting at Seattle Grace Mercy West. Andrew was the main trauma counselor who had to approve and clear each surgeon for surgery. Teddy and Andrew met in the cafeteria and dated for a few weeks before he had to move onto his next case. Teddy was very upset by this, but eventually moved on. Eventually, Andrew returned to Seattle, but in the meantime, Teddy had married Henry. Andrew was offered a permanent position in Germany and asked Teddy to go with him. She initially accepted and they were all set to go. However, she had second thoughts about her relationship with Henry and chose to stay.
Teddy and Allison were extremely close with Teddy describing her as "her favorite person." Allison died on 9/11 in the second tower and her death left Teddy feeling like she couldn't stay in New York. She ended up joining the Army because of that feeling.
Owen and Teddy met while they both were army surgeons. Owen brought her to Seattle Grace Mercy West as a present for Cristina, claiming her to be a "cardio goddess", and Teddy later worked out that Owen brought her as a present for his girlfriend, appearing more surprised by the fact Cristina was his girlfriend. She later would admit that she believed that if Owen broke up with his fiancée, Beth, he would have called her. She knew what Owen was going through with his PTSD, but she wasn't able to help him because she was seeing Mark at the time, and he was with Cristina. During the shooting, Owen finally decided that he wanted to be with Cristina, which Teddy understood. This ended their romantic feelings for one another, and they continued being best friends.
One day, Arizona took Teddy aside and told her that they should be friends. Teddy and Arizona shared a special friendship. When Mark asked Teddy out, she confided in Arizona, who suggested that Mark was like candy: eat it and forget about it. When things sparked between Mark and Teddy, Arizona was the one she confided in. Arizona supported Teddy when she had things going on between her and Andrew.
When Callie became pregnant and asked Arizona to be in, Arizona went to Teddy for advice on whether or not to be in.
Arizona arranged ladies night for her after Henry died.
Callie and Teddy had a strong bond, but Callie was trying to put her into a more legitimate relationship with Mark.
Initially excited at the prospect of a new cardio attending, Cristina was disappointed when she learned that Teddy had not inserted a pacing wire for about 10 years and began to question Teddy's skills as a surgeon.
However she became very impressed by Dr. Altman soon after Teddy diagnosed a child with cardiac asthma after only a brief exam and asking three questions, and when she opened him up, she discovered he had a coronary artery to pulmonary artery fistula, which she repaired surgically and allowed Cristina to first assist, which meant allowing her to attach the coronary artery to the aorta. Following his removal from bypass, the patient went into V-Fib and started bleeding from the repair site. Dr. Altman remained extremely calm and talked Cristina through resolving the rhythm and repairing the site without rearresting the heart.
Over the course of their time together, Teddy and Cristina developed a deep sense of respect for each other as colleagues, despite the slight tension between them caused by Owen. Teddy, who grew to appreciate Cristina's skills and persistence, almost regularly had Cristina on her service.
They once performed an appendectomy together, during which both of them forgot what to do halfway through the surgery.
Cristina tells Meredith and Alex that Teddy is, 'The love of my life' because they get along so well.
When Teddy's husband, Henry, came to the ER while vomiting blood, he had to undergo laparoscopic surgery and Teddy believed only Cristina could perform the surgery like herself. Cristina was kept in the dark about the identity of the patient and she performed the surgery. At one point in the surgery, there was too much bleeding, and Dr. Webber suggested they open him up. After they opened him up, Cristina saw there was too much damage to the aorta, and realized she couldn't do anything to save him. Dr. Webber continued to do compressions even after Henry's heart stopped. Cristina was then told by Owen about who the patient was and she broke down crying in the scrub room.
Not long after that, she was forced to enter the ER where Teddy was operating to assist in that surgery. Teddy was unaware that Henry had died. After the surgery was complete, Cristina had April close while she took Teddy into the scrub room and told her that Henry had died.
For two weeks after Henry's death, Teddy questioned Cristina over and over again about what exactly happened in the surgery.
Working previously at Columbia University Medical Center as a board certified attending surgeon, Dr. Altman left her job following the death of her best friend, who was killed during the collapse of the second tower. Upon leaving her job, Dr. Altman joined the army and met Owen Hunt during her tour in Baghdad. She also served two years in Landstuhl.
When her tour of duty was over, Owen recommended her as the new interim Head of cardiothoracic surgery at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital. Then-Chief Webber initially offered her at temporary contract, but she became part of the permanent staff when Dr. Shepherd, as the new chief of surgery, extended her offer with a new contract.
As head of cardiothoracic surgery, Dr. Altman mentored Cristina Yang for the last three years of Yang's residency and began research on a stem cell regenerative heart medicine project. It was this research that drew the US Army Medical Command's attention toward Dr. Altman, eventually offering her the position as their chief of staff. After Chief Hunt fired her in order to facilitate the decision of leaving for her, she left the hospital and accepted the position at MEDCOM.
She came to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital after Megan Hunt was found. Teddy now holds privileges at the hospital since operating on Megan with Meredith Grey. After finding out she was pregnant, Teddy travelled to Seattle again and was pulled into an emergency surgery with Bailey, whom she asked for a job. Surprisingly, Bailey offered her the job of Interim Chief of Surgery, which Teddy was very interested in. However, she later turned it down after learning that Owen had formed a family with Amelia.
Notes and TriviaEdit
- Teddy has birds on her scrub cap. Owen revealed that Teddy's best friend loved birds and died during the collapse of the second World Trade Center tower.
- Teddy was awarded a Bronze Star for her service in the military.
- Teddy had plans to leave the hospital every season she was a main cast member, finally leaving at the end of season eight.
- In season six, she almost left because she couldn't handle that Owen wasn't in love with her.
- In season seven, she was planning on moving to Germany with Andrew Perkins, but stayed because Henry told her he was in love with her and she was starting to fall in love with him too.
- In the season eight finale, she was offered a job in the army, but refused to take it because she wanted to stay in Seattle to support Owen, as he was having a hard time. However, Owen didn't want her to miss the opportunity just because of him, and forced himself to fire her. After she was fired, Teddy was angry at first but relieved later, and she took the job, leaving Seattle Grace Mercy West.
- Though she was part of the main cast from season six to season eight, season seven is the only season in which she appears in every single episode. She first appeared in mid-season six and was only mentioned in the season eight alternate reality episode If/Then.
- Although the cardiothoracic surgery department has had more different department heads than any other department over the course of the entire series, Teddy is the only head of cardiothoracic surgery to have been fired. It should be noted though that she wasn't fired for performance reasons, but rather as an incentive to take a post at MEDCOM.
- Teddy was unable to complete an appendectomy without Nurse Linda reminding her of the remaining steps of the procedure.
- Out of all the season six main cast members, Teddy was the only one who didn't encounter Gary Clark when he wandered around the hospital shooting people.
- Teddy loves dogs, especially puppies.
- She hates the word moist. She'd really prefer that people say damp.
- She hates helicopters.
- She revealed that her aspirational couple was Callie and Arizona.
- Teddy decided to go to medical school when she was 19 years old.
- Although incorrect, Teddy's SGMW ID badge states her department is cardiology. It also does not mention her F.A.C.S. title.
- Teddy's favorite food is french.
- She speaks German.
- Out of all main characters she is the first to return as a main character after leaving the main cast.
A more complete gallery with pictures of Teddy Altman can be found here.
These episode are Teddy-centric or are otherwise very informative about her life.
- New History
- Suicide is Painless
- Hook, Line and Sinner
- Something's Gotta Give
- The Lion Sleeps Tonight
- Break Down the House
- Get Off on the Pain
- Danger Zone
- One Day Like This
- Everyday Angel
- Teddy: You have to go back to the beginning to understand the end.
- Teddy: Say it. When you inform the family, you have to say it so they know that it's really happening. That's the first thing you are taught. I never really thought about it, but now I get it. And, Cristina, I need you...I need you to say it.
- Teddy: This is why I hate awards. They don't make us better, just more competitive and stupid. And for what? To put on a dress and eat a bad piece of fish and take home an ugly paperweight that's going to sit on your mantel for the rest of your sad, empty, misguided life?
|Grey's Anatomy, Season 6|
|#01||"Good Mourning"||#09||"New History"||#17||"Push"|
|#02||"Goodbye"||#10||"Holidaze"||#18||"Suicide is Painless"|
|#03||"I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watchin' Me"||#11||"Blink"||#19||"Sympathy for the Parents"|
|#04||"Tainted Obligation"||#12||"I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked"||#20||"Hook, Line and Sinner"|
|#05||"Invasion"||#13||"State of Love and Trust"||#21||"How Insensitive"|
|#06||"I Saw What I Saw"||#14||"Valentine's Day Massacre"||#22||"Shiny Happy People"|
|#07||"Give Peace a Chance"||#15||"The Time Warp"||#23||"Sanctuary"|
|#08||"Invest in Love"||#16||"Perfect Little Accident"||#24||"Death and All His Friends"|
|Grey's Anatomy, Season 7|
|#01||"With You I'm Born Again"||#09||"Slow Night, So Long"||#17||"This is How We Do It"|
|#02||"Shock to the System"||#10||"Adrift and at Peace"||#18||"Song Beneath the Song"|
|#03||"Superfreak"||#11||"Disarm"||#19||"It's a Long Way Back"|
|#04||"Can't Fight Biology"||#12||"Start Me Up"||#20||"White Wedding"|
|#05||"Almost Grown"||#13||"Don't Deceive Me (Please Don't Go)"||#21||"I Will Survive"|
|#06||"These Arms of Mine"||#14||"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)"||#22||"Unaccompanied Minor"|
|#07||"That's Me Trying"||#15||"Golden Hour"|
|#08||"Something's Gotta Give"||#16||"Not Responsible"|
|Grey's Anatomy, Season 8|
|#01||"Free Falling"||#09||"Dark Was the Night"||#17||"One Step Too Far"|
|#02||"She's Gone"||#10||"Suddenly"||#18||"The Lion Sleeps Tonight"|
|#03||"Take the Lead"||#11||"This Magic Moment"||#19||"Support System"|
|#04||"What is It About Men"||#12||"Hope for the Hopeless"||#20||"The Girl with No Name"|
|#05||"Love, Loss and Legacy"||#13||"If/Then"||#21||"Moment of Truth"|
|#06||"Poker Face"||#14||"All You Need is Love"||#22||"Let the Bad Times Roll"|
|#07||"Put Me In, Coach"||#15||"Have You Seen Me Lately?"||#23||"Migration"|
|#08||"Heart-Shaped Box"||#16||"If Only You Were Lonely"||#24||"Flight"|
|Grey's Anatomy, Season 14|
|#01||"Break Down the House"||#09||"1-800-799-7233"||#17||"One Day Like This"|
|#02||"Get Off on the Pain"||#10||"Personal Jesus"||#18||"Hold Back the River"|
|#03||"Go Big or Go Home"||#11||"(Don't Fear) the Reaper"||#19||"Beautiful Dreamer"|
|#04||"Ain't That a Kick in the Head"||#12||"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger"||#20||"Judgment Day"|
|#05||"Danger Zone"||#13||"You Really Got a Hold on Me"||#21||"Bad Reputation"|
|#06||"Come on Down to My Boat, Baby"||#14||"Games People Play"||#22||"Fight For Your Mind"|
|#07||"Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story"||#15||"Old Scars, Future Hearts"||#23||"Cold as Ice"|
|#08||"Out of Nowhere"||#16||"Caught Somewhere in Time"||#24||"All of Me"|
|Grey's Anatomy, Season 15|
|#01||"With a Wonder and a Wild Desire"||#10||"Help, I'm Alive"||#19||"15.19"|
|#02||"Broken Together"||#11||"The Winner Takes It All"||#20||"15.20"|
|#03||"Gut Feeling"||#12||"Girlfriend in a Coma"||#21||"15.21"|
|#04||"Momma Knows Best"||#13||"15.13"||#22||"15.22"|
|#06||"Flowers Grow Out of My Grave"||#15||"15.15"||#24||"15.24"|
|#07||"Anybody Have a Map?"||#16||"15.16"||#25||"15.25"|
|#08||"Blowin' in the Wind"||#17||"15.17"|
|#09||"Shelter from the Storm"||#18||"15.18"|