Yeah, you heard that right.
Alex calls Meredith Grey a nurse in their first interaction. Rude, right? But it does give insight into how sexist the medical field can be. Women have traditionally been nurses, and men have traditionally been doctors. However, Grey’s Anatomy features a diverse cast of men and women of many different races and backgrounds. There are slightly more men than women, but overall, the cast is diverse. A daughter of an esteemed surgeon, a model, a know it all, and a slightly clueless guy are all competing and training to reach one goal: becoming a surgeon.
The main character, Meredith Grey, is a woman. She faces the same struggles as everyone in the internship program: little sleep, many patients, and lots of work. But, she also has to face the pressure of sexism, her very obvious crush on Derek, and her mother’s legacy. She’s realistic and relatable. The other characters all come from different backgrounds and face their own struggles besides those of the internship program.
While women do have some agency in the show, such as Meredith making decisions that saved Katie’s life and Dr. Bailey bossing others around, the higher-ups in the show are all men. The chief ultimately makes the decisions. Many of the female characters are interns or patients, so their decision making is limited. Dr. Bailey is the exception, though. She, affectionately dubbed “The Nazi,” has strict rules and a no nonsense attitude. As a senior resident, she does have the ability to make larger decisions. However, she does fall under the stereotype of an angry black woman.
Race is represented rather well, with there being asian, black, and white people intermingling and doing their work. Dr. Burke is a black man in a position of power, and Dr. Bailey is a black women with moderate power, which is often not seen and often looked down upon. One of the writers even said that the casting process was “colorblind” and that diversity was a main goal of the show. However, people of different sexual and gender orientations, as well as disabled people, are not represented well. Being gay is joked about and used as a prank in one episode. While the intern program may be too rigorous for people with physical disabilities, it can still represent mental illness and some disabilities better.