Meredith Grey

Get the inside scoop on Meredith's life and journey from Dartmouth student to Seattle Grace surgical resident to Chief of General Surgery.

11 Min Read

Meredith Grey has been the focal point of Grey’s Anatomy since the show’s premiere in 2005. After 19 seasons, her journey as a surgeon, mother, daughter, friend and romantic partner has captivated millions of viewers. But how much do we really know about the fiercely independent doctor played by Ellen Pompeo?

Here we’ll take an in-depth look at Meredith’s background, education, career trajectory, family relationships and more. Whether you’re a long-time fan or just tuning in, this guide will give you the inside scoop on one of TV’s most beloved and complex characters.

Quick Facts About Meredith Grey

  • Attended Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Medical School
  • Specializes in general surgery
  • Had a strained relationship with her surgeon mother, Ellis Grey
  • Married (and divorced) Derek Shepherd, with whom she has 3 kids
  • Close friends with fellow doctors Cristina Yang, Alex Karev, Miranda Bailey, and more
  • Became Chief of General Surgery at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital
  • Nearly died multiple times from accidents, drownings, attacks, plane crashes and more
  • Known for her dark and twisty personality and avoidance of emotions

Who is Meredith Grey?

Meredith Grey is the protagonist of ABC’s hit medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. Born to famous surgeon Ellis Grey and army veteran Thatcher Grey, Meredith had a dysfunctional childhood marked by parental neglect. Her mother’s demanding career led to Meredith feeling abandoned, while her father left the family when she was young.

As a result, Meredith developed a dark, cynical outlook on life. She keeps people at arm’s length and avoids emotional intimacy. However, as the show progresses, she slowly learns to open up and trust again through her friendships, career challenges, and marriage to neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd. She becomes a more confident, nurturing person while still retaining her boldness and unconventional ways.

Where Did Meredith Grey Go to College?

Meredith attended Dartmouth College for her undergraduate studies. She initially rebelled against following in her mother’s footsteps at Harvard Medical School, but eventually realized she wanted to become a surgeon herself.

Meredith graduated from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, an Ivy League institution in Hanover, New Hampshire. She struggled during her college years with self-doubt, her mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, and debating whether to pursue medicine. However, with support from friends like Sadie Harris, Meredith graduated with honors.

After medical school, Meredith completed her residency in general surgery at the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital (later renamed Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital). As an intern, she met her best friends Cristina, Alex, Izzie and George, along with her eventual husband Derek Shepherd.

Net Worth of Meredith Grey

As a fictional character, Meredith Grey does not have a real net worth. However, within the storyline of Grey’s Anatomy, she was born into a wealthy family and is a successful surgeon earning a doctor’s salary. So while an exact figure is never given, her net worth is likely in the millions.

In the earlier seasons as an intern and resident, she would have earned around $50,000-$80,000. Now as an attending general surgeon and Department Head, her salary most likely falls in the range of $200,000 to $400,000 annually. Given her 15+ years of experience, inheritance from her mother, and other potential income sources, her estimated net worth could be anywhere from $5 million to $10 million or more.

Meredith’s Road to Chief of Surgery

Meredith didn’t always envision herself as Chief of Surgery – in the beginning, she just wanted to make it through her surgical residency. But through her natural talent and perseverance, she gained extensive experience in general surgery, trauma surgery, neurosurgery and more. She even completed a groundbreaking mini-liver transplant that garnered worldwide attention.

As Meredith raised her three children with Derek and mourned his untimely death, she seriously considered leaving Grey Sloan for a quieter life. However, support from her peers convinced her to stay and accept the Chief position when it was offered. After some initial self-doubt, Meredith embraced her new role and led the hospital through many challenges – just as her mother Ellis did decades ago.

Meredith’s Relationships and Family Life

While focused on her medical career, Meredith has had various romantic relationships over the years. Her most significant was with neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd; the two fell in love early in season 1 despite Initially trying to resist it. They married, adopted daughter Zola, and had two more children – Bailey and Ellis. Derek’s sudden death left Meredith heartbroken, causing her to take time off and move to San Diego.

She also had a close friendship with orthopedic surgeon Nathan Riggs, who helped rekindle her desire to date again. Meredith allowed herself to be vulnerable once more, and found love with former patient Andrew DeLuca. Their relationship endured many ups and downs before Andrew’s mental health decline led to his death.

Above all, Meredith remains dedicated to her three kids and found family at Grey Sloan Memorial. She maintains a close sisterly bond with friend Miranda Bailey, as well as relationships with longtime companions like Alex Karev and Richard Webber. Despite the losses she’s faced, Meredith draws strength from the connections she’s made.

Meredith Grey on Social Media

Since Meredith Grey is a fictional character, she does not have real social media accounts. However, fans of Grey’s Anatomy have created numerous fan accounts and profiles for her! Here are a few popular ones:

These fan accounts share the latest news about Meredith and Ellen Pompeo, alongside fun Grey’s Anatomy memes, tidbits, and nostalgic content for long-time viewers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Meredith Grey

How old is Meredith Grey?

Meredith is currently around 40 years old. Her specific age has been tough to pin down, as Grey’s Anatomy has aired for 19 seasons without clear markers of time passing. Based on details provided, she seems to have aged in real time, making her late 30s to early 40s.

What is Meredith’s personality like?

Meredith has a dark and twisty personality. She struggles to open up emotionally and often seems cold or cynical on the surface. However, deep down she is a loyal friend and passionate surgeon. Over time she has learned to allow herself to love and be vulnerable.

How many sisters does Meredith have?

Meredith has 3 half-sisters: Lexie Grey, Maggie Pierce, and Molly Grey-Thompson. Lexie and Meredith had the same father, while Maggie and Molly share the same mother (Ellis). Sadly, Lexie died in a plane crash. But Meredith has grown closer to Maggie and Molly over the years.

Who does Meredith end up with?

After Derek Shepherd’s death, Meredith eventually ends up with Hayes – a pediatric surgeon who also lost his spouse. They connect through shared grief and understanding. Meredith is hesitant at first, but allows herself to find love again with Hayes in later seasons.

Does Meredith have Alzheimer’s?

So far, Meredith has not developed Alzheimer’s like her mother. However, the possibility haunts her. She did a clinical trial early on to test for genetic markers, which came back negative. But Meredith remains vigilant about her memory and cognition as she ages.

How did Derek Shepherd die?

Derek died from injuries sustained in a traumatic car accident. He heroically saved four people from another crashed vehicle, but then got hit himself while returning to his car on the road. By the time he made it to the hospital, the head trauma proved fatal.

What is Meredith’s specialty?

Meredith specialized in general surgery and is board certified. She has also developed expertise in neurosurgery during her residency under Derek Shepherd and has an interest in cutting edge medical research.

Why did Cristina Yang leave?

Cristina left Grey Sloan to accept a prestigious position running a state-of-the-art cardiac research institute in Switzerland. As much as she loved Meredith, Cristina felt too constrained at the hospital and needed to follow this incredible career opportunity.

Does Meredith Grey die?

No, as of the current season 19, Meredith Grey is still alive. However, she has had many close brushes with death over the years, from drownings to bomb explosions to plane crashes. Each time she has miraculously survived.

Meredith has overcome incredibly difficult life events, but continues her life and work as a surgeon, mother, partner and friend. She remains the anchor at the heart of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.