Is Meredith Grey's New Job Bringing Her Back to Her Neurosurgery Beginnings?

We were never clear if Meredith Grey loved neurosurgery or just Derek Shepherd, but her new job has us wondering if Meredith is going back to neuro.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Oct. 21 2021, Published 5:49 p.m. ET

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey
Source: ABC

We've already seen a lot of huge changes on this season of Grey's Anatomy, including a disclaimer that explains the season is set in a "fictional, post-pandemic world, which represents our hopes for the future." It also appears to be a season filled with little nods to earlier episodes. For example, in Episode 1 of Season 18, Meredith Grey is wearing the same button-up shirt she wore in the very first episode of the show.

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It's no coincidence that the very first episode of Grey's was called "A Hard Day's Night," while the first episode of Season 18 was called "Here Comes the Sun" — both are titles of Beatles songs. These aren't the first trips to the past the show is taking. Meredith has taken a new job that will have her splitting her time between Seattle and Minneapolis. The new position has fans wondering if Meredith is going back to neuro. Here's what we know.

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey and Peter Gallagher as Dr. David Hamilton on 'Grey's'
Source: ABC
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Is Meredith going back to neuro?

Meredith is offered her very own research lab by Dr. David Hamilton (Peter Gallagher) in order to help find a cure for Parkinson's disease. Dr. Hamilton is a neurosurgeon in Minneapolis who also has Parkinson's, so he has a lot riding on the offer. Meredith decides to take the offer with the stipulation that she can go back and forth between Seattle and Minneapolis, and gets to bring Dr. Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone).

Caterina Scorsone as Dr. Amelia Shepherd and Ellen Pompeo as Dr. Meredith Grey on 'Grey's'
Source: ABC
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Because of this new job, Meredith has stepped down as director of the residency program but will remain chief of general surgery. However, the job in Minnesota will require her to return to her first area of interest: neurosurgery. On a recent episode of her podcast, Tell Me With Ellen Pompeo, Ellen dropped some very important information about her character to her guest, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who is actually a neurosurgeon.

She let it slip that, "Meredith is about to change her specialty and go back to neuro," and went on to explain it was because "we want to address these findings that our microbiome and our gut are our second brain, and as important as our first brain and we should start treating them as such." Ellen is equally as interested in this subject as her character is, and furthered revealed she is a "big believer in microbiome and gut health."

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Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Source: Getty Images

It's been a while, when was Meredith interested in neurosurgery?

If your brain is having trouble accessing the years of content Grey's Anatomy has to offer, we get it. Meredith has been through a lot and it would be impossible to recall every detail her character. Meredith's love for neurosurgery started with her mother Dr. Ellis Grey (Kate Burton) who had Alzheimer's, and led her right into meeting world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), who would eventually become her husband.

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Meredith was already showing signs of being a great neurosurgeon when she met Derek, but it didn't hurt that Derek was a neurosurgeon for whom she developed feelings that she fought against every possible second. When Derek started working on a clinical trial to help find a cure for Alzheimer's, he of course asked Meredith to help.

Patrick Dempsey as Dr. Derek Shepherd and Ellen Pompeo as Dr. Meredith Grey on 'Grey's'
Source: ABC

Unfortunately, while working on the trial, it was discovered that the wife of her friend and mentor, Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.), had Alzheimer's. Meredith rigged the clinical trial in order to get Richard's wife in, and while the move was certainly admirable and rather typical of Meredith, it was clearly not OK. When Derek found out, she was kicked off of the trial and eventually left neurosurgery for general surgery. Looks like she's back, maybe.

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.

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