Dr. Zola Ahmad Joins the Cast of 'Chicago Med' in Season 9 — Who Is She?

Melissa Willets - Author

Jan. 24 2024, Published 11:41 a.m. ET

Sophia Ali playing Dr. Zola Ahmad on 'Chicago Med'
Source: NBC

Fans will meet a brand new physician on Season 9 of the NBC drama Chicago Med.

Paging Dr. Zola Ahmad! Indeed, the fresh face joins the cast, starting in Episode 2.

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Who plays Dr. Ahmad? Well, it's someone you just may recognize from another huge NBC medical show. Indeed, the Windy City newbie is none other than Sophia Ali, who once starred as Dr. Dahlia Qadri on Grey's Anatomy.

Details ahead!

Sophia Ali smiles on red carpet in Hollywood in 2018
Source: Getty Images
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Dr. Zola Ahmad joins the doctors in Season 9 'Chicago Med' and gets off to a bumpy start.

Dr. Ahmad's introduction to the team at Gaffney Chicago Medical Center isn't exactly smooth sailing.

Andrew Schneider, the executive producer for the show, had this to say about the new resident: “She’s someone who will cause a lot of headaches for the Chief of the ED, (Dean) Archer (Steven Weber).” Schneider also told TV Insider, “She will overstep. She’s impulsive.” Sound familiar?

The role will be recurring, with Dr. Ahmad setting the stage for drama in her debut episode on Jan. 24, 2024. The episode, entitled, “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us,” is summarized as, “Crockett (Marcel) clashes with Med’s new eager first-year resident.”

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Sophia Ali isn't new to playing a doctor who makes waves.

Dr. Qadri's storyline on Grey's Anatomy involved Sophia getting axed from her position at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital when she talked back to Dr. Miranda Bailey — a big "no-no."

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As fans will recall, we last saw her character in 2019 on Grey's.

After bowing out of the show, Sophia notably took on the role of Fatin Jadmani in The Wilds, and earned an even bigger fanbase.

Now, fans get to see her on Chicago Med.

But why exactly did the star exit Grey's before helping save lives on another TV medical drama?

Sophia Ali playing Dr. Dahlia Qadri on 'Grey's Anatomy'
Source: ABC
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So, why did Sophia Ali leave 'Grey's Anatomy'?

It seems that it was Sophia's choice to leave the iconic Seattle-based medical series.

According to a tweet shared by showrunner Krista Vernoff back in 2019, the actor signed on to another project, potentially spurring writers' decision to take her storyline in a new direction, and ultimately write her off the show.

"We will miss the exquisite and delightful Sophia Taylor Ali as she heads to New Zealand for big TV and film adventures!" Krista wrote after the actor's final episode. "Bye Dr. Dahlia Qadri! We love you!"

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Fans didn't take the news well, with many commenting that they were very sad to see the character go. "Oh that is sad! I really thought she'd fight for her job back!" one fan tweeted.

But Dr. Qadri was really gone for good, and didn't come back to Grey Sloan.

The good news is that Sophia is putting on scrubs again and fans can follow her journey as a new doctor in a new hospital.

Catch Sophia Ali as Dr. Zola Ahmad on Chicago Med beginning Jan. 24, 2024, at 8 p.m. on NBC and streaming on Peacock.

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