The Cultural Impact of Dr. Cristina Yang

Nathanial Brown, 10th Grader at BCECHS

ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy is the longest-running medical drama in TV History. Along with this title comes a very long list of cast. Throughout the years, viewers have loved several of the show’s characters, however, Dr. Cristina Yang is more than just a fan favorite.

Author: Nathanial Brown

Cristina was often judged by her fellow interns and residents for her “rudeness” or her “dangerous ambition”. One of the people that judged her the hardest was Dr. Meredith Grey who in the end became her best friend. Since the first season, Cristina and Meredith have had a very close friendship that has created several interesting plotlines in Yang’s 10-season tenure. At the beginning of the first season, Yang and Grey did not get along however as the season progressed their intricate friendship progressed and they fabricated the term “my person”.

The majority of Oh’s characterization revolves around her love of Cardiothoracic surgery. Most of her fellow interns had no idea what their surgical specialty would be for at least another 8 seasons, but Yang knew from Day 1 that she would be a Cardiothoracic surgeon.

One of the things that make her character so great is that she broke gender roles by being persistent about wanting to take her work seriously and not have a family. From day one Cristina knew that she was not meant to be a mother, because this would interfere with her career. This became a “problem” with two of her lovers, Preston Burke and Owen Hunt. 

From the beginning, Cristina was a significant advocate for herself and what she wanted and she was not interested in being manipulated by anyone, especially a man. Today, the character is set to be in Switzerland being the Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Klausman Institute for Medical Research, where she has been for almost 9 years.

In an interview, Oh was asked “It’s been several years since you left Greys, what’s the number one question you hear still from fans on the street?”. Her response was “When are you coming back? I’m not coming back”.

To this day after almost 10 years, Cristina is the only character to be given her own custom Grey’s Anatomy title card (See Picture) and that shows just how much she means to viewers. 

As she once said, “If you want crappy things to stop happening to you, then stop accepting crap and demand something more.”