Mar. 27, 2005
Returning Series
60 min.
ABC TV Network

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Grey's Anatomy

Grey's Anatomy is a highly acclaimed medical drama that focuses on Meredith Grey as she struggles to maintain relationships while staying sharp at her new job. At Seattle Grace Hospital, she and her fellow doctors make new friends, new enemies and new lovers. The series follows through the hospital, finding personal and professional decisions are not black and white, only shades of grey.

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Dr. Cristina Yang Grey's Anatomy
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Dr. Cristina Yang

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  Played by:
Sandra OhSandra Oh
Born to Korean parents in the Ottawa suburb of Nepean, Ontario, Canada. Her father and mother, who were ...

Character Bio

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Cristina Yang is a doctor Though Yang has mentioned Jewish customs from her upbringing like Shiv'ah and at times has referred to herself as Jewish, she believes only in science and is a strong atheist. which is the ultimate reason she became a doctor with an express interest in cardiothoracic surgery and is likely to explain her behavior. She is a graduate of Beverly Hills High School and Smith College, and she earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from University of California, Berkeley. She earned her M.D. from Stanford University, where she graduated first in her class.

Season one

On the first day of the internship, she hit it off with Meredith Grey. Cristina soon fell out with her because she felt that Meredith was given surgeries because of Derek’s favoritism and her famous mother, Dr. Ellis Grey. However, Cristina apologized to Meredith and the pair soon became fast friends. Her frequent sarcastic remarks and lack of tact made it hard for people to like her, but her fellow interns gradually took to her ways and became friends with her as well.
She is touched by the fact that Burke admitted to having made a huge error in a surgery. Cristina followed Burke into the on-call room, locked the door and then proceeded to have sex. Burke tried to get Cristina to define their relationship, but a commitment-phobic Cristina brushed him off. She found out she was pregnant and scheduled an abortion.

Season two

Unable to deal with her emotions about the pregnancy and impending abortion, she distanced herself from a bewildered, frustrated Burke, telling only Meredith about her pregnancy, as she was her emergency contact 'person'. Meanwhile, her covert relationship with Burke came out into the open after George saw them kissing and told Meredith and Izzie. After the Chief told Burke that he could only be interim Chief of Surgery if he was prepared to sacrifice his personal life, he decided to break up with Cristina. Cristina, hurt by his decision, decided not to tell Burke about her pregnancy. However, while in surgery with Burke she collapsed from an ectopic pregnancy and her left fallopian tube burst. Burke was shocked to find out about the pregnancy, but Cristina reminded him that he broke up with her. Despite that, he was the only one whom she allowed to comfort her when she could not stop crying from her grief.
The couple reconciled and officially became a couple. On their first official date, Cristina and Burke realized that they have almost nothing in common. Burke also noted that Cristina is “very hard to get to know” and she agreed. Although their relationship was dysfunctional, it was still going strong as they were clearly in love with each other.
Their different beliefs cause more obstacles in their relationship. Burke's spirituality differed from Cristina's. She began looking down on Burke for beliefs she considered irrational, while Burke was hurt and angry she wouldn't accept his spirituality.
Cristina’s commitment issues resurfaced when Burke surprised her with a key to his apartment. She believed they weren't ready in their relationship to live together. Cristina introduced Burke to her extremely messy apartment and lifestyle, but Burke accepted her for what she was. She eventually agreed to move in with Burke, but secretly kept her old apartment. When Burke found out, she gave up her apartment.
During Burke's surgery after he was shot in the arm, she panicked and fled, her turbulent emotions preventing her from keeping him calm. This impacted her deeply, for she knew it wasn't like her at all to be controlled by her emotions in such a way. She begged the Chief to teach her how to suppress her emotions so she could become a great surgeon, but he refused, saying that he wouldn't be responsible for destroying what made her human.

Season three

Burke discovered he had developed a hand tremor during his recovery. Cristina helped him disguise his tremor using a covert partnership. She managed Burke's surgery schedule and scrubbed in on all his surgeries. However, her exclusivity to rare surgeries incited jealousy and suspicion from the other interns. George, after witnessing one of Burke's hand tremors, confronted Cristina about it. She frantically denied it, but suffered a crisis of confidence and eventually confessed everything to the Chief.
Cristina's actions jeopardized Burke's chances of becoming Chief of Surgery, and Burke saw this as a huge betrayal. Both parties refused to talk to each other after the fallout, jeopardizing their relationship. Cristina eventually broke the silence, and Burke asked her to marry him. Cristina was stunned and only accepted his proposal after eight days of hesitation.
When Meredith was unconscious after falling into the water during the ferry crisis, Cristina fled after she realized she could not deal with the fact that her "person" was dying. Burke encouraged her to confront her feelings, and she burst into the trauma room and insisted that the doctors try to revive Meredith again. Meredith soon woke up, and an overwhelmed Cristina happily told Meredith that she was getting married to Burke, and Meredith was the one person she wanted to tell.
Cristina's life was further complicated when her former professor and lover, Colin Marlow, arrived at Seattle Grace. In a bid to win her back, he repeatedly came on to her and tried to sabotage her relationship with Burke. On top of that, he joined the race for Chief of Surgery, so as to compete with Burke and impress her. Marlow was not convinced by Cristina's affections for Burke. Marlow humiliated Burke in the operating room by belittling Burke's knowledge of cardiothoracics, and relegated Burke to just observing the surgery. Marlow tells Cristina she had compromised herself for Burke, and was no longer the competitive and driven person he fell in love with; she responded by saying, "I have learned that sometimes, you have to think about other people." However, Cristina did unknowingly let her personality gradually erode away by constantly giving in to Burke's decisions about their wedding and their relationship. This went up to the extent where she opted to go ahead with Burke's lavish wedding plans, which was the complete opposite of what she wanted.
On the day of her wedding, Cristina remained plagued by self-doubt. She realized that her love for Burke was changing her into someone else. Desperate, Cristina insisted on coming to the hospital that day to participate in a surgery to feel like herself again. As she gathered enough courage to walk down the aisle, Burke called off the wedding, realizing that he could not continue the way they were living now. Cristina returned to their apartment, finding all of his prized possessions gone. She is both incredibly relieved and saddened, bursting into tears, and begging Meredith to take off her wedding dress. She and Meredith went on a "honeymoon" to Hawaii during the timeskip to make up for the canceled marriage.

Season four

In the beginning of the fourth season, it was revealed that Burke had left the hospital and moved to an unknown place, leaving no contact information so he could make a clean break from Cristina. She found it hard to get over Burke, but managed to cope. A turning point came when Burke's mother arrived to speak with Cristina, a woman tough and difficult to handle. Cristina was terrified of the meeting due to their past strained relationship, but found Mrs. Burke to be disarmingly understanding. She acknowledged that Cristina loved surgery more than she loved Burke, and that it was best that she now wouldn't have to compromise herself the way she would have had he stayed.
Sometime later, Dr. Erica Hahn arrived to perform a surgery in Seattle Grace. She immediately disliked Cristina for her affairs with Marlow and Burke and prevented her from scrubbing in on the surgeries. Cristina angrily confronted her about it at the end of the episode, only to find that the Chief has just hired Hahn as the hospital's new Head of Cardiothoracics. In the following episodes, Dr. Hahn began preventing Cristina from scrubbing in on any cardiothoracic surgeries.

Season five

A new love interest in the form of army surgeon Owen Hunt was introduced for Cristina. She was impressed when he performed a tracheotomy on a man with a pen. This was further emphasized when he stapled his wound himself without any anaesthesia and, upon taking over her case when she was stabbed by an icicle, he told her stories about his experiences in the field. They shared a brief kiss, and she was visibly dismayed when he refused the job offer made by the chief, opting to finish his tour in Iraq. Upon Hunt's return, Cristina was shaken because of the kiss they shared. When he forgot her name at skills training, she worked to prove herself to him.
In "All By Myself", the attendings unanimously choose Cristina to perform the solo surgery, but she was disqualified. She picked Alex to be her replacement, after Owen told her to go with her gut, because that was what prompted him to pick her.
Later in the season, Cristina's relationship with Owen was strained, with the main trigger being his attempt to strangle her in one of his night terrors. Initially, Cristina planned to stick by Owen's side, but after making love to him in the on-call room, she realised that she could never feel safe in his arms, stating that she was scared to fall asleep with Owen next to her. This separation prompted a heartbroken Owen, in "Sweet Surrender", to embark on a series of sessions with a shrink, with whom he compiled a list of three-word phrases that he could say to Cristina. He couldn't bring himself to tell Cristina that he loved her, because he didn't want to hurt her, so instead he told her to "take care now." Soon, however, it became evident that Cristina truly loved Owen.

Episode Screenshots

08x18 - The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Season 8, Episode 18
11x20 - One Flight Down
Season 11, Episode 20
11x15 - I Feel the Earth Move
Season 11, Episode 15
15x21 - Good Shepherd
Season 15, Episode 21
[More Episodes]

Dr. Cristina Yang Photos

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