Teddy Altman

Teddy Altman is a fictional character from the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy, portrayed by actress Kim Raver. She was an attending cardiothoracic surgeon at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital, the fictional institution where the show is set. She leaves the show in the 8th season finale after it is revealed that she has been offered a chief position with Army Medical Command, but has turned it down out of loyalty to Dr. Owen Hunt. In order to liberate her from the hospital in which her husband died, Hunt fires her from Seattle Grace.


Teddy attended the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She completed her surgical residency at George Washington University Medical School and her fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Florida. As an attending physician, Teddy worked at Columbia, but left after her best friend was killed during the collapse of the second tower on September 11, 2001. She joined the army, and met trauma surgeon Owen Hunt during her tour in Baghdad.

Owen brings Teddy to Seattle Grace Mercy West hospital to mentor his girlfriend, Cristina Yang. Teddy admits that she is in love with Owen, but he tells her that he loves Cristina. When Teddy assigns Cristina a difficult surgery for her first solo cardiothoracic case and refuses to assist, Owen questions Teddy's motives. Teddy decides to leave Seattle Grace; Cristina pleads with her to stay, even offering to break up with Owen if Teddy will continue to teach her. Although Teddy agrees to stay, Owen convinces Cristina to stay with him, and Teddy briefly removes her from her service.

Teddy develops a friendship with paediatric surgeon Arizona Robbins, who sets her up with plastic surgeon Mark Sloan. They have a brief relationship, which they both enjoy despite knowing that neither wants the other, Teddy still wants Owen, and Mark is in love with Lexie Grey. The two separate amicably when Teddy walks in on Mark sleeping with resident Reed Adamson.

Towards the end of season six, Teddy has to fight for her job as Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Cristina asks Owen to put in a good work for Teddy; he does the opposite by telling Chief of Surgery Derek Shepherd that she would land on her feet. Ultimately another candidate refuses to take the post and Teddy receives a full time contract. Teddy later learns of, and is hurt by Owen's betrayal.

Teddy has a brief relationship with Dr. Andrew Perkins, whose service at the hospital is temporary. Before his departure, he suggests that Teddy has a tendency to fall for people who are either otherwise engaged or only in town for a month. She later meets Henry Burton, a patient with the rare genetic condition Von Hippel-Lindau disease, who can no longer afford to pay for his medical care. Teddy marries him so that he can use her health insurance, and only comes to appreciate the gravity of this decision when Henry suffers a near fatal complication of his illness. Teddy discovers that he has listed her as his emergency contact and is forced to make a life-or-death decision regarding his care, not as the doctor but as his wife. Though the newly-weds both maintain that theirs is a simple marriage of convenience, and Teddy continues to date other men, Henry later confesses that he has feelings for Teddy. She tells him she does not feel the same way.

Teddy again removes Cristina from her service when she performs a surgery despite Teddy's opposition. She tells Owen that Cristina's over-abundance of confidence makes her dangerous, and that she will keep Cristina off her service until she feels she is ready to return. When Andrew returns and asks Teddy to move to Germany with him, she accepts, and agrees to divorce Henry. However, in the seventh season finale, Teddy changes her mind and tells Henry that she is falling in love with him. The two begin their married life properly, but in season eight, Henry dies, leaving Teddy distraught. She blames Owen because she wasn't told that Henry had died until after her surgery on another patient. This making her feel that he put the hospital before her and breaks off her friendship with him. This causes problems with them being able to work together, though later with the help of Dr. Miranda Bailey giving her a stern lecture, she begins to repair her friendship with Owen. She and Owen eventually make up in the season finale. Owen finds out she was offered a job at the United States Army Medical Command, but turned it down because she wanted to be there for Owen, if he and Cristina were to separate. He ultimately fires her, and tells her that he'll be okay.

Notable RelationshipsEdit

Owen HuntEdit

Owen and Teddy met while they both were army surgeons. Owen brings her to Seattle Grace Mercy West as a present for Cristina, claiming her to be a "cardio goddess", and Teddy later works out that Owen brought her as a present for his girlfriend, appearing more surprised by the fact Cristina was his girlfriend. She later would admit that she believed that if Owen broke up with his fiance, Beth, he would have called her.

Cristina YangEdit

Initially excited at the prospects of a new cardio attending, Cristina becomes very disappointed when she learns that Teddy has not inserted a pacing wire for about 10 years and begins to constantly question her abilities and skills as a surgeon after her concerned are ignored by Bailey and the Chief. However she becomes very impressed by Dr. Altman soon after diagnosing a child with cardiac asthma after only a brief exam and asking three questions, and when she opens him up and discovers he has a coronary artery to pulmonary artery fistula, which she repairs surgically and allows Cristina to first assist, allowing her to attach the coronary artery to the aorta. Following her removal from bypass, the patient goes into V-Fib and starts bleeding from the repair site. Dr. Altman remains extremely calm and talks Cristina through resolving the rhythm and repairing the site without rearresting the heart.

Mark SloanEdit

Dr. Sloan asked Teddy out in the episode Push, but she declined.

Finally, she accepts and they have sex in the end of the episode 18 Suicide is Painless.

In the episode 19 Sympathy for the Parents, Teddy and Mark moved on.

Henry BurtonEdit

Teddy first met Henry in the episode "Adrift at Peace". Henry was a patient who had Von Hippel-Lindau disease (making tumours grow on rich blood supply areas) and could no longer afford to have health insurance. Then Teddy stepped in and said she would marry him and he could have her insurance. In the episodes that follow, their friendship blossoms and Henry develops a crush on Teddy, but she says that it's just a good story. In the season 7 finale Teddy tells him that she is falling in love with him and the two of them kiss. In the episode "She's Gone" Teddy and Henry are now together, and Henry had to visit the hospital. During his stay Teddy acts like a mess around the hospital. In the episode "Heart Shaped Box" Henry tells Teddy that he wants to go to medical school but Teddy doesn't want him to go. At the end of the episode Teddy tries to make up with Henry only to find him coughing up blood in the sink. In the next episode it is discovered that Henry has a tumuor on his lung and needs surgery, Teddy wants him to have to laser surgery but Richard Webber refuses so they get Cristina to do it. During the surgery they end up cutting him open anyway as complications arise. Once they open him up, they find that there is no chance of saving Henry and he starts to code, Webber steps in to do CPR but after 20 minutes it's a lost cause and he stops, so Henry then dies. Webber tells Owen not to tell Teddy as she is in surgery as then they would lose another patient, so Owen gives in and lies to Teddy saying her husband survived. At the end of the episode Teddy still doesn't know that her husband is dead. Finally, after the surgery Cristina tells her about what happened. After she demanded to see him, and she broke down in tears.


Casting and CreationEdit

In October 2009, it was reported that actress Kim Raver would play the character and have a recurring role on the show's sixth season. In January 2010, Raver was promoted to a series regular.

On May 18, 2012, the day after the season eight finale, Grey's Anatomy creator, Shonda Rhimes, announced that it was Raver's decision to leave the show, "I know this season's finale had some surprises for viewers and the exit of Kim Raver was one of the big ones. But Kim's series option was up and she was ready to give Teddy Altman a much-needed vacation. It's been a pleasure working with someone as talented and funny and kind as Kim; everyone is going to miss her terribly. I like to imagine that Teddy is still out there in the Grey's Anatomy universe, running Army Medical Command and building a new life." When the news of the character's departure was released, Raver wrote on her Twitter, "I've had one of the best times of my creative career working on Grey's with Shonda, Betsy and the best cast on television," she wrote, adding: "I feel fortunate and grateful to have worked with such an amazing team at GA (Grey's Anatomy). Am going to miss everyone!! And to the GA fans, you guys rock! I am sure S9 (season nine) will be great."