‘Grey’s Anatomy’s First Non-Binary Doctor, Played By E.R. Fightmaster, Is Recurring in Season 18

E.R. Fightmaster as Kai Bartley in Grey's Anatomy
ABC/Bonnie Osborne

If you’re as much a fan of Dr. Kai Bartley (E.R. Fightmaster) as Dr. Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone) is, you’re in luck. They’re not going anywhere.

Fightmaster will be recurring in Grey’s Anatomy Season 18, Variety reports. This represents a first: a non-binary actor playing a doctor on the ABC medical drama. They’ve already appeared in two episodes, in Minnesota as part of Dr. David Hamilton’s (Peter Gallagher) team trying to cure Parkinson’s. David brought on Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), who then enlisted Amelia.

“They are dedicated to their craft and extremely talented at what they do,” according to ABC’s description of Kai. “Confident as hell and able to make even the most detailed and mundane science seem exciting and cool, Kai and Amelia bond over their shared love of medicine and the brain.”

As we saw in those two episodes, Kai is a neuroscientist whose stem cell research Amelia has been following for years. The two also connected via video-chat, and Kai helped Amelia cool down by guide-meditating her in the middle of a heatwave. Kai will appear in the next new episode, airing on November 11, “Bottle Up and Explode,” and a few others before the show takes its midseason break in December.

“Bottle Up and Explode” will see Meredith and Amelia back in Minnesota — Kai had asked Amelia to come and do some troubleshooting with them in Episode 3 “Hotter Than Hell” — where they’ll “meet up with a familiar face who assists in their study,” according to ABC. Meanwhile, back in Seattle, the Grey Sloan doctors deal with an explosion and an incoming trauma that hits close to home.

Grey’s Anatomy, Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC