‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Finds Avery’s Replacement in Lynn Chen’s Dr. Michelle Lin

Lynn Chen as Michelle Lin in Grey's Anatomy

If you’ve been a fan of a couple of the new characters introduced in Grey’s Anatomy Season 18, it sounds like you’re not the only one.

Almost a week after announcing that E.R. Fightmaster, who plays the series’ first non-binary doctor, Dr. Kai Bartley, will be recurring, it’s been revealed that Lynn Chen is sticking around, too. She, too, will recur this season on the ABC medical drama as Dr. Michelle Lin, the head of plastic surgery, Variety reports. According to her character description, she “teaches by doing, and relies on the residents’ abilities to keep up with her.”

That’s exactly what she told Dr. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) when she initially turned down their job offer in the Season 18 premiere. Formerly an assistant chief of plastics, she’d come in for an interview with Bailey, Dr. Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary), and Dr. Cormac Hayes (Richard Flood) as they looked to fill some open spots, including the one that was previously Dr. Jackson Avery’s (Jesse Williams).

“I know you need doctors. Grey Sloan is facing a physician shortage. The entire country is facing a physician shortage. At least 3500 health care workers died from COVID and just as many have walked away from medicine altogether, so you need me,” Lin said during the interview. “And honestly, the only reason I’m available is because I hate northern winters and also because my current chief is a man who enjoys vacation homes and only hires women because he has to.”

What won everyone over is when she jumped in to help when Richard gave her privileges to operate on a patient — and she told them to continue the interview as she did so. But after, she expressed her doubts that she could make it work at Grey Sloan based on what she saw in the OR.

“I rely heavily on residents to help with my patient load,” Lin explained to Bailey and Richard. “I move quickly. I teach by doing. I don’t have time to go through each step in detail and I don’t like to hold trainees’ hands. I bring residents in on high-level surgeries and in return, I expect them to anticipate my next move. It’s what I need to do this job. And based on what I saw in there today, I’m sorry, but your residents aren’t where I need them to be.”

As Richard reminded her, the residents are a year behind in surgeries because of the pandemic, but he promised, “I will make them better.”

Chen’s previous TV credits include Shameless, SEAL Team, and The Affair.

Grey’s Anatomy, Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC