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Grey’s Anatomy: 10 Things You Missed About Teddy Altman

Life is currently good for Teddy Altman on Grey's Anatomy. Not only has she had a great run as co-head of cardiothoracic surgery at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, but she is also in a better place with Owen after the proposal. While love has never eluded Teddy, stable relationships have been a challenge, so fans are glad to finally see her in one.

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The former army doctor has enjoyed great story arcs during her time on the long-running ABC show. Every detail about her relationship with Henry is known to fans, and so is her long working relationship with Owen. However, Teddy's smooth-flowing narrative hasn't kept some details from getting buried under the numerous storylines on the show.

10 Teddy Is Named After A Marvel Character

Teddy shares her name with the Marvel character the Hulkling from the Young Avengers. The Hulking's actual name is Theodore "Teddy" Altman. Grey's Anatomy producer and writer Allan Heinberg is also the co-creator of the Young Avengers.

Since Heinberg wrote season 6's "New History,” in which Teddy debuted, it would be fair to presume that she is named after the Marvel character. The only difference between the names of the characters is the gender-related last letter. The doctor's full name is Theodora while the Marvel character's name is Theodore.

9 Teddy Is The Only Cardio Head To Be Fired

The Cardiothoracic Surgery department at Grey Sloan has had more heads than any other department. Out of all the heads, Teddy is the only one to be dismissed. Even though she can count herself among the Grey's Anatomy doctors who got fired, her dismissal isn't performance-related. Owen terminates her contract to allow her to take the MEDCOM job.

That none of the cardio heads have ever been fired for performance-related reasons shows how competent each of them has been. Owen's decision to fire Teddy also shows how much he cares about her. He's always had her best interests at heart, and she's always had a soft spot for him. That's why the stars eventually align and pair them as an engaged couple.

8 There Are Errors On Teddy's First Badge

Teddy's first ID badge at Seattle Grace Mercy West states that her department is cardiology. This is wrong since cardiology is a branch focused on heart disorders whereas Teddy is a cardiothoracic surgeon. The badge also leaves out her F.A.C.S. (Fellow of the American College of Surgeons) title.

RELATED: The Best Cardiothoracic Surgeons In Grey's Anatomy, Ranked

The presence of the F.A.C.S. title on the badges of all other surgeons at Seattle Grace means that Teddy's was simply forgotten. The F.A.C.S. title is given to surgeons who have successfully been evaluated for ethics and competence. As for the cardiology label, it's an expected mistake since it almost sounds similar to "cardiothoracic."

7 Her Scrub Cap Reveals A Detail From Her Backstory

There are plenty of details fans miss about the scrubs costumes in Grey's Anatomy. One of those is that Teddy's scrub caps have bird patterns and it isn't all for nothing. Owen once reveals that Teddy's former lover Allison, who loved birds, died in the 9/11 attacks.

There was already existing proof that Teddy really adored Allison, as she quit her job at Columbia to work as an Army doctor. Her penchant for wearing scrub caps with patterns every single time she is in the OR further demonstrates the love the two shared. It says a lot about Teddy as a person too. She's also been one to genuinely care about people with whom she forms bonds.

6 Teddy's Future At Grey Sloan Has Always Been Uncertain

Teddy's future at Grey Sloan (and its previous versions) has always been uncertain. In season 6, she considers leaving because Owen doesn't reciprocate her feelings. In season 7, she plans to move to Germany with Andrew Perkins but changes her mind after meeting Henry. And in season 8, she considers the MEDCOM job, then finally leaves.

The likelihood of Teddy sticking around now is high since she is engaged to Owen. She's also appeared more frequently in recent seasons, a trend that implies the character has become more valuable to the storyline. It remains a wait-and-see scenario since the show always manages to surprise with unexpected twists.

5 The Hospital Shooting

Teddy is the only one of season 6's main characters to not encounter Gary Clark when he goes on a shooting rampage at the hospital. This is because she is busy operating on Pete at the time.

RELATED: 10 Most Heartbreaking Separations In Grey's Anatomy

Given her military background, Teddy would likely have been in a better position to know what to do if she had encountered Gary. Luckily, she still makes a number of critical decisions. Her decision to take Pete out of the hospital and have him rushed to Seattle Presbyterian Hospital saves his life. Most importantly, she is able to call 911.

4 Teddy's Appearances

Teddy appears on the show from season 6 to season 8, then from season 15 to the present. However, season 7 is the only season in which she appears in every single episode.

Teddy's consistent appearances throughout season 7 are thanks to her relationship with Henry, which the show preferred to explore in detail rather than rush over it. The two are among the Grey's Anatomy couples that are perfect together, and it's a shame that Henry died. Nevertheless, death has been normalized in the world of the show, so fans always expect it.

3 Teddy Has Difficulty Performing An Appendectomy

Nurse Linda might not have any solid arcs for her to be considered one of the best nurses on Grey's Anatomy, but she is always helpful, She gets Teddy out of trouble twice in season 7 by helping her complete an appendectomy when the surgeon appears confused.

It's been implied that appendectomies are hard to perform since Cristina also struggled with one during her early years at the hospital. Teddy has never been portrayed as one of the most skilled surgeons on the show either, as is the case with Meredith, Cristina, and Derek. She is thus expected to not be completely perfect in the OR.

2 Teddy Is The First Surgeon To Resume Main Character Status After Leaving

A trend in Grey's Anatomy is that whenever any main character is written out, they never regain their status even if they return. However, Teddy Altman breaks this trend upon her return.

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Shonda Rhimes stated that Teddy had to be written out after her first stint on the show because actor Kim Raver asked to leave, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Raver went off to reprise her role as Audrey in the then-revived 24, a show on which she made her name. Since the reason for her departure wasn't due to a relationship breakdown with the producers, it's easy to see why she was welcomed back with open arms.

1 Teddy Is Quite Experienced

There is a mystery surrounding most Grey's Anatomy characters' ages and number of years they have worked as surgeons, especially those who weren't introduced in season 1. As for Teddy, one scene makes it possible to tell. In a flashback scene to when Teddy was dating Allison, she is an attending surgeon already. Since Allison died in 2001, it can be concluded that Teddy has worked for more than 20 years.

On average, most attending surgeons begin working at around the age of 35 in the U.S., according to Annals of Surgery. which means that Teddy is older than most of her colleagues. Given her level of experience, it makes sense that she was immediately appointed the Head of Cardio as soon as she arrived at Seattle Grace Mercy West instead of working her way up to the position.

NEXT: 10 Things You Missed About Seattle Grace Hospital In Grey's Anatomy

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