What Happened to Dr. Herman? Why Did Geena Davis Leave Grey’s Anatomy?

The nineteen seasons of ABC’s medical seriesGrey’s Anatomy’ are filled with astonishing and remarkable character additions. The eleventh season of the series sees the introduction of Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis’ character Dr. Nicole Herman. As the mentor of the beloved Arizona Robbins, Dr. Herman became an integral part of the season’s narrative. Herman serves as the Head of Fetal Surgery at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital and even changes Arizona’s trajectory of life by taking her away from the hospital. Intrigued by the character, we have found out what really happens to her. Well, here’s what we can share about the same! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Dr. Herman’s Diagnosis and Mentorship Challenge

Nicole Herman is introduced as the high-tempered mentor and teacher of Arizona Robbins. Although the latter learns and works well at the hospital, Herman doesn’t think twice about criticizing her. Herman has even threatened to fire her since the former doesn’t want to wait for the latter to “catch up.” Their relationship changes when Herman reveals to Arizona that she has an inoperable brain tumor. The doctor has six months to live and she wants Arizona to learn everything about fetal surgery from her to carry on her legacy. Meanwhile, Amelia Shepherd lets Herman know that she can operate on her.

Although Herman initially hesitates to agree to the surgery, she eventually trusts Amelia and undergoes the same. Amelia ends up successfully removing the tumor but Herman doesn’t wake up after the surgery for a long period. Amelia finds out that the doctor has suffered from a stroke, which indicates the possibility of never waking up. Still, Herman wakes up with complete awareness of her surroundings and normally functioning mental faculties. However, she wakes up after the surgery completely blind. Due to her loss of eyesight, Herman gets forced to resign and put an end to her career as a surgeon. She goes to the Blind Institute to adapt to her blindness.

Herman eventually realizes that she can still teach students who will save babies by becoming qualified fetal surgeons, which leads her to join UCSF as a faculty. In the fourteenth season, Herman returns to Grey Sloan since she has been having a series of headaches. She talks to her mentee Arizona, who has been planning to move to New York. She lets Arizona know that she received a grant from HHS to open a health center for women. Herman asks Arizona to join her so that she can teach and the latter can do surgeries. Arizona accepts the offer when Herman promises to open the same in New York, which paves the way for their departure for the Eastern state.

Herman’s Story Arc Conclusion Led to Davis’ Exit

Geena Davis joined the cast of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ for an extended guest appearance, which makes it clear that her departure from the series apparently was always a part of the plans. The character might have been conceived for adding tension to Arizona’s storyline and to give the latter a direction in her career. Herman’s 12-episode arc serves the purpose as Arizona becomes a fetal surgeon due to the influence of the former. The story arc of Davis’ character concludes when Herman goes blind, which leads her to leave Grey Sloan, the prominent setting of the medical drama.

Herman’s inevitable departure from Grey Sloan paved the way for Davis’ exit from the series. The actress then returned to the show in the fourteenth season as Herman, who decides to take Arizona to New York. Davis’ return was conceived to conclude Arizona’s story arc as Jessica Capshaw was slated to leave the series at the time. Although Davis was a guest star in the medical drama, she succeeded in leaving an impression on the viewers.

“I get a lot of in-person reaction to that role [Herman]. It’s so interesting. It used to be that a teen who would meet me for the first time would say they recognized me from A League of Their Own. Now, teens recognize me from Grey’s Anatomy. It’s almost guaranteed that a teen boy or a girl is going to say, ‘Are you Dr. Herman?’ Davis told Lynette Rice for the latter’s book ‘How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy.’

Read More: Why Did Derek Shepherd Leave Grey’s Anatomy? Where is Patrick Dempsey Now?