Kai Bartley Grey's
ABC

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Casts First Non-Binary Doctor in Recurring Role

The ABC medical drama is continuing to make history in its 18th season. Get all the details here!
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After 18 seasons, Grey’s Anatomy is continuing to make history.

The long-running ABC drama series is adding a new cast member to the show, E.R. Fightmaster, who has signed on to play the show’s first nonbinary doctor, Dr. Kai Bartley. 

Character Was Introduced Earlier in the Season

Kai was first introduced during the third episode of Season 18 when Dr. Meredith Grey (played by Ellen Pompeo) was being courted by a Minnesota hospital that wanted her to help them in their journey to curing Parkinson’s Disease.

Meredith was joined on this trip by Dr. Amelia Shepherd (played by Caterina Scorsone), who knows about Kai’s work and achievements. 

Dr. Kai Bartley Grey's Anatomy Season 18 (1)
ABC

And, according to the official character description, it looks like Kai and Amelia will bond over their profession.

“They are dedicated to their craft and extremely talented at what they do,” the description says about Kai. 

“Confident as hell and able to make even the most detailed and mundane science seem exciting and cool, Kai and Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) bond over their shared love of medicine and the brain.”

Could there be a romance brewing between Amelia and Kai? It is Grey’s Anatomy, after all, so every friendship has the potential to turn into a relationship!

Kai Will Be Returning in a Few Weeks

Grey’s Anatomy won’t be on-air for the next couple of weeks, but Kai will be in the November 11 episode. They will be a recurring character throughout the rest of the season.

While Kai is not the first non-binary character to appear on the show, she is the first non-binary doctor. Back in 2019, Arielle Hader played Toby, who was the first non-binary patient. 

Fightmaster Recently Appeared on Hulu’s “Shrill”

Prior to being cast on Grey’s, Fightmaster was most recently on Season 2 and 3 of Hulu’s Shrill as Fran’s love interest. 

And, though the industry is changing rapidly, Fightmaster recently told Indiewire that it’s important for non-binary actors to create these characters for television.

“I was just like, ‘Oh, you do kind of have to create the character yourself.’ You have to create nonbinary characters,” they said.

“You have to decide that these characters are going to be nonbinary because the industry is not creating them for us.”

The show has had plenty of loveable doctors over the years, so maybe Dr. Bartley will join that list!