Preston BurkePlayed by: Isaiah Washington
No one dies on this man's watch.
That's how we always felt about Preston Burke, a brilliant heart surgeon and a kind, compassionate person. The consummate professional, and a great cook to boot. What's not to love about Dr. Burke?
Preston grew up in Alabama, where his mother owns a restaurant. He is the chief cardio-thorasic surgeon at Seattle Grace, and was long known for his grace under pressure as well as his incredible scalpel skills. Seriously, you cannot rattle the guy in the operating room or in real life.
Cristina Yang has tried during her romance with the handsome physician, which began during Season One, and which he initially broke off because of concern for his reputation.
The polar opposites then back together, however, and Cristina moved into his apartment. The evolution of their relationship despite their differences was a focal point of Grey's Anatomy for much of its second and third seasons. Preston also warmed up to Derek Shepherd, despite initial friction between the two.At the end of the second season, Preston was shot, leading to an injury that caused a tremor in his hand.
While he was healed as far as the doctors could tell, he felt pressure to return to work before he was ready. Cristina helped conceal his hand tremor, a conspiracy that ultimately boiled over and cost Burke the chance to take over for Richard Webber as Chief of Surgery.
Burke and Cristina got engaged halfway through Season Three, but at the end of the season, he left her at the altar after determining, once and for all, that she did not want to go through with it or be the person he wanted her to be. Preston has left Seattle Grace, never to return.
PRESTON: "I really wish you didn’t think. I wish that you knew."