Warning! SPOILERS about Grey’s Anatomy season 19, episode 16 ahead.
Yasuda’s commitments in Grey’s Anatomy have persistently increased, impacting her learning as an intern at Grey Sloan Memorial – however, Taryn Helm standing up for her at the end of Grey’s Anatomy season 19, episode 16 hints at the medical drama finally tackling burnout. While Mika Yasuda’s attitude was always chipper no matter the adversities in Grey’s Anatomy season 19, it was clear from the moment she was revealed to be living in a van that her troubles were many. Things only got progressively worse once Yasuda realized she couldn’t rely on the additional means of income she always counted on, leading her to take another job at Joe’s to survive.
Although Yasuda’s history of struggling with debts got her to improve her patient relationships and continue an important Meredith story in Grey’s Anatomy season 19, making her a better doctor, it also profoundly impacted Yasuda’s chance to get the most out of her internship at Grey Sloan Memorial. Between losing the opportunity to learn during Amelia’s surgery in Grey’s Anatomy season 19, episode 15, and exercising not to fall asleep, Yasuda’s surgeon training was repeatedly affected by the actions and choices she made to make ends meet. However, those supposedly there to teach her didn’t support her, doubling down with punishments and reprimands instead of trying to understand her struggles.
Yasuda’s Problems Only Got Worse Becoming A Resident On Grey’s Anatomy
Yasuda’s erratic behavior was noticed by Teddy in Grey’s Anatomy season 19, episode 13 only because she saw her eating a stranger’s discarded donut. While the moment prompted Teddy to offer Yasuda energy bars from her office, no doctor at Grey Sloan pieced together how Yasuda falling behind with her surgical internship had to do with the stress coming from trying to scrape out a living. Helm standing up to Teddy and reminding her that the hospital should do more to put its interns in optimal conditions to learn not only called what Yasuda was going through burnout but also made the problem impossible for the hospital’s management to ignore.
The toll on Yasuda of trying to make ends meet no matter what was obvious in Grey’s Anatomy season 19, but while she initially proactively tried to fix the problem, things changed once tiredness made her drop scalpels, practically affecting her ability to learn. Teddy knowing about it from Helm might bring a change, hopefully stopping another doctor’s burnout and abandonment of the profession. This way, Grey Sloan Memorial under Teddy might simultaneously stop the problem of surgeons leaving the hospital and finally support its interns and residents as it should.
Residents’ Burnout Has Long Been A Problem At Grey Sloan Memorial
Throughout its 19 seasons, Grey’s Anatomy often depicted the extreme lengths interns and residents went through to get as much practice as possible in the OR. Between interns operating on themselves because they couldn’t on patients, Lexi’s diaper method to withstand long surgeries, and residents consistently stealing each other’s surgeries, Grey’s Anatomy always depicted their unstoppable willingness to do whatever they could to practice surgery. However, the culture of expecting surgeons in training to behave in such a way fostered tired residents, prone to make even more mistakes, and the toll it took in Grey’s Anatomy season 18 almost made Schmitt quit surgery definitively and caused Helm’s burnout.
While Teddy finally taking the matter into her own hands to help Yasuda might not bring Helm back to Grey Sloan as a resident in Grey’s Anatomy season 19, it would make the learning environment at Grey Sloan better. Whether Helm chooses to continue bartending or go back to her residency, Teddy fixing how interns and residents approach their training years might make it possible for Helm to consider that possibility in the future. After all, Grey’s Anatomy created just as many successful surgeons as it led characters to abandon the profession, making a change in how residents are trained necessary.