Skip to main content

Grey's Anatomy Vet Justin Chambers Opens Up About Why He Left The ABC Drama

Justin Chambers as Dr. Alex Karev in Grey's Anatomy.

Justin Chambers scrubbed out of Grey’s Anatomy as Dr. Alex Karev back in early 2020 after 15 years. His ending was not the best and many fans were heartbroken about his departure. As one of the last remaining originals on the show, his exit came as a big shock. But just why did he choose to leave after so long? The actor opened up about why he left the ABC medical drama.

Via Hollywood Life, Justin Chambers opened up about his shocking exit in the new tell-all book How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy, from Lynette Rice. The actor explained:

You’re in a bubble [on the show]. You wear scrubs every day, you see pretty much the same people every day, in the same four walls, the same studios, you drive the same route to work. For me it [was] sort of a factory job for acting. You just clock in, clock out. Yeah, I guess it is sentimental, but it’s sort of like, ‘Wow, I just can’t believe how fast it’s gone.'

Justin Chambers' more recent comments go further than what he said back when the news broke that he was leaving after 15 years, as he stated in early 2020 that he wanted to “diversify” his acting roles and his career. His words about the "bubble" echo that sentiment about wanting more variety in his life.

Still, his departure was upsetting for many, and some fans were downright livid at how Grey's Anatomy handled Alex's final story. After Alex had been gone for a while, he finally wrote letters to his closest at Grey Sloan, revealing that he officially left the hospital to be with ex Izzie, after finding out she had his twin babies. Not only did Alex go back to a person who had left abruptly years before, but he left his “person” Meredith and his wife Jo, even though all looked great between them.

Although his story can’t be rewritten, could Alex be one of the many characters that return? Jo is finally doing well again. It’s hard to tell how she would react if she were to see Alex once again, and fans might have mixed reactions as well considering how he left. Justin Chambers had his valid reasons for leaving Grey's Anatomy, but how Grey's Anatomy said goodbye to Alex will likely remain divisive.

You can relive Justin Chambers' days as Alex Karev on Grey's Anatomy with all seventeen seasons of the series so far available streaming on Netflix. The show will soon return for Season 18 as well, so be sure to tune in to ABC on Thursday, September 30 at 9 p.m. ET for the Season 18 premiere that will bring back some long-absent familiar faces.

Megan Behnke

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.