Grey’s Anatomy: The 10 Best Chiefs Of Surgery, Ranked

Just like in real life, the Chief of Surgery is the title of the highest-ranking doctor of a medical institution in Grey's Anatomy. The Chief also has power over consultants and attending surgeons. There have been Chiefs from other hospitals but the majority of the heads have been from Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital and its previous versions (Seattle Grace and Seattle Grace Mercy West).

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While the titular character Meredith Grey has never had the honor of being Chief in the 17 seasons she has appeared in, a good number of fan-favorite characters have held the position over the course of the medical drama. Among them, some have proven to not only be likable in the post but also a little more competent than the rest.

10 Derek Shepherd

Derek becomes Chief when Richard Webber steps down to go to a treatment center. Even though he had coveted the position, it bores him quickly because it involves more paperwork and administrative tasks rather than surgery.

Derek is undoubtedly one of the best neurosurgeons in Grey's Anatomy, but his time as Chief is a forgettable one. Not to forget that the first time he gets offered the job, he rejects it, a decision that shows a lack of passion. His eventual resignation confirms that he was never the right person for the job.

9 Mark Sloan

Mark steps in for Owen Hunt as Interim Chief once when the former army surgeon is down with the flu. Despite only lasting a day, his time as the boss is an eventful one.

Chief Mark provides plenty of entertainment as usual but his time as the boss is so full of haywire to be considered a success. He gets everyone to hate him since he is concerned about trivial things. In one of his most shocking moments, he tries sensitive surgery involving a patient named Neil, leading to the memorable "Stand down, Chief Sloan" outburst from Richard. When Mark's stint as Chief finally comes to and, many doctors, including Drek, breathe a sigh of relief.

8 Owen Hunt

When Richard steps down after taking the fall for Meredith, he offers Owen the position of Chief. The former army surgeon's time as the boss turns out to be a turbulent one and after serving for 2 years, he resigns.

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Owen deserves credit for improvising. Instead of spending most of his time in the office as other chiefs before did, he uses a special tablet to monitor everything. On the negative side, the job weighs down on him and causes him a monumental amount of stress. It's heavily implied that he would be better off doing something else. Chiefs generally command respect and admiration but some of Owen's colleagues lack confidence in him too. For example, Jackson recommends that he be replaced. To no one's surprise, Owen soon grows tired and quits.

7 Larry Maxwell

The Seattle Presbyterian Hospital chief is one of Richard Webber's closest friends, having known him for years. The two also enjoy playing golf together.

Larry's position in the hierarchy means he's definitely good at his job. However, his reaction to Bailey's heart attack proves that he might not be as equipped for the job compared to the other Chiefs. Bailey is one of the Grey's Anatomy doctors that became a patient at Seattle Presbyterian hospital after she began showing signs of a heart attack. Larry concludes there is nothing wrong with her, only for her to collapse moments later. Given such an occurrence, viewers can't help but wonder how many similar incidents have taken place under his watch.

6 Alex Karev

Alex first serves as Interim Chief when Bailey goes on a sabbatical. Later on in his career, he applies for the position of Chief at Pac-North and gets hired.

While Alex proves his mettle by turning Pac-North from a bottom-tier hospital to one that's above average, his numerous mistakes when he serves as Interim Chief are much more profound. He once spends an entire quarter's budget in a single day. Being too emotional with patients is also one of the reasons Alex Kareve is considered a bad doctor, and this trait becomes more noticeable when he berates a patient as Chief, making him clash with Richard. A concerned Jo is forced to step in and help him out after realizing how grumpy he has become.

5 Krieger

After the plane crash, trauma surgeon Dr. Krieger, who is also Chief of Surgery at Boise Memorial Hospital, makes it her mission to oversee all the cases involved in the injured doctors. She specifically looks after Meredith and Cristina then recommends an amputation for Arizona.

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Dr. Krieger's bedside manner makes a very likable character. She is seen to analyze situations very quickly before recommending appropriate remedies, unlike other doctors on the show who normally take their time.

4 Preston Burke

Burke serves as the Interim Chief while Richard is recovering from brain surgery. He then battles it out for the position with Derek before leaving to form the Klausman Institute for Medical Research.

The former Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery's stretch as Chief is a brief one hence he doesn't get to do much. Nevertheless, he is a very competent surgeon and his Catherine Fox award -formely known as the Harper Avery award - is a confirmation of this. He might not have been a permanent Chief at Seattle Grace but leading is in his DNA. He grows the Klausman Institute for Medical Research into one of the most reputable medical institutions in the world, proving that the "chief" job would have been fairly easy for him if he'd stuck around.

3 Keith Collier

The Chief of Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital is one of the examiners that grill Alex during his board certification examination. He fails Alex twice before giving him a pass.

Dr. Collier is never seen working at the hospital but he is portrayed as a highly accomplished person. As per the explanation given on the show, only the most respected surgeons get to be included in the examination board. He demands nothing but the highest quality and that's why he keeps failing Alex despite the fact that he likes him. It's also revealed that the John Hopkins pediatric surgical fellowship program under Dr. Keith Collier is the best in the country.

2 Miranda Bailey

No one is more deserving of her position than Grey Sloan's current Chief of Surgery, Miranda Bailey. An obvious choice at first, Bailey is forced to battle it out with Tracy McConnell for the position but gets it after delivering one of the best speeches on the show to the board.

RELATED: 10 Best Bailey-Centric Episodes In Grey's Anatomy, Ranked

Bailey has been acting like a leader way before she was appointed the new Chief. Right from the pilot episode, it's clear that Bailey is in charge. She might be tough but Bailey always gets the job done. She is extremely intolerant to incompetence as seen from how she fires doctors for the slightest of mistakes.

1 Richard Webber

Richard has not only served as Chief of Surgery the longest but also had the most stints, having returned to the positions a couple of times after resigning. He's also held several other positions throughout his career.

Given his experience, Richard has been depicted as the most respected chief. Every other doctor trusts his judgment. While he has the option of sitting back and let the junior doctors do all the heavy lifting, Richard makes himself busy. He has come up with revolutionary ideas, such as the clinical trial to cure Type 1 diabetes using insulin islet cells and his Path Pen.

NEXT: The 10 Best Nurses In Grey's Anatomy, Ranked

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