Kelly McCreary as Maggie Pierce in Grey's Anatomy
Credit: Getty Images

She will be missed. Maggie Pierce’s time on Grey’s Anatomy is coming to an end. Is Maggie Pierce leaving Grey’s Anatomy for good? Keep reading to find out when we’ll have to say goodbye.

Grey’s Anatomy is ABC’s long-running medical drama that focuses on the personal and professional lives of surgical interns, residents and attendings at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital (previously known as Seattle Grace Hospital and Seattle Grace Mercy West) in Seattle, Washington. Since its premiere in 2005, Grey’s Anatomy has earned more than 38 Primetime Emmy nominations (including two for Outstanding Drama Series) and has aired for more than a decade.

Since Season 10, McCreary has portrayed Maggie Pierce, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. She is also the half-sister of Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and daughter of Ellis Grey (Kate Burton) and Chief Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.). McCreary’s been a core member of the Grey’s cast since she became a series regular in the eleventh episode of season 11. She even met her now husband, Pete Chatmon, on the set of Grey’s Anatomy, and the couple got married in 2019. McCreary took a short break at the start of season 18 to give birth to their first daughter, Indigo Wren, in October 2021.

In an interview with Backstage in 2015, McCreary recalled about how she joined the successful ABC drama. “I came on in the very last episodes of Season 10, so that’s when the character interviewed for the job and was then introduced as Ellis Grey’s daughter,” she told the site. “When I auditioned, all they told me was that the character might recur a little bit into Season 11; they did not tell me it was Meredith’s sister and there was long-term potential. I had no idea the scope of it in terms of how [she] fit into the mythology of the series. Her character ties into a lot of things that have already occurred in these people’s lives.”

So, is Maggie Pierce leaving Grey’s Anatomy for good and when is her last episode on the show? We’ve got all the details surrounding Kelly McCreary’s exit, below.

Is Maggie Pierce leaving Grey’s Anatomy?

Dr. Maggie Pierce and Dr. Owen Wilson on Grey's Anatomy

Is Maggie Pierce leaving Grey’s Anatomy? The answer is yes, Maggie Pierce is leaving Grey’s Anatomy in Season 19. McCreary approached producers ahead of time about her desire to leave the show to peruse other opportunities, Deadline reported in March 2023. “Kelly McCreary is a writer’s dream come true; brilliant, nuanced, thoughtful, and kind,” showrunner Krista Vernoff told the publication. “We will deeply miss her and her beautifully crafted Dr. Maggie Pierce.”

In a statement also to Deadline, McCreary thanked Rhimes, Vernoff and ABC for what she calls an opportunity to be part of a legendary television institution. “After nine seasons, I am saying goodbye to Maggie Pierce and her Grey Sloan family… Playing Maggie Pierce has been one of the true joys of my life, and I leave with profound gratitude for every step of this journey. I am excited for this next chapter, and what the future holds,” she continued.

Leading up to her exit on Grey’s, the actress spoke to People Magazine in April 2023 about how she is processing leaving the series.”It’s a whirlwind. Honestly, the weirdest thing happens. I stand on sets and I flashback to the very first time I was ever on that set and it’s a real trip. I can smell the smells and see the bright lights and I remember every detail of things I haven’t thought about in nine years,” she told the magazine at PaleyFest 2023. The actress also praised the next generation of interns taking over the show. “I always say it’s the new blood, it’s the new life, it’s the new stories, it’s the new characters that makes this show just so special and you just keep leaning in. So I’m excited about the future of the show.”

The news of McCreary’s exit comes as Grey’s Anatomy undergoes major cast and production changes, including Pompeo’s exit from the show and the departure of showrunner Krista Vernoff. In March 2023, it was announced that Grey’s Anatomy was renewed for a 20th season by ABC. Variety also reported that Meg Marinis, who is an executive producer on Grey’s Anatomy, will replace Vernoff as the series showrunner.

When does Maggie Pierce leave Grey’s Anatomy?

Maggie and Winston in couple's therapy on Grey's Anatomy

When does Maggie Pierce leave Grey’s Anatomy? Maggie Pierce’s last episode as a series regular on Grey’s Anatomy aired on April 13, 2023. Pierce’s final appearance was a two-hour special consisting of two episodes: Season 19, Episode 14 “Shadow of Your Love” and “Season 19, Episode 15 “Mama Who Bore Me.” Similar to how Pompeo is being written off the show, Maggie will continue to appear in later episodes of season 19.

In Season 19, Maggie is having marital problems with her partner Winston Ndugu (Anthony Hill), a cardiothoracic surgeon. Issues began for the couple in the season 18 finale, when she asked if they rushed into a marriage together without knowing things about each other. As Season 19 progressed, their problems worsened when Maggie moved in with Amelia and sought out advice from her dad.

We weren’t sure how exactly writers would write Pierce out of the show, but we finally got clarity in last week’s episode. In the episode before her planned departure, “Cowgirls Don’t Cry,” which aired on April 6, 2023, it showed the couple struggling in couple’s therapy. Maggie described an incredible opportunity that she had been offered at the Heart Center of Chicago. When Winston said that he’d already relocated across the country for her, Pierce had to leave the room to deal with a patient trauma call. However, later in the episode, Pierce made it clear to Winston that she was leaving Seattle to move to Chicago.

“Even when you wanted to quit cardio, supposedly to save our marriage, that was you quitting. That was you retreating. That was you giving up your gift so that you could avoid direct conflict, and that is what I don’t respect. It isn’t your heart, Winston, it’s your cowardice,” her character said to Winston in an explosive, emotional scene. “And the pizza in Chicago is the best in the world. So, I’m gonna go there. And I’m gonna take my extraordinary passion, and I’m going to use it to build hearts that will save thousands of lives. And you can stay here, and you can pretend like it was you who was abandoned, but we both know the truth.”

In the teaser for Maggie’s final episode, it showed Pierce’s last day at Grey Sloan and the doctor saying her final goodbyes to her coworkers. Thankfully, McCreary’s two-part episode in April 2023 won’t be her last official appearance on Grey’s Anatomy (we suspect that we’ll see her again in the Season 19 finale alongside Pompeo).

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursday at 9 p.m. on ABC.

For more on Grey’s Anatomy, check out our photo gallery on the Grey’s Anatomy cast’s real-life relationships