In an Episode about Women’s Heart Health, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Character Reveals Wellesley Background

February 6, 2018

On the February 1 episode of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, Dr. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) has a flashback to when she received her acceptance letter to Wellesley College. She described her first choice school to her parents as a “college of the greats,” citing alumnae Harriet Adams, class of 1914, Hillary Rodham Clinton ’69, Cokie Roberts ’64, and Nora Ephron ’62.

The fictional chief of surgery at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital in Seattle is known for her strong leadership and selfless determination, and for being the first woman to hold that position at the hospital.

In the episode, Bailey admits herself to a rival hospital because she fears she is having a heart attack. At the hospital, the doctor in charge of her care refuses to continue tests, claiming that increased stress levels are to blame for her symptoms. Though Bailey explains to her peer that women and men have different heart attack symptoms and even has to direct an intern on the proper way to conduct her electrocardiogram test (EKG), the doctors still refuse to believe her.

The episode aired as a tribute to National Wear Red Day, a 24-hour fundraising and awareness event sponsored by the National Heart Association and Go Red for Women to create educational programs and fund critical research about women’s cardiovascular health.

As Bailey says in the episode, 70 percent of women who die from coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms, and African American women are the most at-risk ethnic group, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.