And you think I am? You think this is easy for me? You think I'm ready? I was fine. I got fine with dying. And then you infected me with your stupid--with Shepherd and her plan and your stupid hope. And now, it's harder than ever to hand all this over. I don't want to. I'm scared to. And I'm scared to let go of it, and it's all your fault, so... I think the very least you can do is deserve it. Take over, do well, make me not regret it. Can you do that? Please?
Nicole Herman to Arizona Robbins

Nicole Herman was the Head of Fetal Surgery at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.


Finding a FellowEdit

Dr. Nicole Herman was first seen when she talked to Arizona about a shared patient. She repaired the U.T.O. at 21 weeks and when she went to check on the baby, the parents could not stop singing the praises of Arizona, while she only did a few little stitches when the baby hit the air. Nicole brought up the open fellowship spot and suggested that Arizona should apply so that she could learn something that's actually hard, rather than taking the credit for other people's hard work. Arizona objected that she too did really hard things in peds, but Nicole wasn't convinced. ("I Must Have Lost It on the Wind")

When Arizona started her fellowship, Nicole immediately began assigning extra research and work to her. When she struggled to keep up, Nicole reminded her that everything in the womb happens at super-speed, so she needs to learn to keep up. ("Got to Be Real")

Nicole continued teaching Arizona and an OB/GYN resident, Dr. Graham Maddox, in a very strict and severe manner. She noted Arizona's impeccable record and good relationship with her peers, but treated her strictly as her fellow, for example not letting her join in on a personal conversation. She granted Arizona the chance to perform a solo fetal surgery, but upon noticing Arizona wasn't as well prepared as she expected her to be, she gave the opportunity to Graham. She later took Arizona aside and informed her that she was letting her down, causing her to start doubting Arizona's operating skills and even her own teaching skills. Herman told her that if she messed up again, she would fire her as her fellow as she did not have the time to wait for Arizona to catch up. ("Bend & Break")

Brain TumorEdit

Nicole told Arizona that she had an inoperable brain tumor and only had six months left to live. She wanted to use this period of time to teach Arizona about Fetal Surgery since it is a new field and all the knowledge she held wasn't found in any textbooks. ("Don't Let's Start")

After telling Arizona about the tumor, she left it up to Arizona to decide if she wanted to continue to learn from her or if she wanted to turn her into the board, which would mean that the fellowship would go away. While Arizona was trying to decide, Herman left her in charge of the department as she had an appointment. At the end of the day, Herman returned to the hospital. She noted that Arizona had done exactly what she should have done in Herman's absence and confessed that she'd been getting radiation therapy. After this, Arizona agreed that she wouldn't tell the rest of the board and would continue to learn from Herman. ("Could We Start Again, Please?")

When Amelia informed her that she believed she could remove the tumor, Herman initially rejected the idea, because she'd been given hope many times before and then had it taken away. However, after Arizona confronted her and said that she was throwing away a chance that April and Jackson would love to have for their baby, she relented and agreed to hear Amelia's plan. After hearing it, she agreed to have the surgery, but only after the tumor grew as large as it could get and still be removed in its entirety. She insisted on that even when Amelia insisted that it needed to be removed as soon as possible. ("Where Do We Go From Here")

While Amelia developed her surgical plan, Herman created an intense crash course intended to teach Arizona as much as possible in the time they had left. ("The Bed's Too Big Without You")

Herman and Arizona continued their crash course over the next four weeks. However, earlier than they expected, Herman started to experience fuzziness at the edges of her vision. An MRI revealed that the tumor had invaded her optic chiasm, meaning it was time for her surgery. She was taken immediately to the OR and sedated for surgery. ("Staring at the End")

Amelia operated and despite some complications, she successfully removed Nicole's tumor. However, she didn't wake up for several days after the surgery, leading Amelia to look for a cause. An MRI showed signs of a stroke and Amelia worried she'd never wake up. Despite this, she did eventually wake up. She was fully aware of her surroundings and showed no loss of mental faculties, but she was completely blind. She told Arizona that she was grateful that she got to figure out what was next for her because Arizona pushed so hard to get her to have the surgery. ("The Distance")


After being discharged from the hospital, Herman went to the Blind Institute, where she learned to live her daily life as a blind person. She sent Arizona a text that said, "Enjoying Blind Institute. Learning how to not bump into things. Not typing this obvi. Don't kill any babies." ("I Feel the Earth Move")



She was married but is now divorced. She mentions that while they were married, she was involved in many boards and committees, things that were important to him. She quit all that later because it wasn't important to her.


Arizona RobbinsEdit

She seems to have a rather close professional relationship with Arizona Robbins, teasing her about the fact that fetal surgery is even harder than pediatric surgery.

However, when they began working together more closely, they bonded and became more friendly, with Arizona even spending several nights in the hospital with Herman was staying there during their crash course.


Addison Forbes MontgomeryEdit

She and Amelia were shown discussing Dr. Addison Montgomery's new life as a mother, indicating they know each other both personally and professionally. Both practice the surgical specialty of maternal-fetal medicine and are renowned in fetal surgery.

Graham MaddoxEdit

While he was rounding on her service, she started a sexual relationship with Graham. She said he was a nominal surgeon and a complete tool, but was a satisfactory sexual partner.


Dr. Nicole Herman was the Head of Fetal Surgery at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. After an OB/GYN residency, she completed a maternal-fetal medicine fellowship and eventually sub-specialized in fetal surgery, a brand new field of medicine that she's basically inventing as she operates.

One of the few fetal surgeons in America, Nicole is training Dr. Arizona Robbins as her fetal fellow, and OB/GYN resident Dr. Graham Maddox who regularly rounds on her service. Her reputation as a fetal surgeon is quite reputable as she's made Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital the go-to hospital for fetal surgeries in the pacific northwest.

After she became blind following the surgery to remove her brain tumor, Nicole was left unable to operate and resigned.

Notes and TriviaEdit

  • She is the first known fetal surgeon who's part of the staff of Grey Sloan Memorial. It's been since Addison Forbes Montgomery worked at Seattle Grace Hospital that a fetal surgeon part of the hospital's staff was shown, as fetal surgeons were only visiting.
  • She is the third hospital staff member to suffer from cancer, being preceded by Elizabeth Fallon and Izzie Stevens.
  • When Emma Marling turned down the open maternal-fetal surgeon position, it may be that Herman was hired instead.
  • Herman wore a personalized scrub cap that was gray themed with black leopard spots.
  • While she was very harsh with Arizona until they became friends, she appeared to have a very friendly attitude towards her collagues, often smiling and making small talk.



Episode StillsEdit


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