This Is What Meredith Should Do With All That Free Time On 'Grey's Anatomy'

RIchard Webber and Alex Karen at Pac North, which could easily merge with Grey Sloan on 'Grey's Anat...
Kelsey McNeal/ABC

This season of Grey's Anatomy started off with all of the characters all sorts of split up. Meredith is picking up trash, Teddy's stuck in a hotel room with a newborn, and Richard and Alex are working at Pac North. But the way things are going, the Grey's family will be coming together soon enough — and possibly expanding — since it's basically a given that that Pac North and Grey Sloan will merge on Grey's Anatomy. Not because they could use each others' resources, of course, but because it's the perfect way to set Meredith up for her next chapter.

Pac North is woefully underfunded (probably because all of its surgeons weren't in a huge plane crash that resulted in a multi-million dollar lawsuit), and Alex and Richard are starting at square one with the place. While they're building Pac North from the ground up, Meredith is seeing, as if for the first time, the systemic problems with America's health care system. According to Kaiser Health News, 8.5% of Americans went without insurance in 2018, and as ABC reports, 18,000 Americans die every year because they cannot afford insurance to save their lives. It's a crisis, and Meredith wants to stop it now that she's experienced it first hand (again, for seemingly the first time, after all of these years).

Now that Meredith is losing her medical license, she's taking on a new project aimed at the health care system, specifically insurance companies. While we haven't heard her exact plan just yet, Meredith should team up with her BFF Alex and her mentor Richard to whip Pac North into shape and make it, like Grey Sloan, a place that saves lives.

Kelsey McNeal/ABC

The next step would be talking to Catherine, who has a ton of money, into bringing it under the Grey Sloan umbrella — maybe as a clinic for the uninsured. Thus, Meredith will be able to help as many people as possible, which is what she seems hell bent on doing these days. This all just a pipe dream at the moment, but it does seem like a decent plan for Meredith. And a very likely plot line for this season.

In an interview with TV Guide, Grey's Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff tried to stay mum about Meredith's future. "For sure, there's a period of time, here, where Meredith can't practice medicine, and she's got a lot of community service hours to work off," she said. Vernoff also said that having Alex and Richard tag-team a flailing hospital was "really ripe storytelling," so there's something going on with all of this beneath the surface.

Grey's Anatomy faced a merger in Season 6 with Mercy West Hospital, but to do it in Season 16 would mean a smoother transition. As Vernoff said, new hospitals mean new characters, drama, and stakes, so Grey's Anatomy fans shouldn't be surprised to see a whole new roster of docs and nurses by the end of Season 16.