Preston Burke has been off of Grey’s Anatomy for a number of seasons, but he’s still one of the most iconic characters to ever appear on the show. Not only was he engaged to Cristina Yang — and then didn’t show up to their wedding! — he had interesting relationships with a lot of the doctors at the hospital.
From his major medical rivalry to an injury nearly ending his career, here are five fast facts about Dr. Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington).
First In His Class
Burke went to college at Tulane University and attended John Hopkins Medical School. In fact, he graduated first in his class. This set the groundwork for his confidence in the operating room and perhaps one of the reasons he’s so competitive.
While at Johns Hopkins, Burke met Erica Hahn, who he ended up working with at Seattle Grace Hospital. Burke finished first in their class and Erica came in second, which is what ultimately started the rivalry between them.
A Shot In the Arm
Back in Season 2 of Grey’s, when Burke was trying to get a heart for Denny Duquette, he ended up getting shot in the arm. Though he recovered, the injury caused severe nerve damage in his arm. There was a period of time where he believed he wouldn’t be able to operate again, but he finally regained the use of his arm.
Though Burke left Seattle after Season 3, we learned he eventually won the Harper Avery Award, which is, of course, the holy grail for any surgeon who is on Grey’s Anatomy as we have learned over many seasons of the hit show.
Switzerland to Italy
After he won the Harper Avery award, Burke went to work at the Klausman Institute for Medical Research in Zurich, Switzerland. He focused on cardiac research, but he decided to pass his duties off to former fiancée Cristina Yang so he could move to Milan, Italy.