When “Grey’s Anatomy” airs Thursday night on ABC, it will become one of the first primetime television series to introduce a deaf doctor as a recurring character.
Fans of the long-running medical drama will be introduced to Dr. Lauren Riley, played by Shoshannah Stern, who is deaf. Dr. Riley appears in the heartbreaking episode “Save the Last Dance.”
The appearance is literally a dream come true for Stern, who tells Variety she had a recurring dream about being on the show a decade ago: “It was always just me walking around in scrubs with the other [‘Grey’s Anatomy’] doctors like I was one of them.”
She also said she had trouble waking from those dreams because they “felt so vividly real.”
The 39-year-old hearing-impaired actress even conducted her own research on the subject.
“I’ve always been fascinated with all the deaf doctors out there in the wild,” notes Stern. “They’re all very different, but [share a commonality] that they seem to bring a special touch to their job. Some have actually invented medical technology to allow them more access, some of which you’re going to see in Riley’s episodes.”