Why is Justin Chambers leaving Grey’s Anatomy after 15 years?

Oh, the heartbreak! Justin Chambers has announced he is leaving ABC’s hit medical drama Grey’s Anatomy after 15 years.

Here’s an exit from Grey’s Anatomy we never saw coming. No, seriously, why is this happening? Justin Chambers, an original cast member and fan favorite, is leaving the series. Why? According to Deadline‘s report, Chambers believes the time has simply come for him to move on.

Chambers plays Dr. Alex Karev and stars in the pilot as a surgical intern. His character is part of multiple storylines and continues to be one of the main characters, leaving us to wonder what will happen with Karev’s departure? Where will his story and those connected to Karev go?

In a statement to the source, Chambers says that there’s never truly a “good time” to leave a series that made such a big impact and “defined so much” of his life. This isn’t an out-of-the-blue decision for the actor, though. He reveals in the report that he has been considering leaving for some time now to diversify his acting roles and career choices.

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Now that he is 50-years-old (can you believe it?!), Chambers believes it’s now or never. As heartbroken as we are about his departure, we understand and wish Chambers the best in the direction he goes next.

“As I move on from Grey’s Anatomy, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda Rimes, original cast members Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, and the rest of the amazing cast and crew, both past and present, and, of course, the fans for an extraordinary ride,” he said.

Grey’s Anatomy is currently airing Season 16 and is already renewed for Season 17. Despite many fan favorites leaving the series, Chambers being the latest, the medical drama is showing no signs of stopping.

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What do you think about Justin Chambers leaving Grey’s? Will you miss the character? The episode and date of his last appearance is not yet known.