And I really hoped we were going to show what happens when two women fall in love and that they were going to treat it like any heterosexual couple on TV.
Well, let's just say she can use a little more loving care with her students, particularly Cristina.
[...] I felt sorry for Hahn because Hahn grew up in a surgical world that included even fewer women than there is now (so Hahn is accustomed to a "dog eat dog" kind of surgical world)." Trish Doolan, who consulted with the show's producers on the developing lesbian storyline between Hahn and Callie Torres, said of the character: "She's very strong, very good at what she does, and actually a lot of men are threatened by that.
A lot of actors don’t want to be unlikable, even if they’re the bad guy.
But I’m okay with that — I’m good with being unlikable." Series creator Shonda Rhimes, discussing the rivalry between Hahn and her Resident Cristina Yang – which saw Hahn reprimanded by Richard Webber (James Pickens, Jr.), Seattle Grace's Chief of Surgery, for her lack of encouragement — has given the insight: "Hahn is a brilliant surgeon and is great with her patients but her teaching skills?
She also develops a friendship with Callie Torres which becomes temporarily strained when Callie is led to believe Hahn has romantic designs on her.
The two attempt a romantic relationship, but while Erica comes to terms with her sexuality quickly, Callie is not so sure of herself, and sleeps with Mark Sloan to "make sure".
The character first appeared in three episodes of the show's second season, followed by another two episodes of the show's third season.
Discussing whether she thought Hahn might become a main character after her season three appearance, Smith has stated that at the time: "I didn't really think it was going to work out", However, following Washington's departure from the show, Hahn was brought back as a main character in the show's fourth season, replacing Burke as Seattle Grace's Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Researching the role, Smith watched a heart surgery performed, and liaised with the surgical nurses employed by Grey's Anatomy producers to maintain realism in the show's operating room.
Prior to assuming the role, Smith observed heart surgery being performed, and admitted to finding stressful the pressure of continually portraying a medical professional realistically.