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Grey's Anatomy: Shonda Rhimes may already be looking for McDreamy's replacement

Rita Loiacono is an Australian entertainment news junkie who has been obsessed with TV and celebrities ever since she wrote a fan letter to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at the age of seven. These days, she takes the day off work to watch t...

Word is Grey's Anatomy is looking to cast a handsome doc in a permanent role

It looks like Grey's Anatomy will waste no time replenishing its good-looking male doc quota following Patrick Dempsey's departure.

Derek Shepherd's death might have some fans still in mourning, but Shonda Rhimes has a story to tell, and it looks like that story involves what seems like a carbon copy of Derek himself.

Per TVLine, "Shonda Rhimes & Co. are searching for a 'name' actor in his late 30s to late 40s to portray the series-regular role of a doctor. Among the requirements of said performer: He must be good-looking, charismatic and believable as a surgeon."

Um, so basically, they're looking to cast Derek 2.0.

More: All the thoughts I had while watching Grey's Anatomy kill off McDreamy (GIFs)

Now, we'll be totally cool with this new casting if the purpose of this new doctor is to fill the professional void Derek's death left at Grey Sloan Memorial. The show's Season 11 finale revealed that a new neurosurgeon hadn't been hired, and some doctors were pretty vocal about the fact that this was having an impact on their ability to do their jobs effectively — you know, until Arizona completely shut them down and told them their lives aren't that hard, and they should stop being so self-absorbed.

What we won't be cool with is if the purpose of this new doctor is to fill the romantic void in Meredith's life following the death of her husband. And our reason for this isn't because we're attached to Derek and can't imagine Meredith with anyone else. Rather, it's because we are super excited at the prospect of getting to see more of Meredith as an individual instead of as half of a couple.

More: Patrick Dempsey reportedly left Grey's Anatomy for a surprising reason

Sure, we loved MerDer, but for most of Grey's Anatomy's 11 seasons, we've seen Meredith framed in relation to Derek, regardless of whether they were together or not. But we know Meredith is more than capable of surviving without a romantic partner and we know that she has a lot going for her — a great job she happens to be amazing at, friends who truly love and care for her and three children whom she loves being a mother to — that doesn't involve a relationship with a man.

In fact, while it took us a beat to get past the fact McDreamy's death was shocking and incredibly sad, we quickly became buoyed about the story lines it would open up for Meredith. So, by all means, Shonda Rhimes, go ahead and fill the professional void with this new doctor. We have no issue with good-looking and charismatic men occupying time on our TV screens. But please don't deprive us of the opportunity to see Meredith do her own thing for a while.

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