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As Grey’s Anatomy prepares to enter Season 15 this week, the fate of the long-running medical drama is uncertain. While show lead Ellen Pompeo is contracted through to a 16th season, whether she will hang up her scrubs when her contract is over is uncertain.

Appearing on the latest cover of Entertainment Weekly, which released six Grey’s Anatomy special edition covers this week to promote the shows’ return, Pompeo said she’s unsure whether she sees herself continuing to play Dr. Meredith Grey once her contract obligations are fulfilled at the end of Season 16. “I’m clearly not prepared right now to make any formal announcement about what my future is on the show, but I am really feeling like we have told the majority of the stories that we can tell,” Pompeo told EW. “It’s about time that I mix it up. I’m definitely looking for a change.”

Grey’s Anatomy has a huge ensemble cast that includes Justin Chambers, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr., with all three actors having been with the series from Day 1 with Pompeo. But even with the addition of two new cast members this year (Chris Carmack and Alex Landi have been announced as new surgeons joining the team), can Grey’s Anatomy survive without the ‘Grey’?

There is a precedent for ensemble shows continuing to produce high quality episodes without their lead actor. The Office continued for two seasons after Steve Carell’s departure, as did The Vampire Diaries following Nina Dobrev’s exit. Others shows, like Scrubs and Two and a Half Men, struggled once main cast members left the series. Just announced this month, The Big Bang Theory will end after its current season. Although the hit show is an ensemble cast much like Grey’s Anatomy, unofficial lead actor Jim Parsons was ready to move on and writers felt like the show wouldn’t work without Dr. Sheldon Cooper. So, what about Dr. Meredith Grey?

As for how Grey’s Anatomy will end when the time comes, that will be up to creator Shonda Rhimes. “I have written the end of the show at least six times,” Rhimes told EW. “But we just don’t end. Every time I thought, ‘This is how the show should end,’ we’ve gone past those moments, so I’ve stopped trying. I have no idea now.”

We would never want to tell Rhimes how to do her job, but ending the season on a happy note would be appreciated by long-suffering fans. Every time we think we’re out of tears for the doctors and patients of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, the floodgates open once again. We. Need. A. Break.

Season 15 of Grey’s Anatomy premieres with a special two-hour episode on a new night on Wednesday, September 26 starting at 9 p.m. ET/MT on CTV and CTV GO.