'Grey's Anatomy': Meet the new interns shaking up ABC's hit medical drama in Season 19

Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital is getting some new blood.

In Thursday's Season 19 premiere of "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC, 9 EDT/PDT), Ellen Pompeo's Meredith Grey welcomes five first-year surgical residents to the fold after the hospital rebuilds the teaching program it was forced to disband.

Although "Grey's" introduces new residents roughly every five seasons, most are only recurring characters, says executive producer Krista Vernoff. "The big swing here is that it's the first time since (Season 1) we have a class of five series-regular interns." The idea is to "truly refocus the show on the plight of becoming a surgeon when you have basically no idea what you're doing."

With Pompeo expected to appear in just eight episodes this season, here's the lowdown on the highly anticipated new stars:

Here's why: Ellen Pompeo cut back on 'Grey's Anatomy' episodes for upcoming season

Abortions in TV, film started with hysteria, then become (mostly) accurate. But what now?

Alexis Floyd as Simone Griffith

Where you've seen her: Floyd, 28, is a Cleveland native best known for Freeform's "The Bold Type" and Netflix's "Inventing Anna," which was executive produced by "Grey's" creator Shonda Rhimes. The actress also appears in the new season of "The Good Fight" on Paramount+.

What to know about Simone: "She's a very focused, driven young woman who treats her job both as a profession and a calling," Floyd says. "She cares about the healing art in this way that's really personal to her. She was born in the hospital where she's now doing her residency and has sort of a traumatic relationship with the hospital, which we'll find out more about." Simone is also a "very family-centered person" who is close to her grandma Joyce ("The Jeffersons" star Marla Gibbs in a recurring role).

Rhimes' words of wisdom: Before shooting started, "Shonda reached out to me and said, 'If you need advice, have ideas, anything – use me as a resource. I'm here for you,'" Floyd recalls. "She told me to ask for what I need and told me to shine, and I really took it to heart. ('Grey's') has been on for nearly two decades and your impulse may be to tread lightly. But she was specific in telling me to take up space and do my thing to help give the show a new burst of energy."

Midori Francis as Mika Yasuda

Where you've seen her: Francis, 28, was born in Lakewood, New Jersey, and broke out in 2019's "Good Boys." She's also starred in Netflix's "Dash & Lily" and HBO Max's "The Sex Lives of College Girls."

What to know about Mika: "Mika is eccentric," Francis says. "She comes from a very large family with nine siblings, so she's steeped in student loans and working her (butt) off. She's trying to find her place among these other interns and can oftentimes be her own worst enemy. She sometimes steps in it with her jokes – and there may or may not be a romance coming up."

Her favorite "Grey's" character: Sandra Oh's Dr. Cristina Yang, a regular for the show's first 10 seasons. "She was such a messy, rich character with no apologies and was silently revolutionary in that way," Francis says. "Cristina was maybe not objectively very likable, and yet she was beloved. That's a real lesson in being brave enough to play a character who might be prickly and just going for it."

Adelaide Kane as Jules Millin

Where you've seen her: Kane, 32, hails from Australia and has a massive young following, thanks to roles on the CW's "Reign" and MTV's "Teen Wolf."

What to know about Jules: "Jules was raised by pot-smoking, acid-dropping, hippie-dippie parents," Kane says. "She grew up having to raise not only herself but take care of her parents as well. It's sort of a miracle she made it through medical school. She's a little bossy but ultimately very kind-hearted. And because of her unconventional upbringing, she can also be a bit of a risk taker."

Her biggest challenge so far: Kane's mom is a real-life nurse and longtime "Grey's" superfan, "but she hasn't been super-helpful with the technical jargon," Kane says. "I realized as I was learning my lines that I don't know how to say any of the medications or medical procedures in an American accent. My mom is also Australian, so calling her for pronunciation doesn't do much good. I was like, 'Oh, gosh, I don't know how to say ibuprofen in America.' "

Harry Shum Jr. as Benson 'Blue' Kwan

Where you've seen him: Shum, 40, was born in Costa Rica and won fans thanks to his role on Fox's "Glee." He's also appeared on the big screen in "Crazy Rich Asians" and "Everything Everywhere All at Once."

What to know about Benson: "He comes from a background where he's used to being No. 1," Kwan says. "He's a pretty impatient guy and doesn't get along with too many people. He's been through the ropes and has a lot of skills in the medical field but not so much in the social skills department."

His biggest fear: "Getting in a situation where a person says, 'Is there a doctor in the house?' and someone looks over (at me)," Shum says. "I just play one, so I'll leave it to the experts." To prep for the show, he went down "rabbit holes on WebMD" and found a "plethora" of surgery videos on YouTube: "You've just got to make sure you're not eating while watching them."

Niko Terho as Lucas Adams

Where you've seen him: Terho, 26, was raised in Barbados and is still a relative newcomer to Hollywood, aside from starring in Freeform's gay rom-com "The Thing About Harry."

What to know about Lucas: "Lucas is super-ambitious and passionate about what he does, but he gets frustrated with himself very often," Terho says. "He comes from a family of surgeons and they're all pretty successful, so he has a lot to live up to. He's just working hard to prove he belongs there. He also has a huge secret that he's keeping from the other interns that tends to be a big part of his journey."

Learning to play a doctor: "We had this huge boot camp before we even started shooting, where they took us through a whole bunch of medical practices," Terho says. "We learned how to stitch, do chest compressions, use a scalpel – everything like that. So we were pretty familiar with it come shoot day because all we were doing was (sitting) at home and tying knots."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Grey's Anatomy' Season 19: Who is joining the new cast of characters?