She's abrasive, afraid of commitment, doesn't "do" emotion and is extremely competitive about getting the "cool" surgeries. She is of Korean descent and is a native of Beverly Hills, Calif. Cristina graduated from the Stanford University School of Medicine and maintains a love-hate relationship with her mother.
Despite being his polar opposite in many respects, she began dating Dr. Preston Burke during Season One. She became pregnant, only to have him break off their relationship for professional reasons.
Cristina planned to have an abortion without telling Burke, but changed her mind after talking to a pregnant patient. She later collapsed during a surgery with Dr. Burke, and was quickly diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy, which was surgically terminated.
Despite his emotional and physical trauma, she and Burke got back together soon after. The evolution of Cristina's relationship with Dr. Burke is a focal point of the first three seasons Grey's Anatomy.
Cristina, who is particularly close to Meredith, although she is also friends with George and Izzie, only told Burke she loved him while he was asleep, and didn't give up her apartment for months after moving in with him.
In Season Three, she helped Preston cover up a hand tremor (resulting from his being shot at the end of Season Two) that should have kept the surgeon on the shelf, but which he attempted to simply work in spite of.
While this caused strife between them, they later patched things up, and became engaged. However, Burke left Cristina at the altar after realizing she was only marrying him because he wanted to - not because she wanted to.
Now she's free - damn it - and Cristina picking up the pieces of her life will be one of the most interesting things to watch in Grey's Anatomy's fourth year.
CRISTINA: "There's a club. The Dead Dads Club. And you can't be in it until you're in it. You can try to understand, you can sympathize. But until you feel that loss... My dad died when I was nine. George, I'm really sorry you had to join the club."
GEORGE: "I... I don't know how to exist in a world where my dad doesn't."
CRISTINA: "Yeah, that never really changes."
Lexie: [narrating] Grief may be a thing we all have in common, but it looks different on everyone.
Mark: It isn't just death we have to grieve. It's life. It's loss. It's change.
Alex: And when we wonder why it has to suck so much sometimes, has to hurt so bad. The thing we gotta try to remember is that it can turn on a dime.
Izzie: That's how you stay alive. When it hurts so much you can't breathe, that's how you survive.
Derek: By remembering that one day, somehow, impossibly, you won't feel this way. It won't hurt this much.
Bailey: Grief comes in its own time for everyone, in its own way.
Owen: So the best we can do, the best anyone can do, is try for honesty.
Meredith: The really crappy thing, the very worst part of grief is that you can't control it.
Arizona: The best we can do is try to let ourselves feel it when it comes.
Callie: And let it go when we can.
Meredith: The very worst part is that the minute you think you're past it, it starts all over again.
Cristina: And always, every time, it takes your breath away.
Meredith: There are five stages of grief. They look different on all of us, but there are always five.