Dr. Altman attended University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, completing her surgical residency at George Washington University Medical Center and her fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Florida.
Working previously at Columbia (presumably Columbia University Medical Center) as an attending physician, Dr. Altman left her job following the death of her best friend, who was killed during the collapse of the second tower. Upon leaving her job, Dr. Altman joined the army and met Owen Hunt during her tour in Baghdad.
Owen Hunt convinced Teddy to come work in Seattle, saying it was a great hospital with a great staff and equipment. At first, Teddy was surprised by all the equipment, compared to the equipment she had back in Iraq. She was also very pleased with the fact that it rained a lot in Seattle, as it almost never rains in the desert, where she previously worked.
Soon after her arrival, she met Cristina Yang, whom she called one of the best residents she had ever seen. It didn’t take her long to find out that Owen brought her to Seattle to please his girlfriend, who hadn’t have a cardiogod since Erica Hahn left the hospital. However, Teddy wasn’t mad about it and said she would just enjoy the things Owen would do to make it up to her. Cristina didn’t believe in Teddy’s skills, as she wasn’t able to insert a pacing wire.
Dr. Sloan asked Teddy out in the episode Push, but she declined. Eventually, she accepts and they have sex in the end of the episode Suicide is Painless. In the following episode, Sympathy for the Parents, Teddy and Mark have moved on.
Henry was a patient who had Von Hippel-Lindau disease (making tumors grow on rich blood supply areas) and could no long afford insurance. Teddy met Henry in an elevator in the hospital, where Henry asked her if he would have chance when he asked his girlfriend to marry him. Teddy told him his girlfriend would be a fool to say no. She later bumped into him again, and he informed her his girlfriend said no. He then revealed that he primarely asked her because of her insurance. Teddy then offered to marry him, as she had a great insurance as a surgeon.
After their marriage, Henry enlists Teddy as his emergency contact person, because he didn’t have any friends or family left. Henry developed real feelings for Teddy, but he decided not to tell her. She started dating, and they discussed her dates over the food she always brought home for him. However, when Teddy started a relationship with Andrew Perkins for the second time, Henry couldn’t keep his feeling still anymore. He told her how he felt, which made her doubt about her relationship with Andrew. Right before she would leave for Germany with Perkins, she choose Henry over Andrew and kissed Henry.
In the episode Heart Shaped Box, Henry tells Teddy that he wants to go to medical school, but Teddy doesn’t want him to go. At the end of the episode, Teddy tries to make up with Henry, and finds him coughing up blood. Henry has a tumor on his lung and needs surgery. When they open him up, they find that there is no chance of saving Henry and he starts to code. Webber steps in to do CPR, but after 20 minutes, it’s a lost cause so he stops, and Henry dies. Webber tells Owen not to tell Teddy as she is in surgery, and then they would lose another patient, so Owen tells Teddy that Henry survived. Finally, after the surgery, Christina tells her that her husband is dead. Teddy demanded to see him and then broke down in tears.
In the season 8 finale, she was offered a job in the army, but refused to take it because she wanted to stay in Seattle to support Owen, as he was having a hard time. However, Owen didn’t want her to miss the opportunity just because of him, and forced himself to fire her. After she was fired, Teddy was angry at first but relieved later, and she took the job, leaving Seattle Grace Mercy West.