The Chicago Med Cast Members Who Left The Show After Season 8

"Chicago Med" has graced our screens for almost a decade, continuously refreshing its lineup with fresh faces while bidding farewell to others. But while we are used to seeing cast members come and go, Season 8 saw a particularly noticeable shift as many actors bid farewell to the medical drama.

"Chicago Med" already had fans from the jump as it was the third installment of the "One Chicago" franchise. You never know what will hit the "Chicago Med" cast, and as sad as it is, we have seen many of our favorites leave. Yaya DaCosta, who plays April Sexton, and Torrey Devitto, who played Natalie Manning, left the show after six seasons. Dora Madison left the show after four, and the list goes on.

Season 8 was no different, and Steven Webber — who portrays Dr. Dean Archer — even teased fans ahead of the season finale that there would be some major moments. He told NBC, "I wouldn't say [these storylines] necessarily conclude, but they come to quite a moving and interesting climax. ... One that makes thematic sense and dramatic sense. And the finale will not disappoint." But even with the warning and knowing how "Chicago Med" has changed through the years, fans still weren't prepared to see so much of the cast head out after season eight.

Fans said goodbye to Nick Gehlfuss

Nick Gehlfuss has played Dr. Will Halstead from the jump. He was part of the original cast in 2015, and as much as fans loved his character, he had to say goodbye to "Chicago Med" in Season 8. Gehlfuss knew he had hit a creative end. He told Variety, "It was a difficult decision, but ultimately, I felt I'd taken Dr. Halstead as far as I can go with him. I think that comes down to a creative part of you, or the energy or spirit you have that you're either built for a very long time with one person or not."

Luckily for fans, his send-off wasn't tragic. After complications in the O.R., his character left the show to be with his ex-fiance, Natalie Manning, played by Torrey Devitto. As it turns out, this was the writing team's decision — not Gehlfuss'. He shared with TV Line, "They asked me if I had any ideas, and I did not have anything. I said, 'Whatever makes most sense for you guys. I would like to preserve the possibility of coming back for important events or in whatever capacity makes sense...'"

As tough as it was to see him go, it was even more difficult for Gehlfuss to leave. He explained to TV Line, "A difficult decision because, of course, I have for the last eight years grown with a fantastic group of people, and they have become a family, they really have."

Brian Tee's heartwarming exit

Brian Tee's character, Dr. Ethan Choi, had a heartwarming exit halfway through Season 8. Tee's character left the show to launch a mobile clinic to help struggling communities. Similar to Nick Ghelfuss, Tee had been on the show since it kicked off.

When it came to his character specifically, Tee felt that Ethan wanted to do more. He told NBC, "I think he loved Chicago Med, but he had a higher purpose in the sense of really trying to heal a city that is wounded. Especially in the inner cities, especially those that, you know, maybe struggling either financially or situationally." Despite his exit, Tee didn't completely shut down the idea of a possible return to the show.

Still, "Chicago Med" meant a lot to Tee. He told Deadline in 2022 that playing the character has been a "gift and blessing." Playing Dr. Ethan Choi gave the actor a platform to bring Asian representation to the forefront of the screen. "Ethan Choi represents to me the first time I've actually played a protagonist in such a strong way, and he catapulted me into a different arena, one where I feel the perception of not only myself but Asian Americans had been changed," he explained. "Just having an Asian face as a leading man was a stepping stone if not the ladder." We're holding our breath for his return.

Yaya DaCosta's second Chicago Med departure

Yes, it's a bit of a head-scratcher because we mentioned April Sexton, portrayed by Yaya DaCosta, departed "Chicago Med" in Season 6 — but there's more to it. In 2021, DaCosta spoke to a panel about leaving the show, sharing, "My exit from Chicago Med and the arrival of this show happened really simultaneously. There isn't much to say about it. There was a window opening and a question mark as to whether I should stay or go." DaCosta chose to go, but she didn't completely say goodbye.

DaCosta was a beloved character on the show, and showrunners teased her potential return in season eight. Showrunner Andy Schneider told NBC, "There will be a full return of a beloved character." Though it could have been any character making a comeback, fans were crossing their fingers for April's return to their screens — and their wishes didn't go unanswered. DaCosta did return to season eight of "Chicago Med" as they wrapped up her character's love story with Dr. Ethan Choi, played by Brian Tee.

On the show, April and Ethan had a romantic connection but broke up after their engagement. But come Season 8, fans finally received the fairytale ending they'd always hoped for with the TV couple. Rekindling their connection, April and Ethan tied the knot before she accompanied Ethan on his mission to establish a mobile clinic. A satisfying conclusion for both characters as DaCosta bid farewell to her role.

Asjha Cooper swift exit from Chicago Med

Ashja Cooper may not have been on "Chicago Med" for a long time, but she will certainly be remembered by die-hard fans. Her character, Vanessa Taylor, had a gripping storyline that began when she joined the show in Season 6. Cooper's character was revealed to be Maggie's biological daughter, and fans have watched her try to navigate this information while becoming a doctor.

Fans might relish every moment Cooper lights up the screen, but it seems she's having just as much fun off-screen with the cast. She told Headliner Chicago in 2021, "It's so much fun. The actors on that show are, like, top-notch. Oh my gosh, I'm learning so much." Viewers became fully invested in Cooper's character, but her story was cut short after leaving in Season 8.

It's unclear as to why Cooper decided to leave the show, but her "Chicago Med" co-star, Marlyne Barrett, hinted at a new venture. She tweeted a gif of Cooper with the caption, "She's going! A New Journey Begins! Will miss this one! #ChicagoMed." Not only will Cooper be missed by her co-stars but by the "Chicago Med" fandom too.

Guy Lockard ditches Chicago Med

Guy Lockard joined "Chicago Med" in Season 7 but left as quickly as he came. Lockard played Dr. Dylan Scott, a police officer turned physician. The battle between being a former cop and now a doctor in Chicago ultimately leads Lockard's character to leave the show. In his final episode, his character shares: "Those old ties keep pulling me back in. I have to go someplace where I can just be a doctor."

Lockard may have been on the show for just a couple of episodes across two seasons, but fans enjoyed his character, and so did the show's showrunners. They told Variety, "We love Guy. He did a great job and was wonderful to work with. But what was sort of the cornerstone of his character was a doctor who had been a cop, and couldn't escape his past — it becomes very evident in the premiere episode." Lockard's character, who had ties to both of these worlds, is what they loved to show to the audience, but it's what ended up causing his departure.

But like many previous actors that have left "Chicago Med," the showrunners are always open to a possible return. "We felt we had really covered his story arc," the showrunners explained. "But Guy is so good and was such a wonderful character that we would welcome bringing him back in the future."