Credit: GHOST/Fame Pictures Photo: Patrick Dempsey Shows Off His Vintage Jaguar Convertible in Beverly Hills on November 24, 2008
We all know that surgeons are very well paid. How else could those Seattle docs afford such nice digs? But the fact is, the actors portraying them on Grey’s are paid way, way better. How much better? Consider this: according to TV Guide, Patrick Dempsey earns $250,000 per episode. That's almost exactly the median yearly salary of a surgeon — and Dempsey makes it once every eight or nine days or so.

The rest of the docs are paid well, but nowhere near that well. In 2007, the same year she was nominated for a Golden Globe, Ellen Pompeo signed a new contract that upped her salary to $200,000 per episode. Also in 2007, it was reported that Justin Chambers, T.R. Knight, Chandra Wilson, and James Pickens Jr. were earning $125,000 an episode. Sandra Oh and Katherine Heigl were still in contract negotiations at the time. The upshots of those talks aren't known, but Katherine was apparently displeased that she wasn't earning as much as Ellen and Sandra, both of whom were more well-known than Heigl when the show premiered. We'd reckon that Katherine earned a pretty penny toward the end of her run, however, considering she can now pull in $12 million per movie — and is arguably the biggest Grey's star to ditch her scrubs for the silver screen. Also, the suits at ABC shell out pretty generous bonuses: they gave each of the cast members a gift of $250,000 in June 2006. Not too shabby. At all.

Although more recent contract details are sketchy, the original cast members' contracts will expire after Season 7, and you can bet that the actors who re-up will be seriously bankin'. We better not hear any of them griping about the recession!