Dr. Nellie Cuevas (Lilah Richcreek Estrada) is a still a relative newcomer on Chicago Med. She was introduced in season 8, and is still acclimating to the staff, particularly Dr. Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) and his unique approach to patient care.
As with all Med doctors, the assumption is that Cuevas will be sticking around as part of the new Gaffney staff. The show has gone through a lot of personnel recently, so it would stand to reason that they would want to hold on the ones they currently have, to maintain some semblance of consistency.
In the latest episode, though, it seemed like Cuevas’s time on the show might be winding down. Here’s what happened:
Is Lilah Richcreek Estrada leaving Chicago Med?
So, it wasn’t totally out of the blue. Earlier in season 8, Cuevas told Dr. Asher (Jessy Schram) that she’s undocumented and legally allowed to work and live in the United States as a DACA recipient. It wasn’t really elaborated on at the time, but it felt like a very purposeful bit of information that would factor into the show later on.
Sure enough, in the episode “What You See Isn’t Always What You Can Get,” Dr. Goodwin (S. Epatha Merkerson) was forced to pull Cuevas aside and advise that she get her DACA paperwork in order. This suggestion definitely caught Cuevas off-guard, and she spent the rest of the episode debating whether or not she was going to have to leave.
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We eventually learn that Cuevas was already considering leaving Med, due to the fact that her parents now live in Canada, and she hadn’t seen them in over a decade. Her parent’s aren’t able to re-enter the United States, and Cuevas may not be guaranteed entry if she were to leave and visit them. It’s a big risk, but in the end, she decides to stay in Chicago and put her skills to use to help those in need.
It’s a close call in terms of losing another doctor, and it’s a decision we’re pleased about, as we hope to see Cuevas blossom as a character in the future.
For the latest Chicago Med season 8 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago Med category at One Chicago Center.