Kevin McKidd, Chandra Wilson and Patrick Dempsey, Grey’s Anatomy

If you thought there wouldn't be severe consequences for Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) tampering with the Alzheimer's clinical trial on Grey's Anatomy, you'd be seriously mistaken.

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When the new season begins, Thursday, Sept. 22 at 9/8c, the Chief (James Pickens Jr.) will have made a self-sacrificing decision, taking the fall for Mer's misdeeds. Because of this, Richard Webber is no longer the Chief of Surgery. (Never fear, Pickens is still a cast member of the ABC medical drama.)

So who's taking over his position? TVGuide.com can tell you exclusively that one of the following Seattle Grace docs will be the new boss in Season 8:

Dr. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson): The Chief did once tell her she'd someday run the hospital, but is she ready to take on that much commitment when Tuck is still so young?

Dr. Mark Sloan (Eric Dane): He was really competitive during the last race for Chief, but Mark may be busy trying to win back love-of-his-life Lexie (Chyler Leigh).

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Dr. Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd): The Chief did ask Owen to pick the new Chief Resident, so trust and responsibility isn't an issue, but with Cristina (Sandra Oh) on the verge of deciding whether or not to abort their child, now may not be the best time.

Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey): He's been the Chief before, so you'd think he'd be a frontrunner, but honestly, been there, done that.

Dr. Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez): If Bailey could be in the running, why not Callie? However, she was fired from the Chief Resident position rather quickly a few seasons back.

So who do you think is the new Chief of Seattle Grace? Hit the comments with your guesses!