Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic
Samantha Highfill
July 17, 2014 AT 08:18 PM EDT

If there’s one thing that The Vampire Diaries desperately needs, it’s a good doctor (who isn’t a fan of torturing vampires). And considering we haven’t seen Meredith Fell in a while, season six is the perfect time to introduce a new medical expert.

EW has learned exclusively that Hit the Floor‘s Jodi Lyn O’Keefe has been cast as new character Jo, “a tough and accomplished doctor at the university hospital. She demands excellence from her students and has learned the hard way that there’s no room for error in her profession.”

O’Keefe’s casting follows the announcement that Colin Ferguson is joining the show as Tripp, the head of a community militia desperate to protect his town. So perhaps some of Tripp’s victims will be paying Jo a visit? We’ll find out soon enough, with O’Keefe first appearing in the season six premiere. There’s no word yet on how long she’ll stick around.

UPDATE: EW has confirmed that The Client List‘s Marco James will also join TVD in the season six premiere. James will play Liam, an upperclassman at Whitmore College who also happens to be a med student. The Wrap first reported the news.

The Vampire Diaries returns for season six on Thursday, Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. on The CW.

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