|Derek Christopher Shepherd|
- "My mother's maiden name, Maloney. I have four sisters. I have, uh, nine nieces. Five nephews. I like coffee ice cream, single-malt scotch, occasionally a good cigar. I like to fly fish. And I cheat when I do the crossword puzzle on Sunday. And I never dance in public. Um, favorite novel, The Sun Also Rises. Favorite band, The Clash. My favorite color is blue. I don't like light blue, indigo. The scar right here on my forehead, that's why I don't ride motorcycles anymore. And I live in that trailer. All this land is mine. I have no idea what I'm gonna do with it. So that's it. That's all you have earned for now. The rest you're just... just gonna have to take on faith."
- —Derek Shepherd
Derek Christopher Shepherd is the Chief of Neurosurgery and board director at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. He is married to Meredith Grey and they have a little girl named Zola Grey Shepherd and a newborn son named Derek Bailey Shepherd.
Derek spent most of his life prior to his arrival in Seattle in New York City. As a child, Derek had no hair products, so he had a large afro, acne, a weight of 110 pounds, and played the saxophone in the school band. He was raised by a single parent, being his mother Carolyn, along with his four sisters. He has three older sisters; Nancy, Kathleen and Liz, and a younger sister, Amelia. Like Derek, all four of his sisters are doctors. His father owned a shop when he was younger, and one day two robbers approached him and demanded that he give up the watch his wife Carolyn had saved tirelessly to buy for him. When he refused, the robbers shot him to death, with Derek and his younger sister Amelia bearing witness to his death. This event forms a large part of Derek's moral compass, and impacted him when one of his patients in season five was a serial killer on Death Row. Derek's morals were challenged, evidenced by Derek being extremely reluctant to treat the patient, but unwilling to let him die to have his organs harvested. Derek's childhood best friend was Mark Sloan, who came from a wealthier but emotionally deficient background, and was like a second son to the Shepherd family.
Although he is sometimes annoyed by his overbearing mother and sisters, he is nonetheless aware of their closeness and has no doubt that all four of his "very girly" sisters would be at his bedside if he were ever hurt or sick. His profound hurt over Mark’s affair with Addison back in New York is compounded by his view of Mark as his brother, the one constant male influence in his life since the death of his father as a child.
At Seattle Grace, he managed to stay friends with Addison, even after their divorce, and was best friends with Preston Burke, but was left without friends when they both left Seattle Grace Hospital. He was broken up with Meredith, Bailey didn't want to have a drink with him, and the Chief said he didn't drink. With nobody to talk to, Derek started to talk to Mark again, and they slowly began to rebuild their friendship and soon enough became best friends again. After getting back together with Meredith, he became friends with her friends, primarily Cristina, Alex, Izzie and George, and also bonded with Meredith's sister Lexie Grey following her arrival at Seattle Grace and within the wake of her mother's death. After a rough start with Owen Hunt, Both Derek and Mark began forming strong bonds of friendship with him.
When Richard began slipping back into the state of a severe alcoholic, Derek was adamant on Richard seeking treatment for his condition, even if it meant jeopardizing Richard's career in the process. When the hospital board learned that he'd begun drinking again, they presented to him the option of retiring. Derek, on the other hand, stood by the plan that Richard enter a rehab program, sober up, and return to his position as Chief of Surgery. While still in denial of his predicament, Richard accuses Derek of forcing his problems out into the open so he could get his hands on the position as Chief. While Derek admitted that he did want the job, he still stood by the plan of Richard entering rehab so that Richard could eventually return as Chief. In Richard's absence as chief, Derek assumed the role temporarily.
Derek married his medical school girlfriend, Addison Montgomery, c.1994, and the two began their residencies, studying under Dr. Richard Webber. Following residencies and fellowships, Derek and Addison quickly became very successful in their respective fields. They appeared to lead an affluent lifestyle, owning both a Manhattan brownstone overlooking Central Park and a home in the Hamptons, as well as running their own private practices. However, their success and busy workloads put a strain on their marriage, and the two grew apart; the emotional distance eventually drove Addison to cheat on Derek with his best friend, Mark. After discovering Addison in bed with Mark, Derek declared the marriage over and relocated from a private practice to Seattle Grace Hospital Seattle, accepting a job offer from his former teacher, Dr. Richard Webber, as Chief of Neurosurgery at Seattle Grace Hospital and trading in the brownstone for an Airstream trailer on 40 acres of rural property on Vashon Island.
Soon after arriving in Seattle, Derek met his future wife Meredith Grey at a bar and went home with her for a one-night stand, only to discover the next day that she was a new surgical intern at the hospital. Although she initially rejected his advances as inappropriate due to their working relationship, Meredith eventually agreed to date Derek, although he failed to tell her about his marriage. His charismatic, charming personality and good looks earned him the nickname “McDreamy” among Meredith and her friends. However, their fledgling relationship came to a sudden halt when Addison arrived in Seattle for a consult upon Richard Webber's request. Addison had also brought divorce papers, but made it clear that if Derek was willing to give her a second chance, she wanted to give their marriage another try. Derek struggled over his choice, but ultimately, his sense of obligation to his marriage vows won, and he left Meredith to return to his wife.
After a 17-day vacation, Meredith and Derek saw each other for the first time since Burke and Cristina's wedding and they both met Meredith's half-sister, Lexie. Later, Derek pulled Meredith aside to ask if their relationship was over, and she said it was. However they ended up kissing and having "break up sex". They later said that their relationship consisted of S&M (sex and mockery) only. Derek, thinking about his addiction to have sex with Meredith, told her that he wanted more; he wanted to marry her and have kids with her, to build them a house and have them settle down and grow old together. He wanted to die in her arms when he was 110 and he wanted them to have a lifetime. Meredith, as she was, said she needed time and walked away, but they continued to have sex. Throughout this, Cristina helped Meredith with her relationship and tried to help her find out what she wanted.
Although Derek and Sydney were physically close, they weren't yet emotionally close or in an actual relationship. After Derek went on a pity date with Sydney Heron, Meredith was concerned about him dating other women, so she announced to him that she didn't want him to see other women, and even if she wasn't enough for him right now, she was trying and was scared that she would lose him.
She told him not to say anything yet, so he was unable to tell her that he had just kissed Rose, a nurse who he'd been getting to know and flirting with over the last few days. When Meredith discovered that he had kissed Rose, their relationship ended.
Derek began to date Rose and Meredith entered into therapy with Dr Wyatt. While Derek appeared to be happy in his relationship with Rose, it was clear to those close to him, Mark and Addison, that he wasn't. Derek delayed sleeping with Rose and after finally doing so, he admitted to Mark that he had been thinking of Meredith the entire time. Everything finally came to a head when his and Meredith's clinical trial finally saved a life. He tried to find her to celebrate the good news and eventually located her on his land. She had built a house of candles and told him that she was now "all whole and healed" and that while she hadn't forgiven him, she wanted them to be "extraordinary together rather than ordinary apart." They kissed before he left to break up with Rose. Rose was angry at him over the break up, accidentally stabbing him once with a scalpel in the middle of a surgery.
Meredith asked him to live with her, which he agreed to, saying she was a wood deer and that they would take baby steps, showing he would show her all the patience she needed. He wanted to force Alex and Izzie to move out, but Meredith didn't, telling him they were her family. However he said they could stay and that, once again, he would wait until she was ready. When he discovered her mother's diary, he had a conversation with Mark, where his friend asked him about the trailer. He answered that he was more likely to be kicked out by the end of week, so he keeps the trailer, but she wanted him to stay, so he lends her his trailer so she can read the diary with Cristina, stating that she needs a place where she can be alone.
Family is something that is very important to Derek. His decision to work on his marriage was based largely on his sense of obligation to Addison as his family, the woman with whom he shared "eleven birthdays, eleven Thanksgivings, and eleven Christmases". The choice was not as simple as Derek had anticipated, and he found that he still had very strong feelings for Meredith, even as he tried to repair his marriage to Addison. Shortly before Christmas, he confessed to Addison that Meredith had not just been a fling, but that he'd fallen in love with her; Addison was willing to wait it out, although the situation was complicated further when she and Derek took in Meredith's dog, Doc. Although Derek eventually admitted that the problems in their marriage were partially his fault, his love for Meredith continued to make him emotionally distant from Addison.
When Meredith began dating Finn Dandridge, Doc's veterinarian, Derek became so withdrawn and consumed with jealousy that Addison confronted Derek about his ongoing infatuation with Meredith, and even asked Meredith if she was sleeping with Derek. At a hospital-sponsored prom for the chief's dying niece, Derek and Meredith's emotional affair reached the point of no-return. After a heated argument in an exam room, Derek and Meredith had sex, but before they could discuss the implications of their actions, Meredith was called away to deal with Izzie, whose fiancé had just died. The next day, Addison found Meredith’s panties, which had been left in Derek's tuxedo jacket, and pinned them to the hospital bulletin board, while Derek went to Meredith's house and professed his love to her for the first time. Their reunion, however, was not immediate.
Initially, Derek felt immense guilt over the breakdown of his marriage with Addison, and went to the hotel room where she was staying to apologize. Instead, he was appalled to find out that Addison, in a drunken stupor, had called Mark in New York to fly to Seattle for a "trans-continental booty call". To Derek's disdain, Mark decided to take up a position at Seattle Grace in a bid to woo Addison back. Although he and Addison acknowledged the end of their marriage and began divorce proceedings, Meredith was less certain, and decided to date both Derek and Finn before making a decision between the two. While they were dating, Meredith was admitted for an appendectomy, and Finn's concern for her during her illness led Derek to reconsider his pursuit of her. As she recovered from surgery, he told Meredith that he was walking away, freeing her to be with Finn, whom he considered "the better guy". Meredith, however, had already decided that Derek was "the one" for her, and broke up with Finn. She kept the break-up from Derek for another week, and made the unfortunate timing mistake of telling him just after Addison had confessed that she and Mark had not just been a one-night stand, as she had led Derek to believe, but had actually lived together for two months after Derek left for Seattle.
Meredith's introduction to Derek's family was no less problematic; she stopped by the trailer one night to talk to Derek and discovered a strange woman lying across Derek's bed and Derek, wearing nothing more than a towel and a very startled expression. She would later learn that the woman was Derek’s sister, Nancy, but the explanation of the misunderstanding did not make Meredith any more appealing to Nancy, who continuously referred to Meredith as the "slutty intern". Derek defended Meredith, leading Nancy to acknowledge Derek's feelings for her, but Nancy encouraged her brother to take some time to figure out what he wanted rather than worrying about the women in his life.
Following Nancy's advice, Derek asked Meredith for time to take some space for himself, and then embarked on a very brief camping trip, which only cemented his desire for Meredith. He found her in the very place they had first met—Joe's bar—and they agreed to start their relationship over from the very beginning. While their newly resumed relationship was happy to begin with, Derek and Meredith began to grow distant after she almost drowned. As the distance between them grew, Derek was tempted to accept a drink from a woman he met at Joe's during Burke's bachelor party, but ultimately refused. The next day, he admitted meeting the woman (who unbeknown to both, was Meredith's half-sister Lexie) to Meredith and confronted her over her level of commitment to their relationship. He told her she was the love of his life, but asked that she end the relationship if she was not equally committed. Meredith did not address the issue, and instead focused her energies on Cristina's wedding, leaving her relationship with Derek uncertain. After Burke left Cristina at the altar, Meredith made an announcement to the guests that seemed to imply she had given up on her relationship with Derek as well: "It's over … so over."
His mother came to see him and meet Meredith. To begin with Meredith was nervous and attempted to be the bubbly happy 'Izzie-like' girl that mothers love, including a high ponytail complete with scrunchie. However after talking with the true Meredith for only a short while, she told Derek that she was the "good one" and gave him the ring his father wanted him to have for the "one". After accepting the ring, he began to plan a proposal to Meredith but worried that she still might not be ready. But when she mentioned their own future children in passing, he knew that she was ready for marriage. He told Mark he was going to propose, who told Richard Webber, Owen Hunt, and Callie Torres, but kept it secret from Meredith. Everyone suggested a grand proposal so he planned an elaborate one involving roses and a giant teddy bear. However an emergency call from Addison meant he had to abandon the proposal. After the death of Jen Harmon(a death he blamed himself for) and learning that he had lost more patients than those he had saved, he became depressed and returned to his trailer after lounging on the couch for several days. He began to drink a large amount and refused to return to work.
Richard informed Meredith about Derek's intention to propose and the ring leading to her going to confront Derek at the trailer. He pushed her away saying that she is "a lemon" and that she has just been waiting to get him out of the house. She tells him that she knows about the ring and he shows it to her before batting it into the woods and telling her to go. After being chastised by Richard, Meredith went to see Derek again. Derek asks her whether she would still love him if he wasn't a Dr. Meredith answers no, explaining that Izzie has cancer that has spread to her brain and he is one of only 20 people in the world who could save her. She couldn't love him if he wouldn't help her. Derek returned to the house and attempted to propose to Meredith but she refused him. He started work again, operating on Izzie. Just before the surgery, Meredith showed up with his ferryboat scrub cap and he asked her to marry him again but she turned him down.
At the end of her shift she was waiting for an elevator. After being guided by the chief to the right one, she found a clean-shaven Derek waiting for her. The elevator was decorated with scans of all the surgeries they did together. He recounted the stages of their relationships as they played out during each case. Lastly, he showed her the post-op scans of the different lives they have saved over the years, and, of course, Izzie's brain. "You got me into the OR," he told her. "If there is a crisis, you don't freeze, you move forward. You put the rest of us to move forward because you've seen worse, you've survived worse, and you know we'll survive too. You say you're all dark and twisty; it's not a flaw, it's a strength. It makes you who you are. I'm not gonna get down on one knee, I'm not gonna ask a question. I love you Meredith Grey, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you." She told him that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him and they kissed.
As Izzie received treatment for her cancer, Meredith allowed her to plan the wedding for Derek and herself, in which Izzie took great joy in. However, on said wedding day, Izzie began to see Denny again and Bailey and Derek looked into the cause of this hallucination. They discovered another tumor, too small to be seen normally and too small for Derek to operate safely on. With the news of Izzie dying and her previous comments about spending her life with Alex, Derek and Meredith decided to give their wedding to Izzie to give her the happiest day of her life. Meredith and Derek intended to get married at city hall but found they had no time due to Izzie's surgery and the John Doe patient. So they chose to get married by writing their vows on a post-it note. They stated that they'd love each other, even when they hated each other; that they would never walk away and that they would care for each other when they were old, senile and smelly. The John Doe patient turned out to be their friend George.
Even with their fellow colleagues arguing the two were not actually married, Meredith and Derek viewed themselves as married. They consummated their marriage everywhere, including the kitchen and stairs, and referred to themselves as married. When Meredith chose to donate part of her liver to Thatcher, Derek demanded to be allowed in the OR, stating, "that's my wife you're cutting into." Eventually, they married each other legally, as it facilitated them adopting Zola.
Later, Meredith gave birth to a baby boy named Derek.
Career EditProfessionally, Derek is regarded one of the best neurosurgeons in the world. His services result in two million dollars worth of annual revenue for the hospital. Derek has performed numerous complicated, risky procedures, including a stand-still operation, two double-barrel brain bypasses, and separation surgery for adult conjoined twins. His confidence was shaken slightly when his surgery to repair a gunshot injury on a colleague, Preston Burke, resulted in Burke’s hand developing a tremor, but Derek remains a competent and skilled surgeon who has not forgotten the importance of compassion and bedside manner when dealing with patients. Derek's professional life hit an obstacle when Richard Webber announced his plans to retire. Derek had originally been promised the chief position when Richard offered him the job in Seattle, but was surprised to find that the position had instead been offered to Preston Burke. When word got out about Richard's retirement, Addison and Mark joined in the race for chief. Eventually, Webber came to a decision. He offered the Chief position to Derek, but Derek declined it and instead encouraged Richard to stay on as Chief.
Derek's confidence took another blow when he accidentally clipped an aneurysm on a pregnant woman during surgery, remarking that it was unlike him. While Addison is in Seattle tending to her brother, she consults, and Derek suggests a risky procedure, despite knowing nothing of the procedure or its risks, feeling immensely guilty over clipping the aneurysm and will do all in his, or Addison's, power to keep her alive. Unfortunately, she dies later in surgery, upsetting her husband, who calls Derek a murderer. This sends Derek into a depression. Later, at a deposition, he learns more of his patients have died than survived and he walks out of Seattle Grace.
While in his depression, pushing Meredith away and being almost constantly drunk, Bailey sends Callie and later Owen to try and bring him back. Derek, however, talks to both of them and makes them feel depressed over those who they have "killed", prompting them to start drinking with him, until Richard comes and shouts at him, telling him he is in a much better position than he was. He is promoted to Acting Chief of Surgery, after the Richard is forced into rehab to keep his job. After Derek orders a patient to be taken off life support against her husband's wishes, the husband returns to the hospital and searches for Derek, shooting several surgeons on his way to him. The shooter eventually finds Derek and shoots him, forcing Richard to take over as interim Chief during Derek's absence from work. Derek returns and immediately quits as Chief, admitting that he hates the job and just wants to go back to being a neurosurgeon.
Notes and Trivia Edit
- He played saxophone in his high school band. He also played guitar.
- He has a thing for ferry boats.
- He has a high risk for liver cancer, prostate cancer, baldness, and heroin addiction. (She's Killing Me)
- Derek is a Catholic with an Irish background.
- Derek has five kinds of scrub caps, one of which, containing ferry boats, is his favorite.
- In season one, Derek's lab coat did not show the post-nominal letters of F.A.C.S.
- In Almost Grown and These Arms of Mine, there are scenes that show Derek wearing his "Chief of Surgery" lab coat, despite no longer holding the position at the time.
- In Flight, Cristina tries to keep everyone conscious, but it's shown that Derek is asleep and dreaming about ferryboats, as his response to Cristina is "boats".
- Before surgery, Derek often says "It's a beautiful day to save lives, people. Let's have some fun."
- In Save Me, Derek revealed to Meredith lots of things because he hadn't opened up, My mother's maiden name, Maloney. I have four sisters. I have, uh, nine nieces. Five nephews. I like coffee ice cream, single-malt scotch, occasionally a good cigar. I like to fly fish. And I cheat when I do the crossword puzzle on Sunday. And I never dance in public. Um, favorite novel, The Sun Also Rises. Favorite band, The Clash. My favorite color is blue. I don't like light blue, indigo. The scar right here on my forehead, that's why I don't ride motorcycles anymore. And I live in that trailer. All this land is mine. I have no idea what I'm gonna do with it. So that's it. That's all you've earned for now. The rest you're just...just gonna have to take on faith.
- In Here Comes the Flood, Derek mentions that he is a pain specialist, despite the fact that this has not been brought up since, and that pain management, as a specialty, is practiced by neurologists, anesthesiologists, and psychiatrists.
- For Swedish viewers, he is knows as Dr. Drömprins. Meaning, Dr. Dreamprince.
- In Valentine's Day Massacre, he began to drive Meredith, Owen Hunt, and Cristina Yang to dinner at Pini's.
- Derek is most likely very strong, as he was able to move his and Meredith's bed while it was fully sheeted and Meredith was lying on it.
- He misses his father every second of every minute of every day.
- His father was never mentioned until Wish You Were Here.
- His father used to own a shop.
- Derek's ID badge stated his department was surgery until the merger with Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital, and then it was updated to state his department as neurosurgery, although there some scenes that still show his department as surgery.
- He thinks chewing gum while performing and autopsy is disgusting.
- In a sense, Derek often roots for the underdog. He mentored both April Kepner and Heather Brooks, who at the time he mentored them were not very popular at the hospital.
A more complete gallery with pictures of Derek Shepherd can be found here.
- Derek: (to Meredith) If there's a crisis, you don't freeze, you move forward. You get the rest of us to move forward. Because you've seen worse, you've survived worse, and you know we'll survive, too. You say you're all dark and twisty. It's not a flaw; it's a strength. It makes you who you are. I'm not gonna get down on one knee. I'm not gonna ask a question. I love you, Meredith Grey, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you."