Dr. Gregory House is a tenured doctor at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital. He heads the Department of Diagnostic Medicine, with three fellowship positions taking on the role of understudy. Dr. House has a keen understanding of medicine, with an innate ability to diagnose medical conditions with ease. Socially, however, he has been described as a misanthrope, but this lack of social connectivity is most likely a willing one.
House was born to John -- a Marine Corps pilot -- and Blythe House. While he has stated that he loves his mother, he has tried to avoid both parents due to the overbearing moral compass of his father. He received his undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University, and entered into the School of Medicine at Hopkins. Dismissed for cheating on an academic examination, he enrolled at the medical school of the University of Michigan, where he met his future employer, Dr. Lisa Cuddy.
Dr. House is a board-certified diagnostician with a specialty in nephrology and infectious diseases. During his early medical career, he met the future Stacy Warner -- a constitutional lawyer -- in a paintball tournament which pitted doctors versus lawyers. They lived together for five years. During their relationship, House named Stacy to be his medical proxy. This legal consent came into play when House suffered from an idiosyncratic infarction in the right leg that went undiagnosed for 48 hours. This missed diagnosis by his doctors caused muscle death in his quadricep. While in pain, House diagnosed an impending heart attack on himself and went into cardiac arrest, and was clinically dead for 60 seconds.
Because of the necrotic tissue in his leg, he requested a bypass, triggering more pain, and requested a chemically induced coma to manage the worst parts of the pain, thus activating Stacy's status as medical proxy. Stacy chose to go with the middle-ground procedure and decided against amputating the dead muscle, causing severe loss of utility in the right leg. After this, House could not forgive her for this decision, and eventually pushed her away, resulting in the demise of their relationship.
Within five years of his initial leg infarction, House hired a medical team of three fellows: Dr. Eric Foreman, a neurologist, Dr. Allison Cameron, an immunologist, and Dr. Robert Chase, an intensivist. Through the actions of his team and himself, he has been responsible for the treatment of patients with unique and apparently idiosyncratic conditions. He is often considered to be rude, with terrible bedside manner (when he does choose to meet his patients), and refuses to follow through with many ethical considerations of his profession.
He has been described as egomaniacal, condescending, and narcissistic, but has shown brief periods of empathy and sympathy for the patient at hand. He has breached hospital protocol to save the life of a critically ill patient, and has often employed criminal tactics of burglary (through the use of his team) to investigate possible environmental illnesses. While one may attribute his misanthropy to his leg injury, Dr. Cuddy has noted that the attitude began long before his injury.
Dr. House's philosophy is simply put in the following manner: "The truth of the human condition is that everyone lies. The only variable is about what." His skepticism in the patient and his medical team has led to the discovery of illnesses. He has been noted to use any means necessary to accomplish the task at hand, even if it means breaching societal standards and ethical protocols. As a result, he has distanced himself from Drs. Chase, Cameron, and Foreman, who left him a few years after their initial fellowship to work in other areas of practice at Princeton-Plainsboro (except for Dr. Foreman, who was hired as head of diagnostic medicine at New York Mercy Hospital, but was terminated for unethical practices).
Nevertheless, he has retained the friendship of Dr. James Wilson, an oncologist. While he has been abusive to Dr. Wilson as well, House has occasionally been truly supportive of his friend, but only in the most dire of times (such as Dr. Wilson's divorce).
He requires a cane for mobility in his right leg (although an experimental treatment did enable use of his leg for a while). Through a bet, it has been established that Dr. House is addicted to Vicodin, a narcotic painkiller. His overuse of the drug has led to legal problems, physical side effects and Dr. Wilson losing his own practice.