Dr. Derek Shepherd
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Biography for
Dr. Derek Shepherd (Character)
from "Grey's Anatomy" (2005)

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Derek Shepherd is a world-renowned brain surgeon at Seattle Grace Hospital. A transplant from New York, Derek has come to the Pacific Northwest to set his own path after having left his wife Addison Montgomery Shepherd. His lifelong best friend is Dr. Mark Sloan, a plastic surgeon who he left behind in New York after learning that he'd had an affair with Addison. Sloan and Addison both eventually join up with Derek in Seattle. Derek is the only son of a single mother who also had four girls three older than Derek and one younger. His father was a shop owner in New York and was shot to death by two robbers when he refused to give up a watch his wife had given him. The series begins with Derek meeting a young woman at a bar and having a fling with her, only to realize the next day his first day on the job at Seattle Grace that she is a new intern by the name of Meredith Grey.

Derek is dedicated to his work and is known for a serious but cool demeanor in the operating room, starting his surgeries with the line, "It's a great day to save lives." He takes his job very personally, often blaming himself when there was nothing more he could have done to save someone. He's been driven into a deep depression on more than one occasion after being unable to save a life. Derek's moral compass, likely shaped by the shooting of his father, is quite rigid. He sees Meredith who sees, in an impossibly too-apt way, shades of gray as the counter-balance to his black-and-white view on questions of morality.

He bought a rather large plot of land when he moved to Seattle, but lives in a trailer on the land while waiting to build his dream house with a perfect view. Beyond being known as the guy who lives in a trailer, he's known for his suave looks and impeccable hair, which earned him the nickname, "McDreamy."

Background: Derek is a graduate of Bowdoin College and went to medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

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