The gorgeous Derek Shepherd in the ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy has been responsible for a string of broken hearts over the years. However, pleasing to the eyes though he was, Derek had his flaws, which is probably what made him all the more flesh and blood.
Derek might have been a world-class neurosurgeon, but he had an ego to match his talent, and he often put his own needs over everyone else’s. Even his fairytale romance with Meredith hit the rocks because of certain decisions he made. However, questionable though some of his traits have been, the character was shown to be in a tough spot, trying hard to make his marriage work while making big steps, careerwise.
The dreamy neurosurgeon had developed a pattern of cheating on his significant others. In fact, he began his journey on the show by cheating on his wife, who admittedly, had cheated on him first. But his answer to that was to run away to Seattle and have a rebound with the “girl in the bar.”
Then, he cheated with Meredith again while he was apparently trying to sort things out with his wife, and much later, when he was in DC, he kissed a research fellow. Of course, he came around pretty quickly, but the unfortunate fact was that he did have a tendency to either cheat or almost-cheat.
Derek knew how to show true gratitude. He practically owed his life to Cristina Yang, who had performed surgery on him under extreme duress during the shocking shooting incident at the hospital in season 6. Cristina experienced PTSD shortly afterward and was unable to bring herself to come to work. At this time, Derek was the only one whose patience and understanding helped her work through her issues. Unlike others, who pestered her to come back to work, Derek took it slow, giving her time, taking her fishing, and discussing things with her that seemed to capture her fancy, that he knew had nothing to do with work.
He was a pillar of support to Cristina at the time, making sure that the person who saved his life didn’t get destroyed in the process.
Derek can be rather condescending, especially when it comes to his younger sister, Amelia. The latter was a brilliant neurosurgeon as well and needed her older brother’s support and encouragement to get back her confidence, but all Derek did, at least in the beginning, was to put her down and made her feel small.
Amelia had had a dependency on drugs, but Derek had no business holding that against her when she was clearly ready to start afresh. He constantly made her feel as though she was neither capable nor competent, and even tried to strong-arm her into making decisions when he himself had handed over his duties as the Chief of Neurosurgery to her before leaving for DC.