Character Study: Gregory Doyle, MD

Dr. Gregory Doyle is based on every doctor I ever knew in my entire life. I am so certain in that archetype that to go on feels redundant. My stepmother is a rheumatologist, so I even lived in the same house with a doctor, and I would like to say for the record that Gregory isn’t her. My stepmother is a hurricane when it comes to common sense and picking up after herself. Gregory barely got through medical school because he skipped his own classes and went to ones that were much higher level just to see what happened. What happened was that he did not follow process and one of the most brilliant physicians and researchers the world has ever known almost wasn’t. You will see the doctors I’ve known spring up in the stories he tells from time to time, but Gregory is his own man.

He was born near Portland, Oregon when Beaverton was just “the sticks.” He comes at medicine from a very wholistic approach, as Oregonians are wont to do. However, that’s what makes him outstanding at his job. Gregory has an encyclopedic knowledge of both Eastern and Western medicine. He is the kind of doctor that gave himself the kind of background where he could read a book on a procedure and fifteen minutes later be confident enough to not only perform said procedure, but teach others on the first try…. and then trip on his way out of the operating theater and hit his head on the hand sanitizer. Gregory does not have a sense of humor about this. However, he has given up the rage in favor of a very pregnant sigh.

It is important to note that Gregory was every bit as attracted to Alex as she was to him. Attraction engulfed his body because of course it did. He’s a geek. Alex was gorgeous. He’d do anything for one more minute in the same room with her, much less a kiss. He’s been told all his life that he is handsome in a John Cusack kind of way, but fails to realize what that means to most people as he doesn’t have the iconic cultural connection to the movies where Cusack shines. He doesn’t understand the reverence of the compliment. He walks through life with a stunning lack of interest in anything the opposite sex liked to do, so it wasn’t until he met Rebecca he was sure he wanted to get married at all. It is hard for Gregory that his mate is a woman, not because he’s gay, but because he literally has no idea how to live with a woman at all. He doesn’t understand how much money and time it takes to wear the outfit well. It’s just easier if Rebecca picks the clothes, and he means that sincerely. She buys the kind of unisex, sporty stuff he’d wear anyway, and does all the laundry. To deny her a t-shirt or a pair of boxers once in a while is just cruel.

He lets Rebecca do the laundry, because she says it calms her. He understands why. The laundry room is set off from the house, soundproofed enough for Rebecca and Daria to bitch about life until the dryer’s done. He knows that Rebecca and Daria talk a lot, but not really what they talk about. It doesn’t really interest him. He is interested in a woman who is independent to a fault, and does not realize the ways this might affect him as he grows in the role of husband.

In his life away from Rebecca, he works at a cancer research facility in Houston. They’ve moved five times during his employment, because with the Internet, it doesn’t matter where they live.

No one loves Gregory more than Daria. He doesn’t know it, but Daria sees Gregory as a support system for her collateral damage. When Daria cannot be there to hold Rebecca and assure her that she’s just going to be gone a few days, no problem, Gregory is the one that has to relay the message that she couldn’t make it, got caught up, in a different time zone, or whatever the wheel of excuses might be today.

Rebecca knows that all she can do when Daria’s gone is distract herself with Gregory.

In the middle of the night, he knows that there’s a million reasons to love Rebecca for the rest of her life. However, he does not know how far she’s taking this whole “my nickname is Alex” thing.

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