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McDreamys Come True: We Found Some Triangle Doctors With That Certain Star Quality

November 17, 2006

By Leah Friedman, The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.

Nov. 17–Don’t speak to us for an hour on Thursday nights, unless there is a commercial. “Grey’s Anatomy” is on, and we’re parked on the couch watching the drama unfold between the doctors at the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital.

Don’t look at us like that; you’re checking it out too. Nationally, nearly 24 million people have tuned into the show, making it the No. 1 hit of the season. Locally, it attracts 131,000 households.

Why are we all watching? We have a few reasons, but the top reason might be summed up in one word:

McDreamy.

That’s the nickname the show’s residents created for cutie-pie Dr. Derek Shepherd, played by Patrick Dempsey. He’s not just adorable — he’s also romantic, kind and vulnerable.

And that got us thinking. With all the hospitals in the area, are there real Dr. McDreamys?

So we called around and, sure enough, names came pouring in. McDreamy after McDreamy after McDreamy.

Now, shamelessly, we offer them to you. We want to know who you think is the McDreamiest.

Check them out and send the name of your favorite to adriennj@newsobserver.com. Vote by midnight Nov. 19 (Don’t worry, we’ll keep your vote a secret.)

We’ll count the votes and reveal the winner Nov. 21.

Enjoy!

EDUARDO PIQUERAS

33, emergency room doctor at WakeMed

HOME: Cary

STATUS: Married to Beth Piqueras who stays at home with their 11-month-old son.

MCDREAMY QUALITIES: He surfs, runs and mountain bikes.

PERSONALITY: Outgoing, kind and witty.

INTERESTING TIDBIT: He’s originally from Madrid, Spain, and patients have told him he looks like one of those docs on TV.

ON ROMANCE: He says romance is in the everyday little things like holding hands, a kiss on the cheek or a spur of the moment weekend getaway to the beach.

“GREY’S” FAN? He has watched it, but his wife is the real fan in the family.

KEVIN THOMAS

34, cardiology fellow at Duke Hospital

HOME: Durham

STATUS: Single

MCDREAMY QUALITIES: He may work at Duke, but he’s a UNC basketball fan with season tickets. (He graduated from UNC medical school.) He also follows the NBA and loves R&B music. Family is very important to him, and he makes it a priority to balance his life between work and play.

PERSONALITY: Friendly, outgoing and charismatic.

WHY ARE DOCS HOT? “Most doctors have an air of confidence about them. They work hard to accomplish a lot of things, and society favors that.”

“GREY’S” FAN? He has seen a few episodes.

ROBERT ALPHIN

45, anesthesiologist at WakeMed

HOME: Raleigh

STATUS: Married for six years to Stephanie Alphin, a nurse anesthetist. They have two sons, ages 2 and 4.

MCDREAMY QUALITIES: He does triathlons, plays golf, reads and cooks. But mostly he spends time with his kids.

HOW HE MET HIS WIFE: At work. She asked him out first.

WHAT HIS WIFE SAYS: “Once, when he had to go out of town for a conference, he left me an envelope for each day he was gone. In each was a sweet card and instructions on where to go pick up a gift,” including a nice bottle of wine and a gift basket.

“GREY’S” FAN? Nope, but his wife is.

DUANE DAVIS

47, heart surgeon at Duke Hospital and director of Duke’s heart and lung transplant program

HOME: Chapel Hill

STATUS: He will marry Dr. Suzette Casal on Saturday in Miami. Then he’s taking her on a surprise honeymoon. (He swore us to secrecy. Just trust us. It’s fabulous.)

MCDREAMY QUALITIES: He has run several marathons, including New York, Boston and Disney World. He also does triathlons and plays tennis and golf.

HOW HE MET HIS WIFE: Over a chest X-ray. (She’s a radiologist.)

HOW HE PROPOSED: He sent her on a scavenger hunt through his neighborhood to find him.

“GREY’S” FAN? He has seen it.

OLLY DUCKETT

37, emergency room doctor at WakeMed

HOME: Raleigh

STATUS: Married to attorney Tracey Duckett for 11 years. She now stays at home with their two children, ages 7 and 3.

MCDREAMY QUALITIES: He plays golf, rides his bike and plays with his kids.

INTERESTING TIDBIT: He and his wife met during their first semester at the University of Virginia. A few years later he proposed in a park in Richmond.

WHAT HIS WIFE SAYS: “I always thought he was a Dr. McDreamy. But he’s not nearly as handsome as he is kind.”

“GREY’S” FAN? Not really, but his wife filled him in and persuaded him to do this.

GEORGE BISSET

Early 50s, pediatric radiologist and vice chairman of the radiology department at Duke Hospital

HOME: Durham

STATUS: Married to Betsy for 25 years. They have a son and a daughter, ages 23 and 20.

MCDREAMY QUALITIES: He works out and plays golf and tennis. He likes Southwest cuisine, and his favorite restaurant in the world is Topolobampo in Chicago.

PERSONALITY: Extroverted and personable, loves people.

WHY ARE DOCS HOT? “Intelligence and mystery.”

“GREY’S” FAN? He’s never seen it, but his daughter filled him in.

JIM MANNING

47, emergency room doctor at UNC Hospitals

HOME: Hillsborough

STATUS: Single. He has two sons from a previous marriage, ages 18 and 14.

MCDREAMY QUALITIES: He likes sports and plays lacrosse with his kids. He also enjoys martial arts, scuba diving and sailing.

PERSONALITY: Calm and easygoing, and “I try to be nice to people.”

INTERESTING TIDBIT: He spent nine days last year traveling through Spain by himself. “The biggest thing I learned was that I can be content alone.”

“GREY’S” FAN? He has seen part of one episode.

CARROLL OVERTON

41, vascular interventional radiologist at WakeMed

NICKNAME: Some in the hospital call him Daddy-O

HOME: Raleigh

STATUS: Married to Dr. Susan Kennedy for 10 years. They have two sons, ages 9 and 7.

MCDREAMY QUALITIES: He cycles and works out every morning. And he enjoys the beach and fishing with his sons.

INTERESTING TIDBIT: He modeled part time to pay for medical school.

WHAT HIS WIFE SAYS: “People tell me I hit the jackpot when I married him. He is the best doctor, husband and father in the world.”

“GREY’S” FAN? Used to watch it on Sunday nights when it came on after “Desperate Housewives,” which he watches religiously.

CHIP RICH

39, trauma surgeon at UNC Hospitals and chief of UNC’s trauma division

HOME: Chapel Hill

STATUS: Married to Dr. Melissa Rich for 10 years. They have two sons, Berkeley and Jackson, ages 6 and 9.

MCDREAMY QUALITIES: He sails and hikes, and he has run the Chicago marathon twice. Now he’s training for triathlons. He’s very involved in his children’s lives and is their lacrosse coach.

WHAT HIS WIFE SAYS ABOUT HIM: “He’s very cute, but his personality is even better than his looks. And he makes me laugh. The best thing is he is such a good dad to our two boys.” She let slip, though, that he used to be a competitive bagpiper and has a kilt. “He looks great in a skirt.”

“GREY’S” FAN? No, but his wife filled him in.

DAVID OLLILA

43, surgical oncology and endocrine surgery at UNC Hospitals

HOME: Chapel Hill

STATUS: Married to Mary for 15 years. They have two daughters, 7 and 4.

MCDREAMY QUALITIES: Enjoys golfing, biking and hiking. He likes to go camping with his family and “my girls love arts and crafts.”

PERSONALITY: “I have a compassionate side for the patients and an intense side when I need to focus in the operating room.”

MOST ROMANTIC THING HE’S DONE FOR HIS WIFE: For her 40th birthday, he surprised her by flying her sister in from Italy and sending them and her best girlfriend to a Pinehurst spa for a weekend. “She still talks about it.”

“GREY’S” FAN? Never seen it.

CHRIS BROWN

36, cervical spine surgeon at Duke Hospital

HOME: Durham

Status: Married to Jennifer for 11 years. They have three children ages 4, 2, and 5 weeks.

MCDREAMY QUALITIES: He likes to spend his free time in the outdoors, hunting, fishing and biking.

INTERESTING TIDBIT: He and Jennifer backpacked through Europe for three months, traveling to London, France, Austria and Switzerland.

“GREY’S” FAN? He has seen it but doesn’t watch it regularly.

VIC TAPSON

50, pulmonary vascular disease doctor at Duke Hospital

HOME: Raleigh

STATUS: Engaged. He has three “beautiful” daughters from a previous marriage, ages 15, 19 and 21.

MCDREAMY QUALITIES: He has a second degree black belt in tae kwon do and did Thai boxing for about 18 years. He drives a fast car “but only because I love my job and I can’t wait to get there.” He loves music and takes guitar lessons. Oh, and he has taken his fiancee on romantic trips to Greece and Paris.

INTERESTING TIDBIT: We heard through the hospital grapevine that female patients have brought cameras to snap photos of him. Is it true? “They have before,” he says, a little embarrassed. “They always want a big hug every time I see them.”

“GREY’S” FAN? Used to watch it.

ERIC MEINBERG

34, orthopedic surgeon at WakeMed

HOME: Raleigh

STATUS: Single, but dating someone. He has a yellow lab.

MCDREAMY QUALITIES: He enjoys water sports, skiing and watching the University of Michigan’s football team.

PERSONALITY: He’s sarcastic, but he’s also a cheesy romantic at heart.

“GREY’S” FAN? We don’t know.

MARCHI LOPEZ-LINUS

37, pediatrician at Western Wake Pediatrics in Cary

HOME: Raleigh

STATUS: Married to architect Audrey Krenitsky for seven years. They have a daughter and a son, ages 4 and 2.

MCDREAMY QUALITIES: “Most hobbies go out the door when you have young kids, but I used to be an avid mountain biker.” He is of Filipino descent and is also fluent in Spanish, which he uses to help Spanish-speaking parents in need of a pediatrician.

ROMANCING HIS WIFE: On their first date, they walked through historic Oakwood on Halloween admiring all the porches. She said she wanted a porch swing some day. Later that year, as they were moving in together, they went to clear out her storage shed. Inside, he had gift-wrapped a porch swing.

“GREY’S” FAN? He’s seen it a couple of times.

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Copyright (c) 2006, The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News.

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