Doctor Doug Murphy once an incompetent medical intern, now a gifted pathologist. He was so inept in fact he lost virtually every patient with whom he comes in contact. (e.g., ordering 500,000 milligrams of morphine for a patient). Dr. Cox
once noted that Doug had "killed so many patients, I'm starting to think that he just might be a government operative." He is also extremely nervous and unsure of himself. Once, Dr. Kelso
mentioned he overheard Doug telling a patient, "Stop bleeding, stop bleeding, oh dear God, please stop bleeding."
After being the only person in the history of Sacred Heart Hospital
to repeat his third year of residency, he transferred from internal medicine to pathology. It is revealed that Doug is an expert coroner due to his experience with death: He botched so many procedures on his living patients that he has seen most of the ways that people can die. He joined the pathology department with Dr. Walch
.("My Malpractical Decision
") Once, Dr. Kelso even congratulated him for going 4 days without killing a patient and gave him a cupcake. His skill at diagnosing cause of death is nearly to the level of a savant, a skill that was discovered by Elliot after trying to save Doug's career. Doug also has several means of death named after him: On his first visit to the morgue he identifies a patient's cause of death instantaneously, explaining his accuracy by pointing out "Upstairs they call that a 'Doug'!"
This has not prevented him from still making mistakes such as forgetting his gurney, misplacing a dead body or waiting too long to get a patient before rigor mortis sets in (during Laverne Roberts
' autopsy he left his cell phone in her body. He is under the impression that the dead bodies in the morgue are out to get him, after several of them fell on him (leading to him breaking both his feet on more than one occasion). Doug even used to tag people before they were dead (out of boredom). He also has been seen playing Texas Hold'em with dead bodies, and using one as a beverage holder, because it "keeps it cool". Doug once lost the keys to his Miata in a cadaver. He also purposely abandons a dead body in the parking lot. Dr. Cox
takes special pleasure in tormenting him, calling him "Nervous Guy" or "Pee Pants"; these names stick even after Doug finally finds his confidence. He also once referred to him as "Mr. Murphy" instead of the otherwise earned title of 'Doctor'. He also eats a lot of lollipops, as do the rest of the morgue employees. Elliot referred to the morgue guys as "cliquey". Keith Dudemeister
said he wished he had cool morgue friends.
He is often seen hanging out with the hospital's lawyer, Ted Buckland
, as they both enjoy biking and competing in triathlons and share a resentment of Dr. Kelso. However, after Danni Sullivan
makes out with both of them at Turk and Carla
's wedding, they have come to blows on several occasions. Doug enjoys being a member of the Brain Trust
but is often pushed out by new members. He dislikes when Lloyd
takes his spot. He spent time alone in a morgue drawer when he did not receive an invitation to Janitor
's wedding in the Bahamas because Ted (who was in charge of invites) forgot to give it to him. The rest of the Brain Trust didn't seem to miss him though.