Grey’s Anatomy – Not The Only Dr. Shepherd

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October 04, 2018

As Grey’s Anatomy returns for a 15th season we talk to one of our IU Health LifeLine Nurses about sharing the same last name as the show’s leading characters.

With all the hype surrounding the 15th season of ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” it’s a wonder that heads aren’t turning at this fun fact: IU Health has more than 30 employees with the last name “Shepherd” or “Shephard.’

For those who aren’t in the know, the main character in one of the longest-running prime time hospital dramas is named “Shepherd.” That’s right, “Grey’s Anatomy” is synonymous with a family that includes the now deceased Dr. Derek Shepherd aka “McDreamy” (portrayed by Patrick Dempsey). The fictional Derek Shepherd dies in season 11 from injuries sustained in a car accident. But other characters with the last name “Shepherd” continue to engage viewers of this multi-Golden Globe, Emmy-winning series.

Those characters include Derek Shepherd’s wife Dr. Meredith Grey (Shepherd), his adopted children, Ellis, Zola, and Derek Bailey Shepherd, and his sister Dr. Amelia Shepherd, a neurosurgeon.

So, what about the IU Health employees with the name Shepherd/Shephard? Included in the list are Dr. Marguerite Shephard, who specializes in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, and Dr. Allen Shepherd, who specializes in general surgery. Other Shepherds include respiratory therapists, pharmacy techs and nurses.

We caught up with one of those “Shepherds” - Lindsey Shepherd, an IU Health LifeLine critical care transport nurse - to talk about the kick off of the new season and well, more about how her life compares to the TV drama. Shepherd, 36, is married to John Shepherd (who does not work in the medical field). They have three children and like the leading characters in “Grey’s Anatomy” they are in the process of adopting two more children. That’s about where the similarities end. But here’s more about Lindsey Shepherd:

  • “Grey’s Anatomy has a lot of drama with relationships but the friendships and companionships and depending on each other is real life in the medical field. Working with the LifeLine team we all depend on each other to get our jobs done and do it well.”

  • Shepherd has been a LifeLine nurse for nearly three years. Before that she worked in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Riley Hospital for Children. What do other patient families say about her? “When Lindsey was my son’s nurse my anxiety and worry went down, which is a major deal when your child was as sick and suffering as much as our son,” said Tara Daniel. Shepherd cared for Daniel’s son, Quay Brooks Daniel before his death from complications related to a rare genetic disease. “Lindsey extended love in a way that was never required but greatly needed. She was able to handle all of our son’s complicated medication regimen and his care in a way that helped me breathe. She is a very smart and talented nurse,” said Daniel.
  • Why did Shepherd choose nursing? “I’m not your typical nurse. I really never wanted to be a nurse until I was in the hospital having my first daughter at the age of 20. Before that I was accepted to Ball State and interested in architectural. When I decided to go into nursing I worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) while I was completing my Associates Degree in Nursing.” Some of that time was spent in pediatric home healthcare. She worked in pediatrics NICU while completing her Bachelors Degree in Nursing.
  • Why pediatrics? “I always wanted to work in labor and delivery until I started my clinicals. I love kids.”
  • What makes you a good LifeLine nurse? “As a foster parent and with three biological children, I know how parents feel when their child is sick. I’ve been at the bedside when a child doesn’t make it and I’ve been by the parent’s side when the child is in distress. I do what I do because as a parent, I would want my children treated with the same care.”

-- By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health.
Reach Banes via email at
T.J. Banes or on Twitter @tjbanes.

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