Alex Karev

Alex Karev

    Grey's Anatomy
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew up… in a broken home. The son of a heroin addict, Alex had to take responsibility for his mother and his siblings at a young age. He joined his school wrestling team so that he could defend himself and his family against his father’s violent rampages. Eventually, he paid his way through college with a wrestling scholarship. “I was the dad,” he says. “I was the kid, but I was the dad.”

Living… in Seattle. Alex knows that it’s his turn to make something of his life. He’s already gone through a difficult childhood, now he’s about to face unimaginable hardships as a surgical intern. As he puts it, “Maybe we have to get a little messed up before we can step up.”

Profession… surgical intern at Seattle Grace Hospital. Alex was a gifted student, but putting his medical knowledge into practice is a different story. He wants to go into pediatrics, not because he likes kids but because, “it’s elite. The best of the best.”

Relationship Status… single at the moment, but that’s not likely to last. Alex can be emotionally distant; he pushes people away. His colleague, Dr. Bailey, tells him that he was hurt so badly that “sometimes you wanna hurt other people just to spread it around.” But he’s also handsome, confident and, well, a young doctor; he generally doesn’t lack for female attention.

Challenge… overcoming his arrogance and making himself emotionally available. When you get to know him, Alex can be a pretty nice guy. He’s not doing himself any favors by alienating his peers.

Personality… egotistical and vain, though some of it is a defense mechanism. Alex is aware of his good looks, and often uses his self-assurance to charm the female interns and other women. Yet he’s also aware of his own problems and insecurities. He sums it up well: “I’m damaged goods or something.” Women looking for a troubled “bad boy” they can try to fix, look no further.


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