Vernon "Doc" Mullins is the local physician in Virgin River and the husband of Hope McCrea. Vernon and Hope have a tumultuous relationship following an indiscretion in their marriage by Vernon twenty years prior. At the start of the series, Vernon struggles with the idea of Melinda Monroe being hired to work as a nurse practicioner at his practice.
When Melinda Monroe arrives in Virgin River to work at Vernon's medial practice, she clashes with him immediately. After Vernon gives her a ride to the McCrea Cabin, Mel remarks that she has moved to Virgin River to work with the doctor, who is old and in need of assistance; Vernon quickly makes it clear that he is the doctor and is offended by her remark, given he is still able to do his job.
Following their encounter, Mel and Vernon find themselves at odds, with Vernon reluctant to accept Mel's help at the practice; both because he doesn't want the help, but also because he doesn't feel she is medically competent. Vernon refuses to allow her to see or treat any patients and after he begins treating her like an assistant, she hands in her notice to Hope. Hope is able to convince Vernon to give her a months trial, but agrees that Hope leave him alone if Mel doesn't prove herself.
After Mel helps the diagnosis and treatment of a family that has been poisoned by chemicals from Calvin's farm, Vernon congratulates her, realising that he could use her help and that she is medically competent. Vernon officially welcomes her to Virgin River and adds her name to the sign outside of the practice, much to her surprise.
Relationship troubles with Hope
After a while, it is eventually revealed that Vernon and Hope McCrea — the town mayor — are married, but separated due to Vernon cheating on her with Charmaine Roberts' mother. Vernon tries numerous times to apologise to Hope but despite the twenty-year period since it happened, she is reluctant to accept Vernon and his apologies.
Eventually, Hope asks if Vernon can sign the divorce papers in order for her to move on with her life. Vernon is reluctant, and tells her that new papers will have to be drawn up. After arguments over who will pay for the papers, Vernon has them drawn up and schedules a meeting with the divorce lawyer. After Hope becomes hesitant about the divorce, however, she does not show at the meeting, and Vernon is left furious. When he questions Hope on it, she remarks that she was busy, but Vernon refuses to believe this to be the case.
After numerous discussions about the divorce papers, the two decide that they will not get divorced, but will rekindle their relationship in secret. Vernon disagrees with the secrets and asks Hope if they can go public but she is reluctant and does not want to be the gossip of the town. In order to achieve this, Hope asks Vernon to agree to go on dates with Muriel, whom Hope knows is into Vernon.
After reluctantly agreeing to begin going on dates with Muriel, Vernon finds it difficult to lie to her about the situation with Hope. The two grow closer, and Vernon eventually calls of the whole thing and comes clean to Muriel, not wanting to lead her on any longer. Several more issues arise in his relationship with Hope when he flies to Seattle under the guise of a "medical conference" to get her engagement ring recast. Hope believes him to be with Muriel and eventually confronts him but Vernon reveals that Muriel helped him with the ring and as a thank you, he took her out to dinner. The two agree to renew their vows shortly after, opting for a large ceremony in front of the entire town.
After not feeling himself, and snapping at Mel for no reason, Vernon travels to Eureka for a consult with a local physician. Upon return to Virgin River, he tries to talk with Hope about the consult and she becomes increasingly worried. Before Vernon can explain the results, however, they walk into a surprise party at Hope's house.
Dr. Mullins is "set in his ways and a bit of a curmudgeon," and "he’s not keen on working with anyone including Mel, who he views as a challenge to his authority."
- He and Hope have been married for over twenty years.
- Vernon refuses to go digital, and opts to remember the majority of his patient notes.
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|Season 3 episodes|
- Deadline: ‘Virgin River’: Alexandra Breckenridge, Martin Henderson, Tim Matheson & Annette O’Toole To Star In Netflix Series by Nellie Andreeva and Denise Petski. December 19, 2018.