On the series, the character's unorthodox diagnostic approaches, radical therapeutic motives, and stalwart rationality has resulted in much conflict between himself and his colleagues. House is also often portrayed as lacking empathy and sympathy for his patients, a practice that allots him the time to solve pathological enigmas. The character is partly inspired by Sherlock Holmes.
A large portion of the plot of the series centers on House's abuse of Vicodin to manage pain stemming from an infarction in his quadriceps muscle some years earlier, an injury that forces him to walk with a cane. House admits he is addicted to Vicodin, but says he does not have a problem because, "[The pills] let me do my job, and they take away my pain." Although his colleagues, doctors James Wilson and Lisa Cuddy, have encouraged him to go to drug rehabilitation several times, so far, no attempts have successfully gotten House off the drug. This addiction is one of the many parallels to Sherlock Holmes, who is addicted to cocaine. Both Holmes and House don't need their medication when they're hot on a case.