Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) has always been one of our favorite Grey’s Anatomy doctors and in Grey’s universe, one of the top surgeons in the country. But when Derek injured his hand in the plane crash, he was pretty sure he would never operate again. But Derek’s hand was saved, and now that he’s good as new, we can’t wait to see what’s next for him.

Here are Derek’s best moments in Season 9:

Derek gets his hand back. After the plane crash, it took a lot to get Derek’s hand back in ready-to-operate condition, and at first, it looked like he might decide not to have the surgery to fix it after all. He could teach, and besides, how could he ever be as good as he was before the accident? Once Derek decided (with a little convincing from Meredith) to go through with the surgery, though, he found out he was just as capable as he was before — thanks to Callie’s handiwork and a live tendon donation from his sister, Lizzie.

Derek is the face of the hospital. Okay, so maybe this isn’t one of Derek’s biggest accomplishments, but it definitely made us laugh. When Pegasus was looking into buying the hospital, they selected Derek to be the spokesmodel — he’s good looking, he’s smart... we would have chosen him, too! Little did Derek know this would mean his face would be plastered all over just about everything, causing pretty much everyone to mock him eternally. And we will never forget the moment when the doors in the elevator closed, revealing to Richard a giant McDreamy face advertising the hospital.

Derek talks Meredith down. For much of their relationship, Meredith and Derek have had a very specific dynamic — Meredith freaks out irrationally and Derek brings her back to earth. And while this season we saw Meredith mellow out a lot, she still panicked a bit when she found out she carried some of the genes indicative of Alzheimer’s. But Derek stood by her and reminded her that neither of them had any way of knowing the future. We’ve always loved how good he is to her.

Derek is a good dad to Zola. We always knew Derek would be a great dad, so seeing how good he is with Zola is no surprise. So when he had to deal with a patient with a super annoying little brother who commanded all the attention in the room, we thought it was so sweet the way he worried the new McBaby might annoy the crap out of Zola, too. We also loved seeing him dressed up in a crown having a tea party with Zola and Mer. How adorable was that? It was like a scene from our McDreams. 

What were your favorite Derek moments this season? Sound off in the comments!

Catch the Season 9 finale of Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday, May 16, 2013, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.