Dr. Philobosian, following the tragedy he suffered in his native country, travelled to America on the same ship as Lefty and Desdemona. However, the first the reader hears of him again is when Desdemona and Lina are both pregnant, when Dr. Philobosian turns up on their doorstep, using the address that Lefty and Desdemona gave him on the boat, to look them up. He tells them his history since arriving in the United States:
Dr. Philobosian had stayed a month in the hospital at Ellis Island, after which, with sponsorship from the Armenian Relief Agency, he had been admitted into the country. For the last eleven months he'd been living in New York, on the Lower East Side.
He has come to Detroit in order to set up his own medical practice, as there are too many doctors in New York. He only stays with Lina and Desdemona for dinner, and then leaves their home. He in fact never lives with them at all but does as he set out to, which is to set up his own medical practice. Because of the bond between him and Lefty and Desdemona, he becomes their family doctor, and thus remains an important person in their family, but he never actually lives with them.