Phillip works as an ER nurse in De Plaine and picks up shifts at Arlington. He is described as vain, rude and arrogant. With the age of 18 he joined the Army and eventually went to Ranger school for six years before being dishonorably discharged for conduct unbecoming. Dowd then joined the Arlington Police Department but was kicked out when they found out about the discharge. He got his nursing license soon after and has been bouncing from hospital to hospital.
Phillip is profiled as a smart and paranoid sociopath who wounds his victims by shooting them from distance. As a L.D.S.K. - a long-distance serial killer - he has little contact with his victims before or during the act of shooting them. Dowd is self-centered and unable to empathise with others. He feels superior to those around him and resents them because he feels undervalued. He frequently changes his job and isn't liked by his coworkers who he always blames for his own mistakes.
Phillip Dowd: (Dowd and Hotch have their guns on each other) Better be a head shot. I got this on full auto. Anything less, I go down squeezing the trigger.