My Kind of Doctor - Livin' the Good Life
Mar. 9th, 2009
05:44 pm - My Kind of Doctor
Here's a book on my "light" reading list: HEART IN THE RIGHT PLACE by Carolyn Jourdan. It's an entertaining read, along the lines of ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL by James Herriot. It's the true story, memoirs, of a daughter helping her father, a family doctor, run his one-man business in a small, rural town in Tennessee. It's poigniant and funny and very entertaining. I was impressed by the author's excellent writing style, and I didn't want the book to end! The thought that kept coming up for me throughout the book was, "Why can't doctors be like this today?" I WANT TO FIND A DOCTOR LIKE HIM. Here's what he was like and what I'm now looking for: He knew all his patients as members of his community and knew their families and what was going on in their lives. He didn't make appointments. It was walk-in service. He was available 24/7. If the patient couldn't come to him, he went to them. He treated pets and farm animals when necessary. This book was written in 2007 and it was written about modern day medical practises, and yet he charged $30.00 for an office visit. If he knew people couldn't pay, he never charged them. (Though he was known to charge extra for people who were a real pain in the butt!) He often bartered for anything the patient could offer him. If one of his patients had to go to the hospital, he visited them there. If they died, he went to their funeral. He had one assistant and one receptionist. The receptionist was originally his wife, but when she had a heart attack, his daughter, the author, came to fill in for her mother. This book is a collection of stories that she experienced as a "temporary" receptionist for her father. It's obvious that this doctor was not in it for the money! He was a true humanitarian and sincerely wanted to help people. That's the kind of doc I'd like to find, and I am now on the lookout.
There's an interesting quote from the book that struck a chord with me. The doc was talking about MRIs given at the local hospital and was telling his daughter that he wouldn't ever want to have one done on himself. When asked why, he said it would be too upsetting. When asked to explain, he said, "Because nobody's normal. You don't want to know what's wrong with your heart or your brain or your kidneys. So if you don't let anybody look, you can't find out. You can remain in blissful ignorance... There's an awful lot of harmless abnormality that we're better off staying unaware of." My exact sentiments!!
Though I much prefer chiropractors as my main health care option, and I rarely need medical doctors, it would be nice to have a doctor like this as a back-up, just in case. I'm now officially "ordering up" a doc just like that to put on my list of people to call, should one ever be necessary.