Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dr. Grampa

We are down a provider at our practice which means that we contact a service and Rent a Doc. This traveling physician’s are usually doctors looking for permanent placement, or are retired or they are in-between fellowships looking to score a little cash between gigs. We’ve had a few while we are interviewing most of the Midwest for available primary care Family Practice provider.
They’ve all been “fun”.
Some have been very short, cranky men, with bad personalities, and bad hair styles and really bad bed side manner.
Some come straight from the prison health care system, that guy was a real joy! Called all our patient’s “drug seekers”, was rude to parents and told stories instead of reviewing patient’s symptoms. He lasted about three weeks.
The new one the agency sent to us is a seasoned practitioner (he is older than your Grandpa!) he has a nice bedside manner, is a great diagnostician and is pleasant. His handwriting is legible and he’s got experience in geriatrics, pediatrics and surgery.
The downside? He’s got old people’s disease. He loves to hear himself talk.

He takes forever to complete an appointment, mostly because he’s telling a story – and not one from this century. Propped up on the edge of the exam table, he’s trying to engage an 18 year old into talking about high school, when the poor kid has been in the exam room about 45 minutes for his refill of allergy medicine and is planning his bolt out of the door.

I usually eat lunch around 1:00, slightly after most of the staff has already finished with their lunch. I take my lunch, peppered with a variety of Weight Watcher approved items, and the newspaper and relax over the next 30 to 40 minutes secluded in the confines of the break room.
Not today my friend! Cornered by our resident Grandpa Doctor, I spent the entire lunch period looking engrossed in whatever the hell he was talking about. Most of it didn’t really make sense to me. He slipped subconsciously from one subject to the next without taking a pause, without wrapping up one thought or the next opinion. He spoke of his wife in the first person, lovingly as if I knew her well; as if she and I were old friends, just having had lunch together yesterday. I’m not sure where his wife is, I’m not even sure that she is still alive.
I didn’t ask.

What causes me to post about this topic? It's that I see myself getting there. I see my mom as already a resident at the Chatter On about Nothing at All clubhouse. Talking to this older gentleman is much like following a conversation with my mother. You just nod and smile, pause and look interested. This too will be me someday. Heck, I’m doing it now with my blog!

(When you wake up, click on that X in the right hand corner, shut the lights off and go to bed)

I’ll try to post something slightly more interesting tomorrow, until then I apologize for droning on.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Oh. Honey. You haven't met my father-in-law. He can spend ten minutes telling you what screws or bolts he used to put together two boards. Seriously. And...when he eats cereal, which is pretty much every morning, at the bottom of the bowl, he clinks his spoon repeatedly, as in 400 times, scraping up imaginary crumbs of cereal. God forbid he ever has to move in with us. He must drive my MIL insane, because he NEVER stops talking, ever.