A Retired MD’s Observations

Doctor's Office by Norman Rockwell

Retired MD, Frank Eves’ generalized, observations about a few things noticed along the way:

  • a doctor’s humanity is often more valuable than his/her education
  • humility and a sense of humour/humor are invaluable
  • listening carefully to the client/patient avoids most problems
  • it’s tough to always be on-time when you’re trying to do it right
  • most doctors are doing their best to help
  • the best family doctors have very few patients in hospital
  • most problems can be dealt with in a single visit and do not require dozens of tests and frequent follow-up visits
  • the least competent doctors attempt to garner the most attention in the ER
  • some specialists have forgotten the GP stuff
  • some surgeons really do see patients as a ‘hole’ and are most comfortable with people when they’re sedated
  • the best surgeon drove a VW Beetle
  • many internists hide when there’s a hint of something surgical
  • obstetricians work long hours and appear to function well without sleep
  • the worst gynaecologist/gynecologist drove a Cadillac
  • the nicest specialists are the paediatricians/pediatricians
  • psychiatrists have too many patients and too few friends
  • U.S. trained physicians love technology
  • British trained physicians value a good history
  • some older physicians need their patients more than their patients need them
  • recent med school graduates spend too much time studying the fee schedule
  • most clients/patients are friendly and honest
  • women are better communicators
  • when men are asked, “How can I help you?” a surprising number respond, “My wife made the appointment, I’m not sure.”
  • guys are more nervous about rectal exams than women are about internal exams. Guys like to joke, “If I feel two hands on my shoulders I’ll know it’s not your finger… “ they assume the doctor has never heard this ubiquitous humour/humor
  • the richest man wore a Timex
  • the most obnoxious guy wore a gold Rolex with a diamond bezel.

It was very rewarding to quietly help someone without turning it into a major production.

My last comment flys in the face of the advice I once received. A retiring doc suggested I always say “It’s the worst case I’ve ever seen.” that way, if they get better, you’re a hero. Of course that same character was infamous for billing ‘no-shows’ with a diagnosis of ‘amnesia.’ 🙂