Through Thom Tinted Lenses

January 10, 2010

A DIAGNOSIS OF DOCTORS by Thom Reese

Filed under: culture,entertainment,humor,Uncategorized — Thom Reese @ 4:55 am

I hate going to the doctor. Just hate it! If I’m going, that means I’m ill. If I’m ill, I don’t want to leave my cozy little bedroom. But now, already hesitant to tread beyond the relative safety of the front door, I’m forced to sit in a place where everyone is sick, where the most recent magazine touts Jerry Lewis’s new film, “The Nutty Professor,”, and where the only possible televised offering seems to be watching  two under-educated Neanderthals duke it out on Springer. But not to dismay, I’m also afforded the opportunity to be coughed at and sneezed over while breathing the least sterile air this side of a biological warfare test facility.

Of course, once there, I must wait… and wait… and wait. It’s a law. Article 7, paragraph 16 of the physician’s office code stipulates that “wherefore the physician must maintain complete and utter control and superiority in all situations. No patient, no matter how gravely ill, no matter how late for work, or grievously inconvenienced, may venture into an examining room prior to 45 minutes after check-in.”

Once, when I braved the uncomfortably cool examining room – they’re always cool, I don’t know why they keep them so chilly – the doctor informed me that I had bronchitis and two ear infections. After this cheery revelation, he then added, “So, what do you want me to prescribe?”

Now, it could be me. It could be the way my not-so-medical mind operates, but isn’t it the doctor who’s supposed to make this recommendation?

I thought so.

And thus I smiled a salamander smile and said, “Well, I’ll take a course of Amoxicillin, an Ibuprofen – hold the cheese – and a large side of Vicks Vapor Rub.”

He didn’t get it.

This all got me to thinking. What makes doctors so special? We put these modern-day alchemists on pedestals as if they hang with Michael the archangel chomping on bacon, lettuce, and manna sandwiches every day at noon. But these are fallible human beings just like you and I. Sure, they have those spiffy diplomas hanging on the wall. Of course they’ve attained some phantasmic level of education and training; but truly, what makes a doctor so special?

Personally, I think it’s that they can see really, really gross stuff without passing out. In fact, I think that’s one of the key requirements for becoming a doctor. Imagine, if you will, this scene from a highly-regarded medical institution:

“Well, John, you did a great job stabbing the dummy’s arm with multiple hypodermic needles, and that cure for cancer you developed is really quite impressive.”

“Why thank you, Professor,” the young would-be physician might say.

“But,” says the instructor. “There’s one more thing you need to do before becoming a real doctor.”

“Yes?” says the student, a dubious fold creasing his brow.

“I want you to take a look under that sheet.”

“This one here?”

“Yes, yes, that one there.”

At this point the aspiring medical genius peeks under the covers, turns seventeen shades of something akin to green, and asks for one of those little baggie things they have on airplanes. After which, his guidance consoler redirects him toward a career in heating and air conditioning.

Okay, silliness aside. We do need doctors. They provide a useful and much-needed service. But I do have some requests for the medical profession:

THE PIZZA CONTINGENT: Some pizza places have an on-time-or-it’s-free policy on deliveries. I propose that all doctor visits should be free if a patient is made to wait more than ten minutes past the scheduled appointment time.

THE BANKER’S HOURS STIPULATION: Yes, Doc, you’re important, but so is my job. Please offer office hours outside of 9-5 Monday through Friday. Really, we’re the ones paying you. We’re your customers, your clients. Treat us as such.

And finally – and most importantly – THE THIS DECADE PLEA: Please locate some periodicals that were actually published during my lifetime. Subscriptions aren’t that pricy – really!

Now, how will you be paying for this diagnosis?

Copyright 2010 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.

“Through Thom Tinted Lenses” is posted weekly. If you enjoy these blogs, please check back frequently and share the link with your friends. Comments are welcome.

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6 Comments »

  1. The worst part is that even the assistant puts you in the examination room, you still have to wait a good ten to fifteen minutes for the doctor, especially in clinics. And a lot of times, you can hear people walking down the hallway outside your door, which is nerve-wracking.

    Comment by Natasha Bennett — January 10, 2010 @ 8:41 am | Reply

  2. “Modern-day alchemists”–love it!

    You make some great points, especially about the wait, the office hours, and the deluge of coughs and sneezes one must endure before reaching the examining room. *shudder*

    Comment by L. Lane — January 10, 2010 @ 12:18 pm | Reply

  3. Hmmmmm. I guess I am the lucky one. My family practice physician, well I actually see his nurse practitioner, is mostly on time. And no, I will not give you her name. As for the germ warfare going on in the office, ditto. Why would any sick person want to be there, at the dr’s office with all those sickies. Wish I had another option.

    Comment by Wanda M. Argersinger — January 11, 2010 @ 3:39 am | Reply

  4. If you don’t like waiting in the germ ridden office find a doctor like mine. He will allow you to pay him $2500 a year plus visits to get to the front of the line. When I asked him about this his reply “I have student loans to repay”. Why didn’t I think of this when I was repaying mine.

    Comment by Matt — January 11, 2010 @ 9:59 am | Reply

  5. Very funny, and I completely agree! I think as science figures out more and more about medicine, everyone assumes that means the whole thing is somehow more magical. I have to be pretty sick to go to the doctor because I know a day of rest and a lot of vitamin C cures just about everything I get. Most common illnesses can be cured with some common sense.

    Comment by Robert W. Leonard — January 12, 2010 @ 1:12 am | Reply

  6. LOL yes I know exactly what you mean. Hears some advice for you. On your way to the “quick care” you need to make a stop at 7-11 grab a slurpee for your sore throat, grab a pack of halls cough drop’s and grab the folded up already read news-paper in between the slot machines. You now have all the material for your would be survival kit to get you through the wait at the Dr. office. Also after the assistant places you in the room if you look to the left on the wall there are always crafty little pamphlets about everything form STD’s to heart burn very entertaining however by the time the Dr. comes in you have self diagnoses yourself with everything. Maybe that is why the Dr asks you what kind of medicine you want.

    Comment by Kelli — January 18, 2010 @ 11:22 am | Reply


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