Jagged

  
“Hey! Are you Dr. Victo?”

“Yes….” I looked up to see a tall slender woman staring at me curiously. I was sitting with my daughter in the lobby, waiting for the church service to end so I could trade my homemade sourdough bread for farm eggs.

“I thought so!” Her voice warmed. “I used to be your patient before you moved. I sure do miss having you for a doctor. Are you still in that new place?”

“Yes. Yes, I am. It’s been almost seven years now, actually…” I struggled to place her face as I quickly distracted my daughter with a smart phone app. I knew from experience where this was heading.

“Oh.” There was an awkward silence. She took a step back. “Well I am NOT going to drive that far. My friend says she does, but I won’t.”

“I understand,” I told her. “I am not sure I would that far for me…”

I shrugged and smiled as she walked away, even though it stung. Almost every time I am out and about in town something like this happens. 

The grocery store. 

The park. 

At a restaurant. 

People still remember me, which is remarkable in itself, but I wonder what my kids will take away from these encounters…

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95 thoughts on “Jagged

  1. Like a medical celebrity! I particularly like how she misses having you as a doctor – as you are obviously so great – but isn’t prepared to drive too far for your excellent medical skills. Sort of a compliment and a slap in the face all at once…

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s the thing. I drive it every day. Many, many of my patients travel that far and father. I don’t blame them if they don’t want to, though. I understand that they probably have better things to do than drive. The way it is said sometimes, though, sort of leaves me wondering! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, it would confuse me too. I drive an hour and a half to see my dentist because he is such a brilliant dentist it’s worth it – but then again I probably only go twice a year so it’s no big deal. It’s the fact she felt she had to point it out that’s weird!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I see that as a compliment Victo – why would your kids care? You have the right to move to where-ever you please. It isn’t like you promised anyone you would remain their doctor for their life. You need to pursue your own happiness by practicing where it is best for you – which you did. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 6 people

  3. I think it’s up to you to frame it for your children (and yourself.) Perhaps something as simple as “Isn’t that nice she remembered me?” And then move on with your day.

    As to someone not being willing to drive “that far,” that isn’t about you at all. It’s about them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Because of all my health problems, I see several specialists. I don’t care how close or far away their office may be. I only care about their skill. But not every one values quality over convenience. If they did, Walmart would go out of existence.

    Just keep reminding yourself that you’re not a Walmart doctor…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Maybe it is the patients who don’t really have medical issues that don’t follow their doctors. If you just go for an annual flu shot, well, that’s not worth an extra long trip.

    I think your kids will remember that people remember their Mom and that they thought she was/is a good doctor because people are disappointed that they can’t be her patient any more.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Damn, I thought you were going to say that she asked if you were Dr. Victo, who has that wonderful blog! That’s been my dream for the last couple of years – that someone, anyone, would recognize me from WordPress. All I get is, “You did such a good job on that last horrendous real estate deal that now I have another one for you!”

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I had an OB/GYN that I loved, who left on a mission to Africa. If she came back to the states, I’d find her. But I doubt that I’d fly to see her. ☺ If your kids are like most, they probably don’t give it a second thought, Doc.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. FYI … If I knew of a good doctor, one who I really could trust, one who would be open to my out of the box thinking, one who knows how to listen instead of doing all the talking, one who gives me solid eye contact and talks to me and not faces the computer screen while typing, believe me, I would drive. Good doctors are not easy to find these days. I am speaking from my own personal experience, Victo.

    Liked by 1 person

      • This I know as well. Things have just got so complicated. Just dealing with the insurance companies is insane. Yet, many doctors are practicing who IMO should not be. This holds true for any profession in that there are many people in certain professions who are all wrong for that profession, so I am not singling out doctors. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Heck, we used to drive from Northern Nevada to Salt Lake City, Utah to find a decent doctor or dentist. There weren’t any reputable ones in the little town I grew up in. We’d have been better off with one of the great veterinarians in town. My daily work commute is 40 miles round trip, and date night is usually a similar drive.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. First of all….breath-taking photo. So crisp I felt I could touch it.
    Second…Really? I am all about not driving so I came at it from that angle and not as an insult to you. Take the compliment, and forget the last part.
    Third….your daughter probably was not listening to any of it as the mighty PHONE wins every time. Your credibility with her will be just fine.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. That people will settle for sub par care because they’re to lazy to drive a little further for great care, and they don’t really cat about their health when they settle.
    (I’ve followed therapists and doctors that were amazing because my mental and physical health are more important for my kids that I am present instead of selling for meh doctors.) Boy I sure do wish you were here!

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  12. I bet you would be surprised at what they think….I am guessing just another one of mom’s crazy patience’s…LOL I bet they are glad that you get there attention on something else other than the conversation….and I am driving 13 hours to see my doctor….I absolutely adore her…..I am sure if I moved to Arizona permanently I would be forced to find a new MD but not until I absolutely have to…!!! Kat

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I do have patients that drive in from out of state for their physicals each year. They keep a doctor in their new home town for emergencies and then come see me for lab work and Rx refills. Kid brains are a never ending mystery for me. You never know what they are thinking. Ever. πŸ˜‰

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  13. To add to the other comments here about giving it context or making it a teachable moment for your kids, you could also say that that’s why it’s important to always do your best and to treat others well, so that people will still remember you and think highly of you even if they no longer need you.

    (Just kind of awkward that your former patient feels sufficiently guilty about it to bring it up, and you end up having to comfort her and assure her that it’s okay…)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: My Article Read (3-16-2016) – My Daily Musing

  15. I think your a wonderful inflective person. People’s readiness to travel a strain commute distant reflect your worth as a doctor. Sometimes people forget that you’re human and that being a doctor it’s your livelihood. They probably just see you as someone on a glamorous, high praying career field. They probably don’t think you really need them. Don’t take it personally. And thank you so much for you steadfast readership! You’ve been the best follower😍

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I can understand how you feel when this kind of thing happens so often, but it is rather lovely that so many of your former patients miss you. I suppose it’s up to them whether or not they want to drive out to your new place Perhaps some of them can’t, others just may not want to spend time travelling. But seven miles isn’t far, is it? I’m sure this happens quite often when doctors – or patients themselves – move away, and such encounters can be awkward and uncomfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a bit farther than seven miles, so I do not blame anyone at all for not following when I moved seven years ago. I was quite nervous, but actually my schedule remained full from day one because so many did follow me, surprisingly. It is a huge honor to have anyone come back for a second visit, really. πŸ™‚

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  17. I bet your kids would be proud of you. People recognize you for a reason. And I bet it’s good otherwise they would avoid you or be more in your face. So the kids can be proud. You had an impact on someone’s life, a good one.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The feeling you allude to in this post is the same feeling I get when I think about going back to the place I did medical school. I don’t know the circumstances under which you changed locations… but having people recognize you, acknowledge your greatness, but then brush it off like it’s really nothing at the end of the day is definitely a feeling that is not great to experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. You would never hear that from me. I drive 90 minutes each way (providing I miss rush hour traffic) to see my pain doctor – every 28 days. I would drive twice that distance to see him. I have Adhesive Arachnoiditis from back surgery gone wrong. He is the only doctor in my 12 year journey with chronic pain who never made me feel like a drug seeking junkie. He spent two solid hours with me at my first appointment going over all my records and films, doing a very thorough assessment of the damage suffered so far and taking a complete medical history. He is also the first doctor to ASK FOR PERMISSION to perform a procedure on my back. They always tell me that I have to have procedures every month in order to get the pain medication which allows me to play wife, mother and caretaker to my disabled mom. I broke down crying and proceeded to ask what planet he was from!

    We need more doctors like you and “Doctor Dude”. That is what I actually call him. I can tell from what I am reading that you are one of the great ones! I would follow you anywhere and even supply the duct tape necessary (for my mouth) to have me as a patient. I’m sorry. My mouth nor my fingers know when to stop.

    Hugs,

    Leah

    Liked by 1 person

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