Day 317 Then and Now

October 22, 2015

(If we live with an open and grateful attitude, every day will bring a gift. This is one of 365 gifts during the year I turned 70.)

Then: My memory of doctors dates me. When I was a child, our family doctor, whose office was 4-5 blocks from our home, made house calls carrying his black leather medical bag. That practice stopped when he retired and another doctor replaced him. The office staff consisted of one person—him. In those days, if you had a problem, you walked into his waiting room, took a seat and waited for your turn. When you finally made it into his office, if someone called with a problem, he was the person who answered the phone in the middle of your visit. Maybe that’s why he was abrupt and seemed to have no patience for my questions. He was the expert and I should not question him. My dentist then, whose practice was about a block away from my family doctor, did not believe in Novocaine and filled my cavities without numbing my gums. He was a bigot who waited until my mouth was stuffed full of cotton and then ranted about “colored people.”

Now: My current dentist is everything my childhood dentist was not and I am so glad. My primary care physician is patient and professional, like my former PCP she replaced. I saw her today for a regular check-up and continue to like her more and more. She is a young, astute and very competent woman with a sense of humor. And, most important, she listens. I never feel rushed. She gives 100 percent of her attention, she gets to know the whole person and she shows empathy for her patients. It is a healthy partnership.

People who yearn for the good old days have short memories. Some things are much better today.

My gift today is a doctor who listens.


> Day 318: Milestones

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