Another reason why I went to medical school

My doorbell just rang.  I wasn’t expecting anyone so I poked my head out the door and saw that it was my neighbor with her mom who was visiting from out of town – they accidentally locked themselves out.  I’d never met her mom but my neighbor is a patient of mine (and so are my neighbors in the buildings on the left and right).  I stepped out into the hallway and my dog, Buddy, went out to do some licking.  Her mom made some small talk about Buddy and then said:

“I really want to tell you I’m so proud of you – my daughter told me about your practice and I just really hope that things start moving this way.  I recently went through a scare.  They found some lump on my lungs and did a test and a nurse called me with the results.  The results weren’t something simple.  I had to go in again and do more testing and my doctor didn’t even care to call me personally and tell me the findings – and I’d been so nervous and frightened and my doctor didn’t even seem to care.  Don’t you think my doctor should have at least called when I’ve been so, so worried that this was cancer?  It wasn’t like this back when I was growing up in the midwest.  They would come to your house when you were sick.  They used to know you – now, not so much.  I sent your site to my son in Texas and he loved it too.  I really hope things are going the way you do.  And I don’t know why things have gotten so bad, so impersonal…do you know?”

And I said, “Yes, I know.  Money and middlemen.”

“Like everything,” she said.

“Yep, like everything.”

“Good luck to you” she said as she started up the stairs.  She stopped, looked me in the eyes for a second and simply said “Thank you."