Doctor Doctor

1390459082239895It’s Blog Monday, I have forty minutes to write something, and not a clue on anything vaguely intelligent to say. Who am I kidding, “vaguely intelligent” would be a stretch. Right now I’d settle for vaguely interesting. Not even another coffee is going to help, if I could have another coffee that is, tragically I’m down to one a day since even one more gives me these weird heart palpitations and stops me sleeping at night. You have no idea, it’s a big time Tragedy. So if you are reading this on Monday it means you are killing time and suffering with me.

That was as far as I got on Monday. I got called away and POOF! my forty-three minutes of blogging disappeared and Monday became Thursday. Truthfully no harm done, it’s not like I’m a doctor or something – no one will ever die from me failing to blog on time. Now that’s real pressure. I’ve been thinking about doctors rather a lot recently. And No, it’s not because I’m in another mid-life crisis and looking for something else to study. It’s for a much less introspective and way more shallow reason. I’ve been binge-watching Doc Martin on TV.

Do you know Doc Martin? It’s a British TV series about a super smart London surgeon who develops a phobia around blood – a career limiting move for a surgeon, and the reason I could never be a doctor. No longer able to work as a surgeon he ends up working as a GP in a fictitious back of beyond English village. The good doctor is brilliant as a diagnostician but heart-stoppingly bad at bedside manners. He has absolutely no social skills and regularly pisses all his patients off.  A John Cleese / Mr Bean mash up with severe Asperger’s chucked in and you get the idea.  Not quite the ideal GP for a tiny village where everyone knows everyone and the previous doctor served tea and biscuits in the waiting room. The show is totally hilarious in the way of British humour and it’s already in its seventh season. I’m totally addicted. Have a look here for some bits, I dare you not to laugh!

Does it happen to you? A series just gets in your head? I’m not a big TV watcher but I admit that every now and then I get hooked on something and then I stumble around square eyed for a few weeks. I found Doc Martin while channel surfing during the last holidays and now it’s all I watch. Anyway, it’s how I got to be thinking about what I like in my doctors. And No, not in that way … I have enough doctor friends to know the unglamorous reality of being a doctor or being with a doctor. People always asking them yucky questions, showing them pictures of nasty rashes, hearing arguments from the guy of the Medical School Google when they just want to hang at the braai.  And then half a party in they have to rush off on call somewhere. No thanks. I mean what I like in the doctors that I go and see for medical reasons.

I’ve realized that I like the Doc Martin ones. I’ve a gynae like that. No names now ‘cause I hear the poor souls pay an arm and a leg in medical insurance. But I like doctors who are clever, straightforward, no frills, tell it like it is. Businesslike even. Yes, I value that lack of eye contact especially on the business end of the gynae visit. And if telling it like it is means a doctor telling me I’ve been stupid then so be it. I don’t want someone so careful with their words that I’m not sure what the hell they’re saying. If I want tea and biscuits and a long chat then I’ll go out with one of my friends, thanks very much. I especially don’t want tea with someone who has just used any sort of headlamp to examine me. Just say it already. Am I dying or being a nut job hypochondriac? Sometimes, especially when it’s something with a child where maternal madness easily makes me overreact, I really want my doctor to say Yes, worry now or No, eff off. As a natural worrier, I don’t really understand the inbetween.

From my doctor I want a scientist, someone who can read my body and make sense of it, and then try to help me fix it like a malfunctioning machine.  I know that it’s not as simple as that. Many times there probably aren’t such direct answers, doctors don’t know all there is to know about the machine they are looking at, and many times the patient just wants someone to listen to them for them to feel better (but really, there are other special doctors for that!).

So, I do love Doc Martin and the others out there like him. What’s your Doctor type? Let me know, or at least watch an episode of Doc Martin for a laugh.

Have fun, and stay healthy!


4 Responses

  1. How about Cole Porter’s Physician:

    Once I loved such a shattering physician,
    Quite the best-looking doctor in the state,
    He looked after my physical condition
    And his bedside manner was great!

    When I’d gaze up and see him there above me,
    Looking less like a doctor than a Turk,
    I was tempted to whisper, “Do you love me,
    Or do you merely love your work?”

    He said my bronchial tubes were entrancing,
    My epiglottis filled him with glee,
    He simply loved my larynx
    And went wild about my pharynx,
    But he never said he loved me.

    He said my epidermis was darling
    And found my blood as blue as can be,
    He went through wild ecstatics
    When I showed him my lymphatics,
    But he never said he loved me.

    And though, no doubt, it was not very smart of me,
    I get on a-wracking of my soul,
    to figure out why he loved every part of me,
    And yet not me as a whole.

    With my esophagus he was ravished,
    Enthusiastic – to a degree,
    He said ’twas just enormous, my appendix vermiformis,
    But he never said he loved me.

    He said my cerebellum was brilliant,
    And my cerebrum far from N G,
    I know he thought a lotta
    My medulla oblongota,
    But he never said he loved me.

    He said my maxillaries were marvels,
    And found my sternum stunning to see,
    He did a double hurdle
    When I shook my pelvic girdle,
    But he never said he loved me.

    He seemed amused,
    When he first made a test of me
    To further his medical art.
    Yet he refused,
    When he’s fixed up the rest of me,
    To cure that ache in my heart.

    I know he thought my pancreas perfect,
    And for my spleen was keen as can be,
    He said, of all his sweeties,
    I’m the sweetest diabetes,
    But he never said he loved me. No he never said he loooeeeved…

    He lingered on with me till morning
    And when I went to pay him his fee
    He said, “Don’t be funny, it is I who owe you money” Ah!
    But he never said, no he never said, no he never said he loved me

    1. Hahahahahahah! I love anything Cole Porter, so his Physician is no exception. ps Requirements for a doctor different to requirements for a husband …

  2. I enjoyed this piece, Q.

    I honestly don’t mind – as long as they do their job well. Our ENT is rather blunt and to the point too, which I love.

    My onnnnly vice is that I prefer a female gynae, or the GP who does my annual girly roadworthy checks. Same same, y’know? 😉

    1. I hear you! I’ve heard the same same argument a bunch of times. A non-issue for me though, a good doctor is a good doctor, I don’t really care about the rest.

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