Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

Cape Cod

An Epilogue

In “Residency Training and the Modern Physician” I wondered if I was as dedicated as my friend Bill, the general surgeon who left our dinner to attend to a youngster with appendicitis despite the fact that Bill was not on call. Bill was trained in such a way that he doesn’t see any alternative but to answer that call, day or night, on call or not.

I got my answer today.

Skyvision is closed today in observance of Independence Day. It’s a vacation day for both doctors and staff. Disease, however, respects neither the calendar nor the clock. I received two emergency consults in two separate hospitals, but I was reasonably certain that I could see both patients and still be able to join my wife and youngest for a planned late afternoon activity. Sure enough I was headed home at 3:30 or so, the afternoon shot but still in time to hop in the car at 4:15 with Beth and Randy. Severely under-caffeinated I decided to treat myself to a sweet iced coffee at the local mini-mart on the way home.

“Doc, doc…hey P___, there’s the doc I told you about. He’s the eye doctor who comes in all the time. Tell him what just happened.” Unbelievably an elderly gentleman had literally just lost his vision in one eye, not ten minutes before I walked in. This is roughly the eye-guy equivalent of a cardiologist seeing someone clutch their chest. P___ is a resident of a retirement home about 300 yards from the Mini-mart, on foot, with no family near. I bundled him into my car, stopped quickly at home to let my wife know where I was going and to wish her and Randy good luck on their adventure, and drove over to my closed office to try my best.

The diagnosis is bad; the treatment was as successful as it can be. I walked in to the Mini-mart for an iced coffee and a lottery ticket, hoping as always that THIS time there’d be some good karma in this particular visit. Time will tell if the good karma surrounding my new patient in his time of misfortune will make him one of the 5% of people who recover from this very bad problem.

I’ll be just as happy if the good Karma goes to him and not my lottery picks as I was to pick up the check when Bill had to leave dinner early.

3 Responses to “An Epilogue”

  1. July 6th, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Mark Lanza says:

    In taking the time to treat P_____ , you exhibited compassion, selflessness and a commitment that will be remembered for years by the mini-mart clerk, those of us reading your columns and P___ himself.

    I wish you luck in your quest for a winning lottery ticket, but I think your character as a person already makes you wealthy.

    Thanks for sharing the story, Bingo.

    Mark

  2. October 16th, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Janie Ritcheson says:

    nice :)

  3. October 16th, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    darrellwhite says:

    Thanks! How’d you find me, and why this particular post?

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