On occasion I’ve wondered if doctors have to develop a thick skin when it comes to laymen picking their brains. (Or would that be a thick skull?) Now I know that, as with any other person in any other occupation, it depends on the specialist and the specialty. For many years it happened that a neighbor of ours was a retired surgeon. He was a veritable font of helpful information but was often, as my husband said, ‘god-like’ in his pronouncements. He enjoyed being the supreme expert on things medical and non-medical alike.
I was at a party last weekend and one gentleman there learned that another was a doctor. Sitting nearby and tuning in on their conversation, nosey me, I heard the first gentleman lead the doctor into a general conversation, the wind and the weather and where are you from. Then he pointedly said “you’re a ….”, and he named the specialty. He went on to tell about his own recent surgery and wanted to know if what he experienced usual. Not wanting to malign others in his field, I suppose, the doctor went on to tell him what was usual under those circumstances.
Well, I tuned out then – other interesting things were going on – but I had to chuckle. I knew the man was a doctor but I didn’t know his field, as that gentleman did. I had wondered what it might be because I have a question or two I’d like to ask of a doctor in a different particular field. Not questions enough to actually make an appointment, but some I’d just like to have answered. I suppose we all might have a few such medical question of our own, just for a bit of reassurance and a bit of peace of mind. I’m not always happy with what I read on-line. That gentleman was in the right place at the right time to get his own bit of reassurance, and the doctor was gracious enough to supply it. Sometimes I miss our neighbor.