Apr 24, 2010

Family Doctor

Are you someone who takes some common pills for common-cold? Do you love to look more feverish than fever itself when you have one and flaunt your flu? Do you atone your once-in-a-while restaurant sins  with 'Digene' or 'Eno'? Or are you someone who does not prefer those extraneous  antibodies and depend on your own body to corroborate its internal police force and resurrect itself during those "minor, 'mostly harmless' injuries" ? - Or maybe, one of  those 'home-made organic medicine' lovers. You could be one of these categories, or a few of these, or even none, and yet, there are fair chances that you would have had a family doctor, for atleast a while..

A family doctor is not that just that  doctor at the clinic in the corner of the road who treats your occasional childhood wounds. He (or she) is someone who you grow up with, someone whom you can talk to about your favorite cricket player or your most-hated school teacher, as he checks your throat and pulse, someone   who can see through your 'little too detailed' or 'rather skimmed' description of your physical problem and diagnose (and prognose ) with a knowledgeable nod, someone who does not 'blow up' your frantic symptoms or 'play down' your insignificant secondary references. Simply put, a good family doctor knows how your body and soul work.

Quite often, the family doctor is a physician, who practises general medicine. Of course, there could be specifications and specialization - for each listed and unlisted organ of the body. Largely, the family doctor caters to many or all families in the neighborhood. He is someone, whom old friends can visit together in an evening walk to get their blood pressure checked or get a minor new nuisance treated. Habitually, the doctor prescribes the same set of medicines for a specific illness for a specific patient(unless he has more medical-representatives than patients waiting outside his door, with newer formulation of newly discovered compounded medicine), and there are a few smart patients who could map the medicine to the illness with data-mining from past history, and yet, to get the  family doctor's good old touch, they go see him.

I grew up having a good family doctor. I vividly remember being a 'patient' patient waiting outside the doors of the clinic, looking at the various poster children and re-reading the phrases -  'Sshhhh...Doctor is in....', 'Silence' and 'Doctor is in/out' hanging. There were a few diagrams of some colorful part of the body and some interesting parts of the skeleton. I tried to concentrate hard on a few of them associating them with my biology lessons and explaining them to  my beaming 'patient' parents. If there was a new illness explained with some symptoms, I correlated them with mine circutitiously and concluded the worst. I was that kind. It was then, that my dad decided that he should discourage my becoming a medical professional. He was more concerned about the benefit of the society.

Our doctor was a petite person, and greeted everyone with a broad mustache and a warm smile. He did not talk much, but made some quirky comments when he found my rattles medically funny.Atypically, he had a good handwriting and even a layperson could read his prescription. I'd like to believe that he took a special paternal interest in me, and my rather 'scientific' queries. I have just a couple of words for his treatment. It worked. It still works. I first call him up whenever I have a medical issue I cant ignore - and he responds with the same quirks followed by his prescription. Inspite of a huge personal loss, he still caters to the needs of his patients and has permeated the lives in so many households.

Thank you dear doctor, I think you are one of a kind..