Tell Us About The Memorable Doctors You Have Known

crazy doctorBefore we get started, I have something semi-related to get off my chest. It’s 2014, nearly 2015, and I still hear people make reference to this old TV commercial. A tip: if you jokingly add the phrase “but I play one on TV” to the end of a sentence and expect laughter, you’re going to be disappointed. Nobody knows what the fuck you’re talking about. Plus, you’re extremely old, and not very clever. Jesus J. McChrist.

In any case… Today I thought we’d talk about the memorable doctors we have known. The really good ones, the bad ones, the ones who should probably be locked up in an asylum somewhere… Whatever ya got. I don’t visit doctors very often, on account of being terrified of all things medical, but even I have a few tales to tell. Once I’m finished, I hope you guys will take it from there. Lets’ get started, shall we?

In California I came down with an illness that made me start to wonder if I might die. Twice during my life I’ve felt that way, and the other time was in Atlanta, with the flu. The real flu, not that catch-all bullshit “flu” people talk about all the time. You know, they get an upset stomach, or a cold, or whatever, and call it flu? That annoys me. Once you’ve had the real thing, and moved toward the light, people can take their fake flu and ram it deep and on a slant.

The California sickness was almost as bad, so I finally went to a doctor. And the guy gave me a whole raft of shit. He was young, and Indian or somesuch. He told me I had a bad case of bronchitis, nearly severe enough to warrant a hospital stay. I don’t know if he was having a bad day, or what, but he then went off on a lengthy rant about people who only see their doctors when something is wrong. He said he didn’t know me, had never laid eyes on me, yet here I was… asking for his help.

On and on it went; the dude was genuinely pissed. I was too weak to argue, and just sat there taking it. Finally he wrote me a prescription, and I shuffled to my car with it. And I never saw the asshole again. He’s probably out there hollering at some super-sick person right now. Sheesh. Calm your ass down, Rakesh.

Our younger boy was born in California, a planned Cesarean. Social pressure caused me to be inside the delivery room, but I wasn’t happy about it. There were two doctors there, doing stuff behind a small blue curtain, and I was standing up near Toney’s face, trying not to pass out.

And while they worked, those two planned a day of golf together. “I’ll call and see if we can get a 7 a.m. tee-time,” the first one said. “Sounds good,” the second one answered. “It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been out. I could use it.” WTF?? I wanted to shout, “FOCUS!! I know this is just another day at the office for you guys, but it’s mighty important to us.” The whole thing reminded me of this Replacements song.

Once the younger hooligan was extracted, and Saturday was planned, one of the docs asked if I wanted to cut the cord.

“I’ll pass,” I told him.

“Aww, don’t be such a pussy,” he responded.

A pussy?! Wow. That one caught me off-guard. I mean, what the hell? The source… the setting… I could’ve never predicted such a thing. But it did the trick, and I cut the freaking cord. And it was horrifying: like sawing through a piece of raw steak with scissors. …Dammit! I just had a full-body shiver.

My eye doctor in California was memorable, as well. He was in Burbank, right down the street from Warner Bros. Studios. He always greeted me with something along the lines of, “Hey, man!” or “‘Sup, dude?” Weird. I appreciated his attempt at casualness, but think it went a bit too far.

And while he had that big apparatus up to my face, spinning lenses and whatnot, he would say, “How’s that? Shitty? Is this one any better? This one? Better, or shitty? Shitty? This one’s better, right? But this one’s shitty?” During each examination he must’ve said the word “shitty” 25 times. And he was a doctor!

A good one, though. I have some eye problems, and he really took care of me. After I moved here, the local eye doctor asked who made my gas-permeable contact lenses. I told him, and he said, “They’re the best I’ve ever seen, an absolute perfect fit.” So, there you go. As it turns out, the man was far from shitty.

Now it’s your turn. In the comments section, please tell us about the memorable doctors you have known.

And I’ll see you guys again soon.

Have a great day!

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Comments

  1. 1) I had no idea that commercial was so old.
    2) I don’t mind that phrase remaining a cultural touchstone for my generation. I think of it as our version of my grandparents’ saying, “…since Don Ameche invented the telephone.”

  2. On to the topic at hand. My most memorable doctor was my pediatrician, who was of the opinion that children did not get headaches. This was unfortunate for me because I got splitting headaches all the time when I was a kid, especially at school. I’m pretty sure they “miraculously” disappeared when I finally got the thick glasses I’d been needing, but it was no thanks to Dr. Mitra.

  3. I recently had an excellent doctor. The dude who did my vasectomy.

    There were two vistis. the first was a prep vistit, then the operation.

    The first visit goes like this
    Dr.: Do you want a vasectomy?
    Me: Yes.
    Dr: Do you want anymore kids than you might already have?
    Me: No.
    Dr: Are you married?
    Me: Yes.
    Dr: Does your wife agree with you on the kids thing?
    Me: Yes.
    Dr. Okay, set up an operation time with the receptionist.

    That’s exactly how any conversation should go.

    He also give patients a few loads of awesome pills. For before the operation he gives you xanax and valium prescriptions to keep you cool. After the operation he gives you a dozen or so percocete. He actually says “You porobably won’t need this for the pain, but you are going to be really bored sitting around with ice on your balls for the next day or so and these can help with that.”

    Getting clipped isn’t bad. I’d rather do that every six months than have my teeth cleaned.

    • Ozzie Bucco says:

      My experience was fairly similar. The doctor asked the same basic questions, groped my ‘nads for a minute, and said to make an appointment.

      The aftermath was not too bad. It felt like the aftermath of a kick in the nuts for a couple of days afterwards.

      • johnthebasket says:

        I felt so good after an evening with ice on my balls that I went out the next morning and shot 18. I walked like an intoxicated duck for a week.

        jtb

    • When mine was done, the doctor was performing the procedure, and an intern was watching. At one point he did something that was painful, and said to the intern, “See?”. If I could have moved I would have punched him.

  4. I was working for a urologist at the front desk when another one of the front desk girls passed out. She was breathing and all that, but she was unconscious. The only doctor in the office at the time calmly walked over to check on her as she’s lying in the middle of the floor. We all stand there, watching, worried, waiting for what he’d tell us to do (don’t get me wrong, someone was already on the phone with 911.) He kneels down, checks her pulse. He promptly stands up, says to no one in particular: “Yep, a vasovagal response.” Then he says, “Mary, will you start bringing back patients.” AND HE STEPS OVER THE UNCONSCIOUS GIRL ON THE WAY TO HIS OFFICE. He stepped over her. Stepped over the girl. While she’s unconscious on his floor. Where all the patients will, and did, see her. Sprawled out like a rag. I was like…is this real life?

  5. I went to a doctor once when nothing was wrong.
    I had just become an adult and wanted to start the mythical annual check up.

    I went it to the doctor and he didn’t understand.
    I told him I just wanted to make sure I was in good health.
    He asked me if anything hurt or if I felt strange. I said no.

    He listened to me breath and took my blood pressure. He did this almost in a way that he was just sort of making up stuff to do while I sat there. After a few minutes and a hodge-podge of simple measurements he said I was in perfect health.

    I’ll never do that again.

  6. I am a nurse and worked with many goofy docs, and some who were amazing.
    the most memorable was a neurosurgeon that was hellishly rude to a family member of a patient in ICU. the next day when he rounded the same family member let him have it. the doc’s response? that was my twin, I am so sorry, he is very rude sometimes.
    Brain surgeons may be smart, but dear god they are weird!

  7. I’m going out on a limb here because it’s kind of a personal story but it was so long ago, screw it. It’s a good story

    15 or so years ago, when I was young and single I came down with a fairly common STD (starting with a “c” and ending with an “a”) which freaked me out at the time so I high-tailed it to my doctor ASAP. Well my regular old man doctor was busy saving lives or giving CPR to a dying child or something so they asked if I could come back another time. Another time?? Fuck no, I need this taken care of, RIGHT NOW! I am seriously freaking out. OK, they told me. I could be seen by the next available PA.

    So I get shuffled back into the room and wait. After about 20 minutes the PA shows up. She is about 24 and so incredibly hot it made my jaw drop. I mean model hot. I’m thinking how do I get to know this girl better and suddenly it occurs to me I’m in here for an STD. Whoops. Not the best opening line. In any case, she tells me to pee in a cup and if it’s positive come back in 2 days for a shot.

    Well, of course it was and I did. And I guess since this was now “her case” I got to see her again. Which was good, because she somehow got hotter in the 2 day interim. But it was bad because now she had to pull out some giant needle and give me a shot in the ass. Seriously, drop pants and stick it right in. So then she tells me,

    “OK you should be good in 48 – 72 hours.”

    Good? What does that mean?

    “You won’t be contagious. It’s OK to have sex.”

    Really? That quick? I can have sex again by Sunday?

    “Yes.”

    It took every ounce of will-power for me not say, with my pants around my knees. “OK, so what are you doing on Monday?”

    Thanks you! Peace out. Use condoms.

    • Lucie in Tampa says:

      Great story! Laughed!

    • I would have died. I would have made up a story of some sort. Thank God the one and only time I came down with c——a, my doctor, who was this really cool, older Filipino man, told me not to sweat it, told me horror stories of when he was a younger man, then to top it all off he found a sample of oral medication which save me from shaming myself at a pharmacy

  8. I have had asthma and allergies since birth. Luckily both are minor. I was symptom free during most of high school and beginning tears of college. The summer before my senior year I developed a horrible cough, wheezing, congestion, shortness of breath, etc. All typical signs of asthma. My idiot doctor at the time ordered many tests, including chest x-Rays. He was convinced I either had Lupus or Lung Cancer. I was only 21. Luckily my parents finally listened and agreed he was a quack. It was asthma coming back, as confirmed by a respiratory doctor.

  9. I have suffered from hemorrhoids since I was in college. I remember my first visit to the colorectal specialist, an old school veterinary proctologist. This guy must’ve had eight knuckles on his index finger, each the size of golf balls. Damn things made a popping sound as he retracted his digit from my fundament. Then he shoved a jeweler’s glass halfway to my appendix, took a look peek at my insides, slapped my ass, and shouted, “I can’t see a damn thing. Why the Hell are you here? You some kind of pervert?” He’s still on my Christmas card list today.

    • I started having hemorrhoids (a bitch to spell!) when I was in my early 40s and didn’t do anything until I had what they call an external thrombosed hemorrhoid – very painful! The city where I lived had one of those stupid things where you get an envelope full of post card-sized adverts for various services in the area. Usually went right in the trash, but I remembered seeing a place offering help to folks like me. It was called the Hemorrhoid Relief Center. I figured they would be a safe bet and stopped by. It was shady. They didn’t take my insurance, but they talked up their procedure (involving a laser zapping one’s ass!!!) big time.

      I was skeptical, and waited to see a “Dr” there. At this point in my life I was an anal virgin. I still remember the large bald black lady sticking a finger deep inside and saying: “If you want the procedure, let me know…” It’s difficult to listen to a sales pitch when the salesperson is performing a digital rectal puppet show involving your ass. At least, for me it was. The whole thing seemed a bit shady, so I passed and went to a genuine colorectal specialist, who took care of me in no time. He said he got lots of folks from the HRC when the treatment didn’t work. My ass has behaved itself since then, but I still have flashbacks…

  10. When I broke my shoulder they had to rouse some ortho specialist at the hospital. First mistake. He tried to wedge the bones back together as I wad lying on a guerney in the Dr. Didn’t work so they decided to operate the next day. They have me a second shot if demarol which I proceeded to puke up all night long. He operated and I went home
    Fast forward 4 months and the shoulder is still not right. The bones wouldny meet so I call another doctor my sister worked for and he decides it needs another operation. His office calls the first doctor for my records. Well, apparently that didn’t sit well since first doc has a god coplrc. He called me at work screaming that I was making a huge mistake and that he gave me excellent care and all this other horseshit. He then slammed the phone down and I just sat there blinking for about ,10 minutes. I should have called the AMA but I was young and stupid.

  11. Bill in WV says:

    “What kind of cancer is it?”

    “It’s that kind that starts in your ass”

    True story

  12. The best dr I had was the doc who told me he was gonna cut a hole in my neck so I could breath. He handled the situation in a way that made a dumb 21 yr old scared shit less kid relax and say do what you gotta do doc.

    This update was not shitty.

  13. I work with lots and lots of doctors.

    There are a few who’d best not step out in front of me if I’m driving someone else’s car and have an alibi and there are a few I think very highly of.

    RFW is the all-time great. He’s in his 80’s now and soft of semi-retired. I’ve worked with him for about 3 years now and the man is incredible. He was born and raised on a dairy farm without electricity and grew up dirt poor.

    His resume is literally 83 pages long. It’s essentially a bibliography of all the medical research he’s done.

    He was a cardiothoracic trauma surgeon in one of the busiest trauma centers in the country and still runs the surgical trauma ICU there. I was once told he’s personally saved the lives of more police officers than any other surgeon in the state.

    Today he is rightfully considered one of the fathers of modern critical care medicine.

    He’s an honest to God genius. One day he and I were talking about playing sports in high school and he told me that he’d been offered several football scholarships but didn’t take them because he had an eye problem and his physician at the time told him told him one bad hit and he could end up blind.

    I asked him what he did and he said he decided to take one of his academic scholarship offers instead. “One of them?” I asked.

    His response was “When I was young I had some facility for mathematics. When I took my college entrance exams I was number one in the country for mathematics.” Holy crap! This was just an aside to a story about sports!

    The rest of his stories are even more amazing, like the time he feels he was the genuine instrument of a miracle. He’s very humble about it and is a man of deep and abiding faith and it’s a powerful story.

    He’s also extremely sensitive and delights in teaching anyone who wants to learn.

    I could go on and on. I can’t think of anyone I’ve ever met who’s more impressive personally and professionally. I feel honored to know and work with him.

    • Keep going, Jorge. I could read pages and pages about this guy.

      • Ok, here are two good ones:

        The first is the one about the miracle. I’m not telling this with any sort of religious agenda, nor do I intend to make this into a discussion about religion, faith, or spirituality in any way. I’m just retelling a story that was told to me, so please take it in that sense.

        Like I said, RFW is deeply religious. He regularly says that until he was 12 he had planned on becoming a priest. Then he discovered girls. But his faith has remained strong.

        Many years ago one of his friends was scheduled for heart surgery. RFW was not the surgeon, but his friend pleaded with him to come into the OR anyway. RFW was the Chief of Surgery and Assistant Dean of the medical school at the time, so things went his way. After a lot of work, his friend got him to agree to come into the surgery to look after him.

        While the friends chest was opened his heart stopped. The team worked to restart it without success. RFW stepped in and took over resuscitation efforts. He worked on his friend for well over 45 minutes. After a while he was being urged by the rest of the team to call it. (FYI, more than 45 minutes is an eternity in this situation. It’s exceedingly rare to go this long). People in the OR were in his words “becoming upset, but I was the Chief, so there wasn’t much they could do.”

        As their arguments started to work on him he kept up is efforts and while squeezing the mans heart to keep blood flowing, prayed as hard as he could for his friends life. As he tells it, just then he felt a jolt of energy pass through him and into his friends’ heart. It started to beat.

        The surgery was completed and his friend recovered completely. RFW talked with him about it later, and the friend said that he’d had a feeling that it was very important that RFW be in the OR that day. Someone, possibly the same friend, told him that “everyone knows; the most powerful prayer is that of a physician for his patient”.

        RWF tears up when he tells this story.

        The second story is about his upbringing. He was, for time, educated in the classic one room schoolhouse.

        His teacher was an older woman whose father was in politics in Pennsylvania. Around the time of the Civil War.

        The teacher told the story about her father hearing, in person, the Gettysburg Address! RFW always makes it a point to tell us that Lincoln didn’t emphasis the word “of”, rather he hit the word “people” as in: of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE, and for the PEOPLE…

        I think it’s incredible to be able to talk to a living 3rd hand link to the actual Gettysburg Address.

    • Lucie in Tampa says:

      I am completely fascinated! Share another story of RWF please?

      • Alright.

        Twice in his career he’s had hospital workers approach him and ask if he remembered them. He didn’t, so they told him how they knew him.

        While he was doing trauma surgery he’d every now and then get cases that were really, really bad. Multiple gunshot wounds, bones shattered, multiple organs damaged, the whole thing.

        He’d save these folks and once they were sufficiently recovered he’d talk with them about the fact that their survival was , for lack of a better word , miraculous.

        He’d tell them that the fact they survived meant that they were spared for a reason and they should take the opportunity to examine their lives and make use of the second chance they were given.

        Two of those people had gotten their lives together and chosen to go to work in the hospital that saved their lives. They approached RFW to thank him and let him know that the were grateful for their lives being saved and for the second chance they’d been given.

        He cries when he tells this story , too.

        I often ask him to write his memoires. His humility makes him think no one would read it.

  14. I was speaking of this the other day. When I was still smoking – I couple of times I got lectures about smoking from doctors or nurses who were actually smokers.

  15. I’ve had carpal tunnel decompression on both hands, but recently found the symptoms were reoccurring in my right wrist. So I was referred back to the weird guy you sends electrical shocks down your arms ( now that’s a fun job), and when I saw the consultant again I was told that I had symptoms in both sides, but the right was woes, so he was going to give me an injection into the core of my right wrist 🙁

    Anyway, a month later I received a copy of the letter from the consultant to my GP, n which he detailed how he’d injecting my left wrist!

    WTF, I rang the secretary who agreed it was likely a typo, so you can imagine my surprise to receive a copy of a second letter to my GP, telling them that “he’s never been so insulted, etc” and discharging me !! Luckilymy wife found a pic of me with my ‘bear paw’ bandages to show my GP, who has referred me to another consultant.

    He’s upset I pointed out a simple mistake, good job he doesn’t do other operations, can you imagine him fixing a bad eye 🙂

  16. When my moo cow ex girlfriend broke her ankle slipping on dirty laundry she was ambulanced to the hospital. Possibly in the same ambulance they use for galapogos tortoises or perhaps terminators or rococo when they break down. But anyway from ankle break to er was approx an hour. I managed to get myself into the er to be with her and the dr was going to pop her ankle back into alignment but they were waiting on pain meds. He decided he had to just go ahead and do it and we both protested. He said there was no time and it would be another 5 minutes for the meds. We argued and he gave in. What’s another 5 minutes after an hour plus? That dr can suck it.

  17. Best dr. Was the dr who convinced my current girlfriend to not get a c section. She was in labor for a grand total of 6 hours. Started at about 4 pm. We went to the hospital at about 7 (3 days early so of course we weren’t packed). At 8 ish the dr was like look you are already at like 24 meters dilated so just stick it out after she was giving up. She did the epidural that slowed it down a bit but about 9 I saw a little tuft of hair poking out and at 10 my daughter popped out the front door (her older brother came out the window). We were both very glad she was able to do it that way. We were home 2 days later and she was moving around like nothing happened. I cut the cord and saw things. Things I tell you.

    • “24 meters dilated”. That’s pretty intimidating.

      • 24 meters dilated is when you send a search party in to find the baby & guide him out.

        • Vin diesel ran down her thigh and BASE jumped in. He then rappelling out on the umbilical with my daughter. He then left to shoot the fast and the furious 12.

  18. Cord wasn’t bad…. Not NEARLY as bad as the placenta IMO…

    I think “but I play one on TV” has been replaced by “but I did stay at a Holiday Inn” by today’s whippersnappers

    • Jazzbone Swirly says:

      Is this stated as : “I have never seen the Dead Kennedys play ‘Holiday in Cambodia’ live, but I did once stay at a Holiday Inn in Cambodia”?

  19. I taught childbirth classes for many years, and I always addressed chit chat during c sections. I explained to the prospective parents that it’s a good sign. If you’re hearing about their kid’s soccer game, it means that everything is going well. There’s a lot of talk in calm ORs, regardless of the type of surgery. I’m surprised about the cord cutting. I’ve never seen a doctor let a dad cut the cord in a section. Too easy to contaminate the sterile field. And the pussy comment was way out of line. I never even pressured a dad to look if they didn’t want to. I don’t enjoy picking dads off the floor after they’ve fainted.

  20. Aww shit Jan hooks rip

  21. Lucie in Tampa says:

    I have had some good & bad. Every “Dr. Patel” (there are so many in Tampa!) I have ever seen has been disappointing. The worst was the one who I went to see, another Dr. Patel, HE TOLD ME TO LET GOD INTO MY HEART & ACCEPT JESUS AS MY PERSONAL SAVIOR!!!! WTF???? That was my treatment for a Medical related problem? I called the State of Florida’s Medical Board & filed a complaint.
    Great Doctor? My current Doctor of 13 years. For privacy reasons we will call him Dr. Wonderful. Totally the best doctor I have ever met. his real name describes him too.

  22. My mother, who raised us single, worked in a hospital and had good insurance (is that still true these days??) Anyway, she used her job wisely and sought out good but affordable care for the three of us growing up.

    Dr. Flockenhaus was “retired” but ran his office out of his basement. His side door led to a flight of stairs down to his office. There were never more than 2 people waiting if ever. He saw only the patients he wanted to see.

    Often after the exam he and my Mother would talk shop and he would light a cigarette while they talked shop. I am sure he never did this with any of his other patients even though this was the mid 80s.

    If we needed it, he had it in his office. Boosters, vaccinations, you name it. All was just an arms reach away in his examination room. I was just wondering about this the other day…. did he get his supplies from the hospital? Who knows HOW he got away with it but I LIKED the guy.

    He always wore socks with sandals but his shots never ever hurt.

    • Minipeds in NOLA says:

      I can vouch that working for a hospital now by no means guarantees you good insurance.

  23. Growing up in Santa Monica CA, I had allergies to just about everything. Not Boy in a Plastic Bubble bad but close…so close. My allergist would examine my ears, nose and throat and then go to the little side table to write his notes and my Rx. While he was doing this, I shit you not, he lit up a cigarette. It was the ’60’s, but seriously, in a doctors EXAM ROOM?!?!?

  24. In the same vein as your childbirth story, when my 4th daughter was being born, my husband(at the time) and my doctor were calmly watching “Popeye”, the movie on the TV in the ‘birthing room’ while I’m in all kinds of pain and misery and cussing at the doc for having his hand up my hoo-haw trying to turn the baby the right way around. Good times. :-/

  25. sunshine_in_va says:

    “A tip: if you jokingly add the phrase “but I play one on TV” to the end of a sentence and expect laughter, you’re going to be disappointed. Nobody knows what the fuck you’re talking about. Plus, you’re extremely old, and not very clever. Jesus J. McChrist.”

    Fuck you.

  26. bikerchick says:

    I have work for and with many doctors in the last 25 year and have a bunch of stories. This one is one of the funnier ones….

    One of my first jobs out of school was for this Cardiologist who was Jewish. He sublet his office within a group of family practice docs. At Christmas time he wanted his kids to have the best of both worlds. They would celebrate Hanukkah AND Christmas Day. But he was so cheap that every Christmas Eve after the office closed, he would remove trees and wreaths from the walls, and take them home. He’d decorate his house with the stuff for Christmas Eve and day then bring it all back to the office on December 26th before the office opened. No one was the wiser.

  27. Bill Speer says:

    Saw “Peter Magifico, MD” on a hospital lobby directory years ago.
    Lawdy!!!!

  28. Uncle Goo says:

    From age 7 to 30, my dentist was Dr. Mangels. Best guy in the world to drill my teeth: gentle and generous with the novocaine. My reward, for being a good patient, was to be taken out back to shoot the black powder musket he kept on the wall of his office.