When our health insurance changed a while back, one of the things I was required to do was select a General Practitioner. Prior to that, I never saw a GP. I have so many quirky medical issues that I employ an army of specialists and I have no need of a GP.
I took a lot of time selecting my GP. I thumbed through the insurance directory and narrowed down the list to doctors in my geographic area that claimed to speak English as their primary language. From the long list of two, I settled upon a doctor who was nearby and I put in a call to his office. “And it says here that the doctor speaks English, is that correct?” I ask the nurse. “Oh yes!” she says proudly, “He was born and raised right here in Texas.” And not one red flag went up, with or without a lone star.
Lest you think I have an attitude against foreign doctors, let me say here that my Ob/Gyn, to whom I pretty much owe my life and Sean’s life, is Iranian. And I do have difficulty understanding him sometimes, but he is so good, that I don’t care what he’s saying. I just trust him. After he leaves the room, sometimes I ask his nurse, “Now what did he say? Is it anything I really need to know? Do you think he noticed the Dr. Pepper on my legs?”
Nonetheless, communication is important to me and even though it was a doctor that I probably would never see beyond the initial visit, I wanted a doctor who spoke English with a degree of fluency. So I made an appointment for a complete physical.
The walls of the exam room in which I waited were lined with professionally taken pictures of Dr. Texan on his ranch, Dr. Texan and his children in a field of bluebonnets, Dr. Texan standing next to a longhorn steer. As I’m looking at the beautiful photos, I’m thinking this is great! A genuine US citizen!
About that time, Dr. Texan knocks on the door and comes in.
“Um yes! Or hi? Did you say hi? No, my name is not Missy. You want to fix whaa? Did you just say hoo doggy?”
It was Dr. Suel Forrester from SNL. He checked my blood pressure, listened to my heart and whacked my knee with a rubber mallot. He checked here for a lump, there for a lump, everywhere a lump lump. He talked the entire time. And I understood not one word. And then he left.
And then I turned to the nurse and asked, “Now what did he say? Is there anything I really need to know?”