A Doctor’s Note

I found this being passed around on Facebook.  Who knows if it is true?  If it is then there is something missing.  I finished it for the author:

It was approximately 8.30 a.m. on a busy morning when an elderly gentleman in his eighties arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He stated that he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9.00 a.m. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat. I knew it would take more than an hour before someone would to able to attend to him. I saw him check his watch anxiously for the time and decided to evaluate his wound since I was not busy with another patient. On examination, the wound was well healed. Hence, I talked to one of the doctors to get the supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound. We began to engage in a conversation while I was taking care of his wound. I asked him if he had another doctor’s appointment later as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no and said that he needed to go to the nursing home to have breakfast with his wife.  I inquired about her health. He told me that she had been in the nursing home for a while as she was a victim of Alzheimer’s disease. I probed further and asked if she would be upset if he was slightly late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was and she had not been able to recognize him since five years ago.

I asked him in surprise, “And you still go every morning, even though she doesn’t know who you are?”

He smiled as he patted my hand and said, “She doesn’t know me, but I still know who she is.”

I had to hold back my tears as he left.  I had goose bumps on my arm, and I thought, “That is the kind of love I want in my life.”

True love is neither physical nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.


One month later I was going through my quality indicators and realized that this patient is a diabetic and  I had not checked his feet that day.  It didn’t matter that he was in a rush and wanted to see his wife.  Those idiots want their numbers in the right boxes.  His blood pressure was also slightly high but I thought that it was due to him being in a rush.  Besides, too much antihypertensives would put him at risk for a fall. Well, wouldn’t you know it, this bastards dinged me for that, too.  True love is great but it sure doesn’t make this f&cking job any easier.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected]

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1 Response

  1. big picture doc says:

    I feel your pain, but we docs need to also recognize that many of our colleagues have practiced some pretty bad medicine over the years and so some checks and balances are needed. I have personally known way too many lazy FPs that sit on their duffs and write redundant and dangerous prescriptions. When medicare first came out, many many “physicians” overcharged the program and thus brought unwanted regulations on the rest of the good docs. Physicians have been notoriously horrible about regulating their own. There has to be some sort of balance.

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