I was a doctor guy, not a money guy. I made a decent enough living, and never worried about my reputation as a businessman. I guess it showed. One time a consultant was in the office, and told me the reason I was in the 25th percentile for earnings was because I spent too much time thinking about my patients and not enough ordering tests. That didn’t offend me. I was happier that I’d made the 94th percentile on my Boards, and even more proud of how I got along with my patients. I had a few I couldn’t talk turkey with, but for the most part we were a good team. I feel like on a given day the odds for me to guide them through this complex modern medical system were as good as anybody’s.
In spite of not being a financial home run hitter, I hope my doctor life was a success from the other aspects. I once saw a bumper sticker that said, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” Maybe it is un-American, but I never saw it that way. I drove the same old Scout for a quarter million miles. It was a reliable old horse, and got me back and forth to the hospital at night without fail. I didn’t see any need to change. I made enough to educate my children and we got our house paid off five years ago, so I think I did O.K.
Besides, the way I see it, I never went to work for a living. All I do is walk around and be Dr. Bibey, and at the end of the month someone sends a check. My wife says I’m gonna get all the way to the finish line and never go to work. That’s true- except for those summer jobs on the paving crew or in the cardboard box factory I didn’t. I don’t go to work, I just live the doctor gig. It is what I am. I see my folks at church and go over their treadmill or x-ray report, and I’ve hit many a practice ball while I listened to a golf pal’s troubles. I ain’t complaining. At my age I’m just glad someone wants my opinion. Without the doctor gig, I’m a second rate mandolin player and a third rate golfer, so I better hang onto it. It was the only thing I was ever any good at.
Once I heard someone ask the great Sam Bush about the pay scale in bluegrass music (it ain’t what it oughta be) and Sam just shrugged his shoulders and said, “I’m a music guy, not a money guy- I don’t know.” I thought it was a great line, so I borrowed it from Sam. “I’m a doctor guy, not a money guy, so I don’t know much about it.” I figure as long as there are people on earth who can’t afford food, and my old buddies at the plant have to spend a huge chunk of their wage just to get to work, and as long as this society undervalues major contributors like teachers as much as we do, it would border on sinful for me not to be satisfied with my lot in life.
I think Bill Monroe would say it something like this, “Be what you is, ’cause if you ain’t what you is you ain’t nothing.” I appreciate you guys visiting me, ’cause the blog gig is only my attempt as an ordinary doctor guy to leave behind some of my thought process. I figure the Internet is as good a place as any to record it. All I could be was what I was, and if it helps anyone after I’m gone that’s all the better.