Y’all aren’t gonna believe it, but I’m a med school professor. Well, not full time, but I’m serve as one of the community medicine preceptors for Sandhills U., my old Alma Mater. Indie used to do it, and he was the best one there ever was.
I really like this last kid they send me. He’s well read, and kind to people. It didn’t hurt his ’cause any that he’d done a paper on Flatt and Scruggs in college.
I sat him down the first day and told him what I expected. “Son,” I said. “Don’t tell ’em back at the med school, but this might be the easiest ‘A’ you’ll ever make.”
“How’s that, Doc?”
“Well, all you have to do is treat my patients with respect. And when you leave this office, you can’t talk about ’em.”
“Now. The State Board Medical Board says we shouldn’t treat friends and family. After three decades, that’s all I’ve got. You report me and I’ll do everything I can to see you don’t get a liscense.”
“Yes sir. You can count on me.”
“All I can really teach you is how to stay out of trouble. I’m not gonna teach you the differential diagnosis of hemolytic anemia as well as Dr. Woodley down there will. But I can help your gestalt. For example, if anyone here has any complaint from the waist up and they’re over forty- five, you consider it heart ’till you prove it ain’t. It usually won’t be, but you can’t miss anything that might kill ’em before you get another try at it.”
“A little scary.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll check behind you on everything. So far, it doesn’t count for you. I’m just gonna help you to be ready when it does.”
“And don’ t forget Temple’s Law. Very important.”
“Temple’s Law number one. ‘A woman is pregnant till proved otherwise.’ In all these years I’ve never accidentally x-rayed a pregnant woman, and we ain’t gonna start this month.”
He wrote it down.
“And speaking of women, don’t chase any around here or I’ll send you packing. I ain’t got time to run interference for any stupid behavior.”
“Yes sir. I’ve got a girlfriend back at Sandhills. I’m very loyal to her.”
“Good. I like loyalty. I think you might get an “A.” I’ve never had one get an “A+, though.”
‘What do you have to do to get an “A+?”
“You have to play bluegrass music. You don’t have to be a muti-instrumentalist, although there’s nothing wrong with that. If you are good on one, that’ll do. And if you can sing tenor it will cut the gig, too. They’re almost as hard to come by as a good fiddler.”
“Yes sir, I won’t forget. Oh, I need to run out to the car.”
It wasn’t but a minute and he was back toting an old battered case. “Do you know Jerusalem Ridge?” He opened it up, pulled out a fiddle, and low and behold rendered is as fine as anyone I’ve heard since Indie went to the Nursing Home.
“Son, do you do the Cherokee Shuffle?”
“Sure.” He bowed it to perfection.
“Have I ever got somebody who’s gonna want to meet you. After we finish up, we gotta go over to the Nursing Home. I’ve got a buddy over there, Dr. Indie Jenkins. Man, he is gonna dig you.”
“Sure boss. Wherever you go, I’ll follow.”
I knew I liked this kid. He might be the most well prepared student I’ve ever had. We’re gonna get along famously.