You Know Your Doc is Country If…..
If your Doc drives a truck to work on a summer day and rolls down the window so he can listen to the crickets sing along with Hank Williams on his CD player while he eats a cold piece of last night’s fried chicken for breakfast ’cause he didn’t have want to stop studying Wayne Benson mandolin at dawn he might be a country Doc.
And when his med student is gonna be an intensivist, but has already promised to bring the boss Nip Chee crackers and Co-Cola and put Bill Monroe is his ear and coffee down his NG tube at he Nursing Home to keep him mollified in his old age, then that boy is a Country Doc in training. Country Docs feel sorry for folks who have ‘Bill Monroe Deficiency.’ (A life with no fun)
His coffee is black and his socks would be be white if it weren’t for his country girl wife’s gentle diplomacy. And speaking of sugar, even though it’s sweet, he doesn’t put sugar (or cream) in his coffee, and always orders high test. (with caffeine)
If the office staff can order a take out and know to get fried chicken, hominy, fried okra, and field peas, and if the local cafe knows it’s for Doc without asking, that guy is country. If his day was crazy and he feels bad that he held up his 90 year patient he’ll invite her to lunch to share some chicken.
He might have to eat fast so he can have enough time to work up a mandolin break for ‘So Lonesome I Could Cry’ before afternoon patients, and if he can reach deep inside and make it sound like a tear-jerker when the boy hasn’t had a lonely night in a half century, well he’s a country Doc.
He plays his golf at the local muni with guys like Rocky or Jake or Crash instead of the bank president at the Club. But he is just as at home to play Don Gibson’s ‘Can’t Stop Loving You’ for the Country Club crowd when they want a country show as he is picking the ‘Clinch Mountain Backstep’ at Fat Boy’s Barbecue.
If his idea of a fancy vacation is to jam all night at Galax and eat streaky meat sandwiches or ‘maters on light bread with Duke’s mayonnaise and plenty of salt and pepper, he’s country.
He’s the kind of fellow who makes himself memorize his American Academy monthly home study program before he’ll allow himself to listen to his favorite bluegrass band CDs, but isn’t disciplined enough to practice his mandolin the way he should. He’s the only cat in town who reads both the ‘New England Journal of Medicine’ and ‘Bluegrass Unlimited.’
Doc knows his people on a first name basis but out of respect calls them by their last until they tell them otherwise. Most everyone is ma’am or sir and if they object he’ll forget and call ’em that anyway ’cause that is what his mama taught him. You never go against your mama. He gets a haircut ’cause he afraid she’ll think he is ‘looking woolly.’
He goes to funerals but waits to shed any tears until he is on the way home listening to some sad bluegrass song. It wouldn’t be right to cry at the funeral home; the situation is much harder on the family than it is for him. Besides, he tries to do all his crying ahead of time. When somebody lays down for the last time ain’t when this Country Doc is gonna start to think what he might do. By then he’s run the table on every option he can think of, at least if he had any shot to figure it out.
He sees his folks not only as patients but his people and intends to do his best for them. He’s that way ’cause he’s the best true Country Doc he knows how to be, and doesn’t know any other way.
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