Breaking News: Julius is an Ace
You may have noticed I haven’t mentioned Julius in a few days. He was off to take Part II of his Boards, which by the way is the gateway to Doctor City.
I gotta tell you this is my proudest day ever as a Doc mentor and teacher. Julius came back to home base with the biggest grin I’ve ever seen.
“How’d you do kid?” I asked.
“Great Dr. B, just great.” He laughed out loud. “Man, I was just whistling through the whole thing. I’ve done my best with books, but at every turn I remembered all these old cases you’ve told me about over lunch or breakfast, and all these patients we’ve seen in the office who you’d rattle off ten years of history without a chart. Man, it was a breeze. All I had to do was fill in the right bubbles. It was all your stories that carried the day.”
I all but cried. “Julius, that makes me prouder than anything I’ve heard as a teacher. I am humbled.”
“Yeah Doc, honest to God half the time I’d recall some bluegrass tune you imprinted on me to remember all the right answers by. You remember the lady we diagnosed with temporal arteritis? You said, ‘Ain’t no way she’s gonna go blind for lack of Prednisone while I’m off playing ‘Dim Lights, Thick Smoke.’ Get a sed rate, too.’ It was easy.”
“Good Lord have mercy, boy. A+!”
“Yeah man, I applied Temple’s Law a couple times, and I never x-rayed a pregnant woman. I diagnosed a heart attack when it looked like indigestion. I rocked the house.”
By now I was in tears.
“Hey, we had a fill in the blank section at the end,” he said.
“We didn’t have those in my day. Back then it was a straight bubble test.”
“Yeah, they asked about the value of a screening chest x-ray for lung cancer. ”
“What didja tell ’em?”
“I knew I’d already aced the thing, so I penciled in a chest x-ray to screen for lung cancer ain’t worth a fart in a whirlwind.”
“That’s My Boy! How to go Julius! I’m as proud as punch of ya.” Lord y’all, I hope the world can take another one, but I might have created another me. I didn’t know what to say.
“I ‘preciate ya Doc.”
“Son, you are a good kid. You’re nice to people. Don’t you ever change.”
“Yes sir, I won’t.”
“You stay like you are. The Doc gig ain’t about money or status or nothing else but people. There are too many people in this business who chase the wrong things.”
“Doc, that’s the best advice you’ve given me yet. ‘Don’t chase the wrong things.’ I won’t forget.”
I sent Julius to interview the next patient and closed my door. I said a prayer and thanked the Good Lord for blessing me so profoundly. After I’m gone there’ll still be some people Doctors left as long as Julius is around. To have been any part of that just broke me up, and I had to recompose myself to get ready to go back to the salt mines.
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