Rule Number Six- The Patient is the Center of the Universe (Not the Opposite)

        This post was inspired by a blog pal of mine, Ms. Cindy, who works at a Vet office.  She is new to the Vet business, but already understands it in a way some veterans never do.  She wrote “I want to help make things better.”  That’s it.  I am certain she is the kind of human being who be an employee of the month at our place, ’cause she gets it without being told.

        In the Doc world, this rule is so simple that I can not understand why anyone would have difficulty with it.  Yet, there are some that do.  Some folks are in it for money or power or prestige or I don’t know why, but they are the ones I never get along with.  I have two trusted nurses who have been with me for decades, and they are there because they want to help make things better.  They never base their decisions on anything other than what is best for the patient.

        Many years ago I had an employee who wanted us to get a ‘Corporate’ Country Club membership.  She felt we needed a marketing type person, and that her face at the club would ‘upgrade’ our public image.  As you can imagine, she didn’t last long.  I have nothing against anyone at the club, but I don’t want an image.  I want to be a Doctor, and hope folks will trust me enough to give me the honor to serve.  She was in the gig to look important, not to help make things better. 

        She sells lingerie now, and there’s nothing worn with that either, but her concept of the Doc gig just didn’t jive with mine.  As Larry Cordle would say, “I’m a little rough around the edges,” and the young lady just didn’t get what I wanted our little Doc office to be about.

        So, sorry to preach but what it is about is the patient.  One time we had an open house.  The band was scheduled to play and we were gonna have some chickens on the grill.  One of my patients asked, “Doc, is it O.K if I come?”

        “O.K.?  Lordy, George it’s your party, not mine.  If we have an open house and it ain’t for the patients we might as well all go home,  ’cause we’ve forgotten what we’re here for.”

          The image of George munching on a chicken leg and tapping his toes to bluegrass is a permanent one on my brain.  We can’t forget what we came to the party for, and must forever remember to dance with who brung us.

Dr. B

Explore posts in the same categories: med school days, Writing


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8 Comments on “Rule Number Six- The Patient is the Center of the Universe (Not the Opposite)”

  1. Keith White Says:

    I live in a medium-sized city now, and part of my work is in this clinic.

    This is the image we strive for, but it sure is difficult.


  2. drtombibey Says:

    Dr. White,

    The modern health care system makes it as difficult as possible to deliver care with compassion, but I guess all we an do is jump through the hoops and do the best we can. I agree with you; nothing about it is easy.

    Dr. B

  3. junebugger Says:

    It’s so good to hear about how dedicated some doctors are to their patients! Here in Korea, where I’ve come to visit my parents, many parents want their kids to either become a lawyer or doctor because they get paid well.

    • drtombibey Says:


      There is no doubt that a Doc makes a comfortable living. A long time ago I decided I couldn’t get rich or starve to death either one. My goal was always to be the best Doc I could. I never was much of a businessman, though.

      Hey, I bet Mr. Yang is the talk of the country after winning the PGA. He was the first Asian to win a U.S. men’s major golf tournamant.

      Dr. B

      • junebugger Says:

        It’s always best to follow one’s dream. I would rather be poor but enjoy, and be passionate, about what I’m working for, rather than to wake up everyday to do something I hate but get paid well for

  4. newt221 Says:

    Well, I guess we are even now, for the time being, Dr. B. One of your blogs inspired me to write “making things better”. You made a comment about doing the right thing that inspired the blog for the “making things better blog”.

    The icing on the cake is when my devotional quote for the day was “You can’t make your heart feel something that it doesn’t (Bonnie Raite I think sang about this) but, you can do the right thing even if you don’t want to…”

    People who do the right thing or stive to make things better are alway “better” themselves for making the effort. However, even though that is obvious, some cannot “see” it. Those are the ones that “don’t get it”.

    How many times have you smiled and wanted to do a “high five” when you see that you have helped in some way? It warms the heart and the soul. And, as my grandma always said, “it adds another jewel to that heavenly crown”.

    • drtombibey Says:

      Ms. Cindy,

      Truly what it’s all about. We all hope as writers to inspire our friends to find the best in life. Your writing does that for me, and I am tickled some of mine has touched you along the way.

      All the best,

      Dr. B

  5. drtombibey Says:

    Amen, junebugger. I feel like I don’t go to work every day; I just get to live.

    Dr. B

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