I’ll Just Say So Long

        Julius finished his rotation Friday.  My song of the day after he left was Tim O’Brien’s ‘Look Down That Lonesome Road.’  The tag line at the end is quite apropos.  It goes, ‘I hate to say good bye, so I’ll just say so long.’  Julius was the best med student we’ve had come through Harvey County in a long time.  I couldn’t say good bye, so I just said so long. 

        Besides, he’ll be back.  Believe it or not, Harvey County has gone plum modern.  We used to do all the I.C.U. work ourselves but now we have a couple of intensivists.  I knew Julius wanted to get into that kind of work, so I sent him over to see them to see if he could do a rotation with them late this fall.

        Our intensivists are two sharp guys we somehow lured here from the Mayo Clinic.  When they first showed up in town I realized my days as the local king of the bubble tests had come and gone.  (For those that don’t know the term, my son coined it.  In grade school when they had a standardized test I asked him if he was scared, and he said, “No sweat Daddy.  All you gotta do is fill in the right bubbles.”) 

        When I ran into this duo, I remembered my father’s counsel.  “Son, in this business, you’re gonna run into people smarter than you.  When you do, don’t be jealous;  go make friends with them.” I did just that.

        They are an odd duo with odd names.  Zellington and Grinzler.  Sounds like a World Wide Wrestling team, huh?  They are like an Abbott and Costello comedy routine except they got their punch lines out of ‘Harrison’s Text of Medicine.’  One, Zell,  is short and uh… stocky.  The other, Grinz, is tall and does his best to be austere in spite of Zell’s antics.

        When I sent Julius to ask them about doing a rotation with them he was concerned.  “I don’t know, Doc.  They’re from the Mayo Clinic.  Sounds pretty high powered to me.  Will they take me on?”

         “No problem, son.  When they ask you what your objective is for this rotation, just say, “I hear there is a lot of debate in Harvey County as to which one of you guys is smarter.  Dr. Bibey asked me to find out and report back to him.”

        Julius did as I said. Grinz took one look at him then said, “Smart ass,” and signed.  Zell grabbed the paper out of his hands and signed it above the line where Grinz did.   

         I also had Julius negotiate for Friday at lunch off so he could eat with me on the ‘Starving Medical Student Foundation.’  The boy did good.  We have an appointment at Chang’s Chinese the first Friday in November.  Like Tim O’Brien sang, “I hate to say good bye, so I’ll just say so long.”

       See you soon, Julius.

Dr. B

Here’s the link to Tim O’Brien’s tune:


Explore posts in the same categories: med school days

Tags: ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

16 Comments on “I’ll Just Say So Long”

  1. Julius Says:

    I know some of my ol’ mountain music, but that one song escapes me, so I’ll do like Denzel Washington and say, “See ya later.”

    This was the best rotation by far! All the things I heard of Dr B before I started were true–and they were ALL good things. I’m surely gonna miss both you, and the staff. The staff sure does help make a doc be a good one–you can be the best doc in the world and no one come to you if you don’t have a great office staff.

    I’ll make it back to Harvey co. one way or another. Oh, and for the secret mission, I’ll be sure to let you know who’s smarter…..

    Thanks for all you’ve done for me, Dr. B!!!!

    • drtombibey Says:


      I can only respond with the highest compliment in bluegrass:

      “You’re a good’un!”

      All the best,

      Dr. B

  2. newt221 Says:

    Doc, You keep getting good students. Julius sounded like he enjoyed his time with you. And, sounds like he is looking forward to the next rotation in good old Harvey County.

    I wish I could do a rotation. Bet I would learn alot. As it is, I am learning pleynty at the Vet’s office. Got to help with castrations on Friday. We did two Neubian Goats.

    • drtombibey Says:

      Ms Cindy,

      The doc and the vet business are similar, except ours is easier. We only have to work on two models, and our patients will tell us what is wrong if we will listen.

      Dr. B

  3. drtombibey Says:

    Here’s the link to John Chapman’s blog:

    URL : http://www.pedlarpress.co.uk

    Hi Dr B

    It is three months since I wrote a word in my own blog, and I decided today I must put that right; but first I took a look at yours – and find you are as prolific as ever, quite putting me to shame.

    My only excuse for my bloglessness is that I had a busy period in the summer, when in my alter ego as actor John Nicholas I managed to land a small part in Ridley Scott’s latest blockbuster movie – a re-make of ‘Robin Hood’ starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett. It was shot on location near Guildford, where my daughter lives, and I played a medieval farmer. I had one scene where I was ploughing (sorry – plowing) behind a big Shire horse. Not bad at 77, eh? After that, we went on holiday – first to Switzerland, then to France.

    While in Switzerland I was reminded of one of my favorite books by your favorite author, Mark Twain – ‘A Tramp Abroad’. Do you know it? It’s a hilarious account of his travels, with a friend, in Europe. When in Switzerland they learn that a glacier is a moving river of ice; so they camp on the glacier – and are disappointed not to wake up way down the valley in the morning.

    I too had a kidney stone some years ago. I remember my doc saying it was reckoned to be one of the worst pains known to man – and I could believe him. So you and your ureter have all my sympathy!

    I do wish you well with your book. It’s now 18 months since I gave birth to mine – and it has proved a disappointing little runt. Still – I did it!

    PS The movie is not due for release until next May.


    Good to hear from you. For some reason your comment got hung up and would not post, so I pasted it in.

    Yes, in fact I have ‘A Tramp Abroad’ in my collection.

    No matter how much of a runt mine turns out to be, I figure a man is always gonna love his baby. (The book, not the kidney stone)

    Will your movie play here in the States? I don’t get to many, but I now consider that one a must.

    Dr. B

  4. Julius sounded like the exact kind of Doc that you would be proud of Dr. B. I’ve missed being around here, but I’m glad I’m here to say so long and good luck to Julius!

    Incidentally, there was a sort of talent show at my school tonight and two young guys played a couple of lovely old bluegrass songs on their guitars and sang. I loved it. I think I like bluegrass better live – it has more soul that way.

    • drtombibey Says:


      Julius was the best. I am glad he isn’t gone for good; he’ll be back soon.

      You are right. As good as the recordings are, the soul comes thru even more with live bluegrass.

      Dr. B

    • Julius Says:

      Thank you for your wishes Ms. Slightly. Good luck to you as well, Dr. B talks very highly of you as well.

      PS, I do like bluegrass better in person as well; although I have come out of this rotation with a couple CD’s that are absolutely amazing to listen to as well!

  5. waggledance Says:

    Oh Dr B…you’ve made me chuckle and started my Monday off just right…thank you! If I ever need any medical care I shall insist that I am transported over to your neck of the woods for the best attention!

    • drtombibey Says:


      Well, if you are in the States and need help look me up. About all you have to do is stop in North Carolina and ask for that doctor who plays the little bitty guitar.

      I am semi-retired these days and only do office work, but if you are in a bad jam, I know all the best hospital docs too.

      My agent and I were talking about a book tour the other day. I have a lot of stops I’ve promised in the States, but one day I am gonna get to England too.

      Dr. B

  6. danny fulks Says:

    Let’s say goodbye like we said hello/ In a friendly kind of way.

  7. waggledance Says:

    Well, not being picky, Dr B, but I hope I meet you on a book tour long before we meet in the ER!!!!

    • drtombibey Says:


      As much as I love being a Doc I’d much rather discuss a passage in a book or play you a song at a book store gig. The art is what kept me in the doc game the whole way. -Dr. B

  8. Smitty Neuse River Pres. Says:

    Doc, sorry about the stone, I coached with a guy and we could set our calendar by his stones; nine months.

    Seems like Julius was one of those people that one can invest his time with him because he ia going to do people right. In education, we have student teachers all the time but every once in a while, one comes along that is a little cut above the rest.They listen,apply, come and ask questions and then take their art to another level. Thru humility, we know we have helped shape a person.

    Great news about the book, I still cannot get over the fact that it is coming together. Stay the course.

    Sorry about not posting, school has kept me busy. We are trying to educate all children in this country and we have finally found a way to help us with that mission. I have never in my 25 years talked so much about helping students to reach their full potential.

    Ok, preacher man shot 76 today. I know where he is on Sunday.Conway and I think he might be slipping out to the course during the week. I will let you know.

    Man you are picking some good song on facebook. I know most of them.

    Great writing,got to go and work on that “D” run.

    • drtombibey Says:


      Well I hope I don’t deliver one of those rascals every nine months. They are a beast.

      Julius was a winner for sure. He’ll be back.

      I always said my target years for the novel was 2010, and it looks like that will be the year sure enough. I am very satisfied it is an artistic and symbolic story. I had a lot of help from both my agent and my editor.

      I’m off my game a bit. I better practice up. I always worry about playing a preacher. They have good connections.

      Keep up the good work with the kids. Teachers are God’s people.

      Dr. B

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: