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