The Office IPOD

       Before the last time we down-sized at the house and gave a lot of our music to the kids, my wife put most of it on an IPOD.  Bless her heart; it took weeks to load it.  The thing has over 10,000 songs and will play a month before it repeats a tune.  She downloaded me a copy for the office.  You might hear Bill Monroe or Scruggs, then Nat King Cole, or maybe Count Basie or Django followed by Little Richard.

        I put in the player every morning, put on my stethoscope, then as the old Judge used to say, it’s “let her go boys.”  It isn’t loud and doesn’t interrupt patient care, except for one time when Jerry Clower whooped and hollered a bit too loud. 

        It soothes me, and calms my patient’s nerves too.  Sometimes if a patient has to wait on a test result I’ll put them in my office right there in the blue Martin Guitar Director’s chair right next to the office IPOD.  They can sit there and look at a big poster of Bill Monroe or Earl Scruggs and listen to whatever comes by.  Friday it was Beethoven.

        One patient said, “Doc, it beats the norm.  You make me feel special.”

        “That’s ’cause you are.”

        After the first month with the office IPOD, the office staff agreed with me.  I try to stay laid-back, but even after all these years remain far too driven.  I want to give my people my best, and can get too intense.  My staff has noticed I’m more tranquil when the music plays.  If I get busy right out of the gate and forget to crank it up they’ll shake their heads, smile, click on the lamp with soft light, and turn on the office IPOD.  After a while I’ll settle down. 

        If it hadn’t been for Jesus and the music I think my soul would have vaporized from all the worry and the heartaches I see as  doc.   The staff likes me better when my soundtrack is there to ease my mind, and they have come to love it too.  We used to have some folks at our place who didn’t like music but none of them work there anymore, so we all get along.

        I always was a different kind of doctor cat, but I think the music makes us all of us a little more human.  Heck, I’ve even converted Corporate. When you win over the tough guys, you’re doing something right.

Dr. B

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8 Comments on “The Office IPOD”

  1. newt221 Says:

    Music has a calming affect. Just like rocking does. I think we get used to it in the womb and recognize it when our moms sing to us as they rock us to sleep.

    I always work better with the music on. I might not be able to tell you what song played but I know that it spoke to me deep down.

  2. drtombibey Says:


    Sometimes I think I’m not paying much attention to it, but if it goes off it sure is quiet at our place and I notice it right away. I’m guess I’m just a music guy.

    Dr. B

  3. Martin Waddell Says:

    I think that a lot depends on the music. Lots of offices, banks, waiting rooms etc put on this terribly bland, brainless “muzack” which has completely the wrong effect on me – makes me edgy and bad-tempered, and makes me feel as if I’m being treated like an idiot. But Scruggs, Nat King Cole, Basie, Little Richard, Beethoven – that’s real music. I think I’d enjoy your treatment room (unless I had to have some really painful treatment on my ingrown toenail – music wouldn’t help me much there).

    • drtombibey Says:


      Indie used to call muzack ‘that canned Nashville crap.” In a doc office I don’t think it should be too loud een if the music is good. And when I have some really bad news I turn it off before the family comes in to talk.

      Dr. B

      • Martin Waddell Says:

        Good comment by Indie, but I wish that the muzack they play in public places in the UK were as interesting as Nashville!

        BTW, another bit of bluegrass here in Scotland. Thursday evening on BBC Scotland, they had a half-hour programme of Gaelic music from a Glasgow pub, and the Scottish musicians were joined by the Punch Brothers. They did a bluegrass number – started dead slow then got faster – and then they accompanied a Scottish woman singing a traditional Scots song. When they played slowly, they sounded quite Celtic, espcially the fiddler. I’m probably stating the obvious here, but there must be lots of links between bluegrass and the music that Scottish immigrants brought across the Atlantic 100s of years ago.

  4. Mrs. Chili Says:

    I have been conscious of an absence of music in my life. One of the (few) downfalls of having a wicked short commute is that I don’t listen to much music in the car, and I almost never think to put my iTunes on at home. Maybe I’ll try to get into the habit.

    • drtombibey Says:


      So good to hear from you. Along the way I listened to as much in the car as anywhere, ’cause I never sat still.

      I am still on the book trail and believe we will find our way before long. I always promised by 2010. That’s here and I thnk we’ll make it before the end of the year. What a journey!

      Dr. B

  5. drtombibey Says:


    When Wayne Benson plays some of these old tunes like the jigs and reels his dad always says, “Son, that one came from across the pond.”

    We’re all connected more than we know. Finding out all the ways that is true is much fun.

    Dr. B

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