To Be The Best Dr. B I Can Be

        Someone asked me why I bothered to write. They said, “You’ve already had one successful career. I don’t like it when people think that entitles them to success in another discipline.”

        I thought about that. Well, for one, I think as far as big time success as a doctor, I didn’t come up with a cure for cancer, so I would view my mark on the world as pretty modest. As far as books, it delights me that “The Mandolin Case” made a lot of people happy and that my story led some new people to the music art form I love so much. But I assure you Mr. Grisham doesn’t lay awake at night and worry I might overtake him. That doesn’t bother me.

          It’s like why I still study the mandolin under Wayne and Darin. (Hey Jel, Darin and I are gonna start on the mando duet CD this month; I hope Wayne will sit in on a cut or two also) I ain’t trying to be them; God only made one of each of us. I have no illusion that I’m gonna be the next star of the mandolin world. I continue on because all I want to be is the best Dr. B I can be, and both my music and writing help me in that quest.

        It might not be modern or fancy, but it’s a good enough reason for me, and I guess that’s all that matters.      

Dr. B

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13 Comments on “To Be The Best Dr. B I Can Be”

  1. Felix Miller Says:

    I really don’t understand the viewpoint of the person who thinks you should stick to one occupation,rather than stretching your talents and interests. What a dull life that would be. I admire your breadth of interests, wish I had the energy to do the same.

    I also emphatically agree with you about the importance of having an artistic outlet to keep you centered and sane. Too many people of talent and drive grind themselves to bits doing one thing to distraction.

    Keep on pickin’ and writin’, Dr. B. See you in a couple of weeks, I hope. Good lineup at the literature conference in Chattanooga coming.

  2. Dan Says:

    Dr. B:
    As my grandaddy used to say, you “hit the nail on the head”. I’m often asked why I spend most of my time away from work writing songs and playing mandolin and guitar. Unlike Harper Lee who had just one story to tell, I have many. I find Wayne’s lessons an escape, and oddly enough, often discover his brilliant insights on music and theory also apply to life in general.

    Keep writing Dr. B.!

  3. jel Says:

    hey Doc,
    looking forward to it! 🙂

    I’m glad ya took up the pen !

  4. Jacqui Says:

    Those are great reasons, Dr. B. It’s human nature to want to be our best and I don’t know why it should melt away just because you’ve conquered one career. Me, I write because I can’t NOT write. It bubbles out.

    • drtombibey Says:


      “Me, I write because I can’t NOT write. It bubbles out.” I like that.

      One time I met Sam Pickering at a conference and told him I was trying to learn to write but I was a hack.

      He smiled and said “We all are.”

      Writing is like the doc gig; you never quite get there, but can’t help but follow the dream.

      Dr. B

  5. newt221 Says:

    Always was told…when you do a job, do it to the best of your ability. I have followed that rule all of my life. I aint the best but I do what I do the best I can. I get a sense of reward and satisfaction for that. I don’t lay awake at night wondering if I coulda done it better…

  6. […] instead of concentrating on medicine. Dr. B. made this the subject of an explanatory post, “To Be The Best Dr. B I Can Be.” His position is that only by stretching himself into the arts can he keep perspective, and […]

    • drtombibey Says:


      That’s it exactly. If the arts didn’t keep me sane, I don’t think I could still make the 90th percentile on Boards. More important, I’m now old but I never got cynical and still care about my patients. I will admit though, if I don’t have a little art I can get too weary to go on.

      Save me a place at the table, brother.

      Dr. B

      • Felix Miller Says:

        You know it, Dr. B., we are volunteering for registration duty on Friday, but will be looking for you on Saturday. The whole shindig will be a blast, but breaking bread with you will be the best.

  7. drtombibey Says:

    Felix, It will be great to see you guys. We might go out to the Mountain Opry too on Friday. See you in Chattanooga.

    Dr. B

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