Saturday, November 13, 2004

Patient care, circa 1885

Reading Chekhov stories this afternoon. In "Grief," a man brings his wife to the doctor, and he knows what the doctor will say:
"Soon as we're there, he'll come running out of his room and start cursing. 'What's all this?' he'll shout. 'How did it happen? Why didn't you come earlier? Am I a dog, to be looking after you all day, damn you? Why didn't you come in the morning? Get out! I don't want to see you! Come tomorrow!'

Chekhov was a doctor. When a character is dying, the doctor says, "You've had your life, haven't you? You must be sixty if a day...isn't that enough for you?" When the patient says he'd like to live, the doctor asks, "Whatever for?"
Funny thing...when I read this, I started thinking about insurance, that's not fair.

(afterthought: yes, okay, you're right. In the last post, a patient was shouting at me. In this post, the doctor is shouting back. What can I say? Freud lives on!)
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