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Dear Doctor
by Rod Hamon

Dear Doctor,

I am writing to inform you that from now on I will be attending the surgery of another doctor. Whilst I thank you for the services you have rendered I feel it only fair to explain why I have made this decision.

Like you, I too am frequently in the public eye and therefore appreciate the importance of providing good service. What I have to say is given with the best of intentions, to be constructive and is not meant to offend.

On a number of occasions I have come to see you with a medical problem hoping to be cured but have left without a satisfactory diagnosis or treatment.

For example on one occasion I mentioned that for some time I had had an intense pain in my stomach. You may recall that you sent me for an ultrasound examination. I was to call at your surgery a few days later for the results. However when I did, your receptionist looked at the report briefly and said, “The doctor doesn’t need to see you.”

This puzzled me because the intense pain in my stomach remained. It was as if I were being told, “We can’t see anything wrong so don’t worry about it.”

On another more recent occasion I came to you with a severe sore throat that I had had for over a month. Following your examination I was told, with a shrug of the shoulders, “Can’t find anything wrong, don’t worry, it’ll go away.”

I am very displeased with your lack of thoroughness and hence my reason for going elsewhere. May I again emphasize that I am only trying to be helpful and hope that my candid words will be helpful to you.

There is just one further matter I’d like to raise and that is, what people used to call, a doctor’s bedside manner. I am referring to the fact that you seem to show very little personal interest in your patients as people. For example you rarely ask about their situations at home, about their hobbies or about their jobs. I would have felt much more comfortable if you had shown some interest in me. I am sure you would have been quite interested in my job at the circus.

At the moment I’m learning a new routine: the high wire act. It is challenging and of course dangerous but far better than what I was doing before. I’d been doing my previous act for six months and felt a change was needed.

I’m glad I did because the pain in my stomach and my sore throat seem to have completely gone since I stopped doing the sword-swallowing act.

Yours faithfully

Jeremy Blogs