The Good Doctor
Manijeh BadiozamaniIt is a joy to meet people who truly love their profession and draw deep satisfaction despite all of its ups and downs, day in and day out. I’ve met such a person, a mild-mannered medical doctor who told me stories about his past experiences when he had completed medical school and was on his first job, as a young physician, in a remote small town, somewhere in the northwest of Iran.
This is one of those stories.
He was a young medical doctor, fresh out of medical school. As a payback for his free medical education at Tehran University, the government assigned him to a remote small town to serve folks who did not have a doctor. He became a country doctor, doing the routine stuff, including delivering babies. However, he sent the complicated cases to a nearby big city hospital. He seldom took any days off, served people, and became a well-known person in that remote place.
Once he decided to take a day off, go out of town on an excursion with his uncle and just get away and enjoy the nature in the country side. While his uncle drove, he enjoyed the hills and valleys, admiring the pristine nature. Suddenly, while passing through a remote village in the mountains, they noticed a group of villagers huddled and talking among themselves. As soon as they saw a car coming, they ran and flagged the car to stop. The uncle got out of the car to find out what was the problem.
“We have a pregnant lady in labor; appears to be a hard delivery, too much for the local midwife to handle,” a man said. “We want to get her to that well-known doctor in the next town, but have no transportation to get her there,” the man lamented!
Upon hearing the man’s request, and the mention of his nephew’s name, the uncle smiled and said, “No need to take her to that town, I brought you the doctor and he is right here!”
He was exactly where he was needed to be, even on his day off.
He delivered the baby and all was well.
The good doctor who is now a prominent urologist in private practice, as well as a clinical professor of medicine, continued with the story. Thirty years passed. One afternoon a young woman stepped into his office. She inquired if the doctor has ever been to a remote village – naming the place! Upon hearing the affirmative, the young woman said, “I’m the baby you delivered 30 years ago. My mother had told me the whole story, and now that I’m in Tehran, I wanted to meet you.”
When the good doctor told me this story, he was crying. So was I. No doubt he enjoyed sharing the story with me. He is in his seventies now, but the love for his profession and the satisfaction he draws from helping people have not diminished a bit. What a gem of a doctor! Lucky are his patients, and my mother who had him as a neighbor.
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