This post is in honor of the two best doctors in America, and possibly the world.
While their names aren't known to the general public, they're instantly recognizable to all of us in the medical profession. And, in spite of their amazing talents, neither has ever been recognized by any of the various "Best Doc" magazines published in different cities.
So I feel that, after years of them laboring in secret, it's time to honor them.
AND THE 2 BEST DOCTORS ON THE PLANET ARE:
Some Guy, M.D. and This Lady, M.D.
And here is why they so richly deserve this honor:
I don't know either of them personally. In fact, they have no phone listing. Yet, they're far more accessible than any other doctor I know. While I only see people in my office, or the hospital, during certain hours, Drs. Guy and Lady are accessible anywhere, anytime. Patients tell me they run into them at grocery stores, beauty salons, amusement parks, laundromats, hardware stores, cocktail parties- anywhere.
I might get a little irritated (okay, a lot irritated) if patients were to corner me for a consultation while I was out with my family, but not Some Guy or This Lady! In fact, from what I've been told, they don't mind at all, and often initiate the discussions themselves!
This is how I make a living. I like this job, but it's still my job. I have a family to support. So Mary has to make sure we take your insurance, collect your co-pay, etc.
But not Drs. Guy and Lady! They don't check those minor details before providing treatment! As best I can tell, they don't charge anything for their time and advice.
3. Sheer brilliance.
I, and most doctors, do physical exams and order tests. They may vary from a few labs to an MRI, but generally that's how we get an idea of what's going on, and what the best course of action will be. Not Some Guy or This Lady, though!
They appear to have an uncanny knowledge of EXACTLY what's going on with you, even though they never touch you, ask detailed questions, or order any studies whatsoever! I can only assume they must always be right, as my brief search of American medical board records showed that neither of them has ever been subject to a single complaint or lawsuit!
I prescribe medications. Some are cheap, some hideously expensive. But I do it to help you.
But Drs. Guy and Lady apparently have knowledge of treatments beyond the medical realm, which they generously share free of charge, involving a number of simple over-the-counter remedies that can apparently cure anything.
I'm a specialist. I know a lot about common things in my fields, less about rarer disorders, and only a little bit about other fields. I think most other specialists would say the same.
But this amazing pair knows about EVERYTHING. They are general practitioners extraordinaire, with a knowledge fund that puts even the greatest doctors, like Osler, Charcot, or (my personal idol) Oscar London, to shame.
I can only assume this tremendous knowledge has come from experience. Some diseases are so rare that many of us go through an entire career without seeing them, but these two have seen ALL OF IT! They have incredible connections that have led to this (usually involving their uncle's friend's second cousin's wife, who once met a lady who's sister might have had the rare disorder).
There's this mysterious thing called the Doctor-Patient relationship. It involves trust, and can take a while to build. There's some chemistry in it, and conversation, and voodoo. But it's critical to helping people.
But while it can take 1 or more appointments for most doctors and patients to reach this stage, for these two it's amazingly instantaneous. Most patients who get advice from them trust them automatically and completely, and are quite confident in their diagnostic and treatment abilities. This is in spite of (or perhaps because) they don't appear to have the same, years-long, formal medical training that I and my colleagues do.
7. International reputation.
I only practice in Grumpyville, and only have one medical license. But these 2 apparently are somehow EVERWHERE. I've had patients run into them in all 50 states, and even on overseas trips. Quite frankly, hearing about them makes me embarrassed to only be able to cover 1 hospital.
So, as 2011 comes to a close, I salute these 2 giants of medicine, and their numerous contributions to patient care.